Monday, 8 July 2013

Great Uncle Sinclair...

So, I've been inspired by a good friend to start researching family history. I have boxes of family history info and I should do it and I will do it. Liz pointed me to Trove - a digitized newspaper site. I bunged in the details of the one article I knew would be in there. It was about my mum's Uncle Sinclair. I researched it ages ago for my her. All she had was an old newspaper clipping. I found the hard copy of the newspaper in archives in Sydney. It was interesting to see the soft copy on the internet. Mum would have been thrilled.

Sinclair Leitch died of wounds in France after surviving the horror of Gallipoli. His Scots born parents, fresh to Australia, had been totally against the 'British' war. After Sinclair died, they burnt every letter they had from him from World War 1 and remained bitterly against England. (See previous post of Jessie)

Here's the thing - Gallipoli is extremely important to Aussies. These men did an impossible thing in an impossible time led by extremely ill-trained British officers who basically treated those men like cannon fodder and buggered up the whole thing by landing them in the wrong place. No, I make no apology of that statement. Ineptitude caused extreme tragedy for not only the Aussie but the Turkish troops who were only defending their land and died doing it.  Les Carlyon wrote an amazing, graphic, sad history on Gallipoli.

Now, while the newspaper clipping was very important to mum, it has to be noted that all Aussies, mum and I included, believe every single man who stepped on that beach, who died or was wounded, who stayed or went, were heroes. One clipping does not make a hero.   


anny cook said...

Amen. Ineptitude is no doubt responsible for more soldiers dying than any enemy. And I warn history is addictive.