Over the holidays, I drove the 250km into country Victoria with family to spend the day in Charlton, which Carey staff and students pass through on their way to Hattah each year. Here I got to meet Lloyd Paterson, a relative of Carey alum Paddy Rowling, who served and lost his life in WWI and was remembered in Carey’s Anzac Day observances this year. We had a wonderful time listening to Lloyd and his wife, Maureen, share with us some stories of Paddy that were known within their extended family. We were able to look at Paddy’s connection to Carey and his military service when flying with Royal Air Force Squadron 50 in the United Kingdom before he lost his life in the fight to defeat Nazi Germany.
As we moved on to stand at the Charlton War Memorial, Lloyd spoke of the impact conflicts have had on the town ever since. The memorial was dedicated on Saturday 23 June 1923 to honour those 50 from Charlton and the surrounding district who lost their lives in WWI. From Charlton, 300 people enlisted and those who returned were forever changed. Those Charlton soldiers who died in WWII, like Paddy, had their names added to the memorial later. I was then taken to the nearby Elliott park where I learned about another local, distinguished military leader, soldier, lawyer and politician Harold Edward (Pompey) Elliott (1878–1931), who was born on 19 June 1878 in the town. This Elliott inherited his nickname from Charlton locals who followed a Fred Elliot, a fiery Captain Coach of Carlton from Eaglehawk near Bendigo who played in the early 1900s. Those from Charlton who enlisted saw action at Gallipoli and featured in the fighting at Lone Pine and subsequent campaigns on the Western front.
It was a day my family will long remember at future Anzac Day observances at Carey and beyond. Thank you again to Lloyd and Maureen Paterson for sharing so many stories with us.
Lest We Forget.
May the following prayer encourage us all to follow the example of Jesus and be peacemakers in our world.
Let us pray.
Loving God, our protector and guide, in whose hands are the destinies of all people, we give you thanks for the freedoms we enjoy. Today we remember those who had their lives permanently altered by military deployments or who in the efforts to create lasting peace laid down their lives to defend Australia.
Loving God, make us a people committed to peace making, and hasten that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither learn war any more.
In all things help us to follow the example of your son the peacemaker who gave his life to draw us back to you. Amen.
Revd Scott Bramley
Middle School Chaplain