The black smoldering, swirling clouds of smokey hatred were soon to spread like tentacles across the globe and visit almost every Unley family with a gift of hardship and grief.
But not just yet.
100 years ago in April 1914, the resident in and around Unley were enjoying the sublime Adelaide autumn weather and were focused on commerce, agriculture and building their families futures in a recently Federated nation. It would not be for another three months when on the 31st of July, the Australian Government would first receive a codded message from the British Government indicating that war was inevitable.
The knowledge of potential conflict in Europe had been reported on but by and large all family homes and local businesses were blissfully ignorant of the future that would wait only the turning of just a few pages of the monthly calendars that adorned many of these buildings. These moments of life so soon before the commencement of such a cataclysmic period of war must now be regarded as precious.
In a few short months on the 4th of August Australia would declare war against Germany. The recruitment to enlist men to serve would begin and Unley would see it’s Mayor Major Dollman, promoted to become the first commanding officer of the newly formed 27th Battalion when enough numbers were attained in March the following year 2015. A majority of the soldiers of the 27th Battalion came from the Unley area and so the Battalion would become known as Unley’s Own.
After training in Egypt, the 27th Battalion would land at Gallipoli before moving out to the Western Front and serving in France until the conclusion of the war. It is perhaps a little eary to think about but the sad reality is that there are many former residents whose eternal mortal resting place will forever be in the country side of France in the Somme at places like Poizieres and Amiens. The City of Unley is bonded in blood to these places and I wonder almost 100 years later how do we or can we best recognise this?
Warfare has changed dramatically. The 7th Royal Australian Regiment (7 RAR) now based at Edinburgh in the north of South Australia is tied to the 10th and 27th Royal South Australian Regiment (10th27th RSAR). 7 RAR is a full time until whilst the Keswick based 10th 27th SRAR is a Reservist (Part time) until.
The 7 RAR was the last Australian contingent in Afghanistan, Australia’s most recent war. Listening to the Commanding Officer of 7 RAR Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Wells speaking yesterday was instructive and I commend it to anyone who has even a passing interest in understanding why Australia was engaged in the war but also, what did we do.
ANZAC Day is a day to remember, honour and commemorate those who have given the supreme sacrifice across the whole spectrum of conflicts which the Australian Armed Forces have committed themselves to. I encourage you to attend the Unley ANZAC Dawn Service from 6:15am 25 April in the Soldiers Memorial Gardens Unley Road.
By Lachlan Clyne – Mayor, City of Unley
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Categories: Lachlan Clyne - Personal Life