The forgotten Anzac

t14818CharlesWesleyAdamsonWW1rWe’re only months into the Centenary of Anzac and the First World War, and already the modern world is showing fatigue. There are still so many young men to remember. One you’ve never heard of is Private Charles Wesley Adamson. Even his home town forgot him at first. The 100th anniversary of his death is next week.

At a public send-off in 1915 for Myamyn recruits in Victoria’s western district, privates Jesse Malseed and Michael Kenna were honoured. Then someone asked what about Wes? He was the first to enlist from the tiny country town, and had been forgotten because he’d signed up in nearby Portland and was away before anyone knew of it. Malseed was his cousin, and Kenna was the uncle of Ted Kenna who was destined to win a Victoria Cross in the next war.

Another of Wes’s cousins Frank Franklin went missing in the attack on Hill 60 on the 27th of August, the last charge of the Gallipoli offensives. Wes arrived in November. Four weeks later he was killed in an unrecorded skirmish while manning the trenches at Lone Pine. The British cabinet then announced its decision to evacuate the Anzac sector. Wes would have been safe if he’d held on another fortnight.

His wallet and other things were handed over to the superior officer, but he was also killed immediately after. Wes’s personal effects were never recovered.

So this 6th of December remember Wes. The farmer was forgotten when he left, so let’s not weary of remembering him now.

Wes is mentioned in my new book due at the end of this year. Email historyoutthere@outlook.com to register your interest and receive a discount voucher when the book is released.

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