Boorowa and the surrounding districts have been hosting Anzac Day services since 1916.
This year, we have looked at editions of the Burrowa News from the time and see how Boorowa, Rugby and other towns have commemorated Anzac Day throughout the war years.
In 1917, the Burrowa News reported that Anzac Services took place at Boorowa Central School:
“Anzac Day was celebrated at the Boorowa Public School on Wednesday, April 25th.
The function was held in the School room.
The pupils assembled in the playground at 10 a.m., the Union Jack and the Russian Flag being hoisted over the gateway.
After marching into the large schoolroom, appropriate addresses were delivered by the Rev. W. S. Price, Rev. James Goudie, and Rev. W. E. Barker ; and patriotic songs were rendered by the pupils.
After singing 'God Save the King,' the pupils marched round the playground, concluding the proceedings by saluting the Flag, and giving three cheers for the Anzac heroes, and the other Australian soldiers.”
These services occurred while Australian men were still fighting in Europe and across the world in the Great War.
In 1918, a story titled “A Distinguished Soldier” told of the heroism of a Burrowa resident’s brother in Gallipoli:
“Lieutenant Norman P. H. Neal, M.M., M.C., and Bar, enlisted August, 1914.
He served in Gallipoli and France, and was at the landing and evacuation at Gallipoli.
He has never been sick or wounded, and has only had two days leave in four years.
Before enlistment he was in the telegraph department of the O.P.O., Sydney.
General Birdwood, in congratulating Lieutenant Neal on the occasion of his being awarded a bar to the Military Cross in recognition of good work cast of Hooge in September, wrote : — As officer in charge of the party engaged in laying cables and keeping these in repair you displayed untiring energy and courage under heavy enemy barrages, and your fine example meant much to your men. l am so glad to have the opportunity of thanking, you for your good service, which has earned you this high distinction.'
Lieutenant Neal is a brother of Miss Neal, of Burrowa, and a nephew of Mr. H. Neal, Public School Teacher at Burrowa some time ago.”
The same issue gave notice about how local soldiers were faring in Europe:
“Included amongst the enlistments at Young from the 15th to 19th April, we notice the names of James Farquharson and R. V. Brough, both of Burrowa.”
“Mr. B. Morgan had a letter during last week from his son, Allan, who is fighting in France. He was OK at the time of writing.”
There is not enough space in the pages of this newspaper to tell all of their stories, but every year we strive to shed light on Boorowa servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and our freedom – Lest We Forget.