Some pictures for ANZAC Day - Quizzical Looks
Apr. 25th, 2007
06:39 pm - Some pictures for ANZAC Day
Today is ANZAC Day, so I thought I'd post some more pictures of the soldiers in the family I posted last year.
These three pictures are of course Dad. These would've been taken around 1983 at our house in South Perth; he's a Lieutenant in the Australian Army by now, and is the Officer in Charge of the Wesley Cadet Unit - it can't be seen in this copy (I've seen the limitations of the home copier now) but the badge on his hat is the school crest.
These are pictures of Grandpa - Captain H. Berwick Hanton. He was a training officer in WWII, and was instrumental in setting up the cadet unit at Wesley (the same one Dad would be the last OIC of).
The first two pictures show 44 Battalion, on parade through the streets of Perth in 1939. Berwick is in the centre of the line, and can be seen giving the "eyes right" in the second picture. Appropriate they should get the picture in front of the Bank of New South Wales, that's the bank his father worked for, and he himself worked for them for a brief time in the '20s.
The next picture shows an inspection of the cadet troupe, unfortunately I don't know who the VIPs are. This picture or one very much like it appear in the Wesley history. And a couple showing off different uniforms.
These are more of Jack - Flight Sergeant John Stubbs. These would've been the rough test pictures people took home to decide which prints they wanted blown up as their "proper" photographs - one even has the store's stamp across it still (although dark ink on dark photo doesn't exactly copy and scan well). These were probably taken just before he left Australia.
The small picture of Jack and two mates would probably also be from this time. One of the men is Reg Stokes, from a town called Northampton north of Geraldton. Berwick knew him before the war since he'd gone to Wesley as well. When he'd heard Jack was leaving the Cameron Highlanders and joining the RAAF, and that he'd be training at the same place as Reg, he wondered if he should introduce them. Replies Dorothy "No, Jack's as mad as a wheel, so's Reg, and he's got money so they'll only spend everything on some wild scheme." So, no introductions were made. Cue Jack's first letter "I've met this bonza bloke called Reg Stokes and he comes from Geraldton too!" The two became fast friends, out to have a good time while they could.
One time Berwick had to travel up to Geraldton on Army business or something like that. On the train he got talking to an RAAF chappie in his compartment. Berwick asked what this chap did, and he turned out to be one of the instructors at the RAAF camp in Geraldton. Enquires Berwick "I know this is a silly thing to say, but I've got a young brother-in-law who's just joined up, presumably he'll be in your class..." to which he replies wearily "Thousands pass through my hands, thousands, I can't remember their names." "I know it was a silly question, his name's Jack Stubbs..." "OH great heavens, I know them all right! Stubbs and Stokes, the bane of my existance!" The mission to have a good time was a great success, it seems!
I have to wonder if a certain note on Jack's record once he reached England has a coinciding comment in Reg's... anyway, the two were best friends basically for the rest of their lives - Jack died in 1942, Reg just over a year later.
Last year someone kindly offered to visit the war cemetery in Doullens, France when he was in that part of the world, these are a couple of pictures of Maurice Stubbs' (my great-great-uncle's) grave, after he died of wounds during the German Spring Offensive of 1918.