Memories and history: Fiona Lynch was commemorating the service of her family at the Battle of Somme in Warrnambool on Tuesday. Picture: Anthony BradyFresh from their Macarthur dairy farm, brothers George and Fred Poynton could not have imagined the horrors that awaited them on the Western Front.
Younger brother George joined up first, in July 1915, followed by36-year-old Fred just over a year later.
Both served in Europe.Fred was maimed inThe Battle ofBroodseinde, Belgium, but skills learnt on the farm likely saved George from close-contact fighting.
“He was a sniper… He was a very good shot, being from a farm he would often be shooting rabbits or foxes,” grandson Bill Poynton said.“They did their training in England and it was run by a big game hunter fromAfrica.”
George and Fred both returned home and George went on to live to anold age.
Some 100 years later, Mr Poynton still has his grandfather’s dog tags –the pressed cardboard tag that was designed to be buried with a soldier if they were killed, and the more permanent version that would be sent back home.
Warrnambool’s Fiona Lynch was at Tuesday’scommemorative service to remember her grandfather, who served throughout the Somme campaign and also made it back home.
Arthur Rusuggan served1378 days –almost four years –overseas, surviving the horrors of Fromelles and Poziers.
Born in Dunkeld, granddaughter Fiona Lynch said Arthur signed up in Avoca before fighting across France and Belgium with the 29th battalion, finally returning home in 1918.
Ms Lynch’sparents later moved to Warrnambool to run theK.M. Lynch Liquor Store on Fairy Street and shehas since traced her grandfather’s journey through Europe.
“He was lucky to make it home,” she said.
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