Gulf Creek commemorates local ANZACs

December 13, 2015

A crowd of around one hundred people attended a service at Gulf Creek to remember and honour the service men and women from World War I and II with the unveiling of an honour roll. The event which took place in November was held to commemorate 100 years since WWI and 70 years since WWII.

The Gulf Creek committee were really pleased with the support they received.

“The setting was perfect with Gulf Creek looking amazing and all who attended contributed to a very successful day,” said organiser Sue Russell.

The event took place at the old Gulf Creek School where a flag pole had a flag attached to it for the first time in more than 25 years. A cross was also positioned at the base of flag pole for poppies to be placed in honour of those who served.

“Most ex-servicemen and women had a representative in attendance to lay a poppy for their family member or friend,” said Sue.  “Some travelled long distances to attend, considering many of them are aged themselves, it was very pleasing to see them make the effort to participate.

A WWII roll was unveiled by Joyce Faint of Moonbi and Dorothy Lee from Brisbane. They are the daughters of Alan (HA) Faint. Alan and his brother Tom, have their names on both the WWI and WWII Rolls.

“The ladies aged 90 and 85 years, managed the task like 16 year olds.
“It was an honour to have them assist on the day.”
An Honour Roll for Vietnam was also unveiled on the day.

The school building was decorated with hand knitted poppies made by Barraba RSL Aux. Women while the school walls were covered with photos, one page stories and memorabilia.

“Organisers wish to thank people who assisted with the service: the Barraba RSL Sub Branch representatives, Roylene Conway for her reading, Phillip Hodges for playing the Last Post, entertainer Johnny Grills for providing music and Gavin Fletcher for allowing us to use his PA System. Also, a big thank you to Barry Fenn for conducting the service.

“A huge thank you to the information researchers and to families for assisting with information and photos. We hope to eventually put the information into a book to avoid it being lost again.

“The WWII Roll is only a temporary list, we are sure there will be more names to add. Once we are confident the WW2 Roll is correct, we will put the book together and maybe do this all again.

Examples of information uncovered on people on the Gulf Creek WW1 Honour Roll which may be of interest to Bingara readers:

Ernest Henry James Dixon
Ernest was born at Keera Station October 8, 1890. He was the son of William Wallace Dixon and Catherine (nee Hanly). Ernest married Melba Jennett Monkton at Stanborouth near Tingha July 14, 1913. He was employed as a farrier at Ashford at the time of his enlistment and entered the Liverpool Training Camp. He enlisted on May 25, 1918.

Ernest was demobilised in November 1918 and discharged in consequence of the expiration of the period of enlistment.

Ernest returned to Ashford and worked as a stockman. He died in an accident after his horse bolted near Ashford on March 29, 1924. Ernest was 33 years old and had 4 children.

James Thomas Ernest Whitton
James was born at Gulf Creek to James Whitton and Amelia Catherine (nee Dixon).

James enlisted at the age of 18 years of age and at the time he was working as a labourer at Trevallyn Barraba. He enlisted on 23rd April 1917. His mother Amelia signed his consent to enlist.

James embarked from Sydney on 16th November 1917 and disembarked at Suez on 22 December 1917. He held the rank of Private with the 14th Light Horse Regiment and served with the Camel Corps in the Middle East. James survived the war and returned to Australia on board the HT Dongola on 24th July 1919.

James married Rose E Church at Bingara in 1935. He was enlisted in WW2 too and for this service he is listed on the Honour Roll Wall outside of the Bingara RSL Club.