There are 60 names engraved on the marble fixed to the imposing sandstone Cenotaph in Galston Recreation Reserve, a neat 15 on each side. The names represent men from the district whom voluntarily enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces during the period 1914- 1918. There were two referendums attempting to force national conscription but both were narrowly defeated. As the war progressed much effort had to be made to encourage enlistment as the number of casualties threatened to, and did exceed, the rate of recruitment. The 19 names of the local men who were killed in action, or died of wounds or disease, are identified on the Honour Roll by an asterisk.
At the end of the war the Government was strictly committed to returning all the survivors to Australia as soon as possible in comfortable accommodation on the available ships and the men agreed those who had enlisted earliest had priority. One man remained in France to run a grocery business. Many did not come home until late 1919. The majority were Australian born and the rest were from the U.K. Their ages ranged from a very young 16 to a mature 48 but most were about 24. A few men did not see military action, particularly those who enlisted in 1918 as the war ended in November.
A notable five men received awards for outstanding bravery. The recipients included , A G Newland (Military Medal and Distinguished Conduct Medal), L W Chadwick (MM and Military Cross), S J Calderwood(MC), and R Estell and H Fagan received the MM. The men who served in Gallipoli earned the 1914-15 Star medal, and the British Empire Medal if their service was deemed meritorious. The Anzacs who managed to survive to 1967 were awarded the Anzac Commemorative Medallion and they thought it was worth the 52 years wait. The rest had received the British War medal and the Victory Medal.
The Dural & District Historical Society has been unable to positively link service records with the Honor Roll names J Wilson and T Ward, and seeks community input to resolve the matter. (There are 3069 Wilson service records and many have the same regimental number). The Society has determined there are additional men from the district who enlisted but are not remembered on the Honour Roll. Detailed records have been compiled using all the various sources to document where the men served and the particular actions where they were killed or wounded. These records are available to interested family descendants. Lest we forget.
The Dural & District Society’s Anzac display will open following the 2.30pm Galston RSL Sub Branch Service at the Cenotaph at Galson Recreation Reserve, 412 Galston Road on Sunday 23 April, 2017. The local community are welcome to visit nearby History Cottage on that day, or on the following Wednesday afternoons, or on Sundays.