Nameless names. Real people. Senseless deaths.
Scott Bennett has written about the lives of three Australian soldiers whose names are among the thousands still classified as missing from the battles of World War 1.
” Joshua Jeffries of Sydney visited Flanders in 1920 to search for the remains of his son, Lieutenant Clarence Jeffries, who had died at Passchendale while attacking a machine-gun post in October 1917. With his surveyor’s knowledge and burial records, Joshua pointed out to Major Alfred Allen the location where he thought his son’s remains might be buried. After returning home, Joshua received a letter notifying him that his son’s remains had been found at the location he identified.”
“The brothers (the Allen brothers) had been killed on 7 June 1917, each having left his property to the other, with other legacies in the event of either predeceasing the other. However, in September 1919, Base Records informed William’s solicitor that they were unable to state which brother had died first. The matter had to be put to the courts for adjudication, which delayed execution of the sons’ insurance policies and payment of their accrued wages to the family.”
“Vera (Deakin) had previously encountered officers who were ‘disgusted to find women in charge’, and who ‘ignored her advice’; however, through bloody-minded persistence, she either won them over or worked around them.”Quotes from the book.
- Readings: “The Nameless Names lays bare the emotional toll inflicted upon families, describing those caught between clinging to hope and letting go, those who felt compelled to journey to distant battlefields for answers, and those who shunned conventional religion and resorted to spiritualism for solace. This moving book delicately reveals the human faces and the devastating stories behind the names listed on the stone memorials.”
Author’s website: Scott Bennett