22 June 1915

We are writing a new page of history. Future generations cannot be allowed to read the decline of the British Empire and attribute it to us… It is far better to go out with honor than to survive with shame.

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21 June 1915

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Albert Edward Varcoe

Albert Edward Varcoe was born in Hillston in 1889, the third of nine children born to Robert Stewart Varcoe and his wife Madeline Isabella Rebecca Varcoe (nee Anderson).

The family later moved from Hillston to Wellington, where Albert attended the Public School, then Senior Cadets at the Rifle Club. Following his education Albert worked at the Wellington Times newspaper as a compositor.

The family later relocated to Orange, where Albert’s father, Robert, was the western superintendent for the Massey-Harris agricultural machinery company. Albert secured work as a clerk with Massey-Harris and the Sunshine Harvesting Company. The family were active members of the Holy Trinity Church Orange congregation, where Robert served an office bearer.

In August 1914 Albert enlisted at Hillston, during a visit with his aunt. Albert and his brother Bertram Stewart Varcoe were among the first men from Orange to enlist in WWI, doing so within a few days of each other. Interestingly, the brothers embarked on the same day – 19 October 1914; Albert from Sydney and Bertram from Melbourne. A third brother, Victor Benjamin Varcoe, also served in WWI.

Private Varcoe served in Egypt in the 3rd Battalion, D Company before joining the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in April 1915 and proceeding to Gallipoli. On 1 May he was appointed Lance Corporal.

Albert was killed in action less than three weeks after his promotion. He is buried at the Parade Ground Cemetery in Gallipoli; his epitaph reads “He Died To Save”.

Albert Edward Varcoe is commemorated on the Holy Trinity Church Orange Honour Roll and on the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph.

In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers. A tree was planted in honour of “L Cpl A Varcoe”; it was donated by ES Spooner. Very few of the trees are still standing today. [Eric Sydney Spooner was a charted accountant in Orange before becoming the Minister for Public Works and Local Government in the NSW Parliament]

Albert’s brothers Bertram and Victor both survived the war, returning to Australia in August 1915 and August 1919 respectively.

Leader, 21 June 1915, p. 3.
Our Fallen Heroes

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20 June 1915

Image coutesy Australian War Memorial

Image coutesy Australian War Memorial

 

Hear from Gallipoli bugles their call,
Get into khaki, you;
In liberty’s ranks there is room for you all,
Room and a need for you, too.
Fellows who fought, and will never come back
Have given a lead on the Dardanelles track;
Would you like ’em to think you are timid or slack?
Get into khaki, you!

What is the lesson the war stories teach?
Get into khaki, you!
Me and the canon we stand here and preach-
That’s what we’re paid to do—
But somebody’s got to be saying it plain,
And saying it over and over again,
To keep hammering on with the urgent refrain:
Get into khaki, you!

If old England’s to weather the heaviest gale
That ever the ship has been through,
She must call up her sailors and crew on the sail—
Get into khaki, you!

This isn’t a time to be careful and trim,
When the nations are poised on Catastrophe’s rim:
It’s nose to the breakers, and sink her or swim—
A bunch of our fellows are getting it hot
From the Turk and his barbarous crew;
They are facing the music, and others are not—
Get into khaki, you!

Now, me and the canon ain’t nowt afraid
Of finding short weight when Australia is weighed,
But the quicker you give it, the better you aid—
Get into khaki, you!

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19 June 1915

Watson’s Pier, Anzac Cove, 1915, Horace Moore-Jones. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

Watson’s Pier, Anzac Cove, 1915, Horace Moore-Jones.
Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

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18 June 1915

Second Battle of Artois, 1915, Sendker - alte Postkarte. Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Second Battle of Artois, 1915, Sendker – alte Postkarte.
Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

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17 June 1915

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16 June 1915

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15 June 1915

Two soldiers sitting in the 11th Battalion's Commanding Officer's dugout, Gallipoli. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

Two soldiers sitting in the 11th Battalion’s Commanding Officer’s dugout, Gallipoli.
Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

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14 June 1915

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