Tuesday, 24 April 2012

ANZAC Day 2012 - Age shall not weary them

In memory of Ross Charles Cole
Born 15th March 1916
Died 17th September 1940, aged 24


Naval Gunner on the SS Tregenna, torpedoed by UB64 in the North Atlantic, whilst providing convoy to a merchant fleet bringing steel rods from the USA to Scotland. Ross had finished his shift, and was asleep below when the torpedo struck amid-ship. The ship went down in 2.5 minutes. Only four hands survived.

Ross' parents, Cyril and Jenny, lived in Brisbane. Ross was my father's first cousin.

In September 2011, I was contacted by a chap from the Australian War Memorial who had located my details on Ancestry.com. He gave me the third degree about my relationship to Ross Cole. I let him have information by both barrels. He was satisfied, and told me that he had something for my wider family.

A box had been found in a deceased estate being readied for sale, and handed in to the AWM. It contained original photographs, and original letters to and from Ross Cole from September 1939 until his death the following year. There were also letters returned to his parents from his digs in the UK. Letters he never opened.

I am currently reading this material, and determining how to present it to our Cole Family Reunion in March 2013.

Lest we forget.


Photo 1 - Entry in the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial for Ross Charles Cole
Photo 2 and 3 - two of the few remaining images of Ross
Photo 4 - an unopened letter from his 17 year old cousin, Norma, returned to Ross' parents


23 comments:

Luis Gomez said...

Lovely! Thank you Julie.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Goosebumps Julie!! I can't even imagine how I would feel if this were to happen. Fascinated, excited and at the same time so very sad!

Ali Crehan said...

Oh my goodness, Julie - what a treasure!

Kay L. Davies said...

How serendipitous that the box of material found its way to you, Julie. If anyone can make the best use of this unexpected treasure, I'm sure it is you, and it will be wonderful for your Cole family reunion.
K

Dina said...

Letters, photos--touchable memories.
Use them well, Julie.
The poppy picture is beautiful.

JM said...

Brilliant capture and another terrific post!

Julie, blogging is definitely fantastic! Even before I had the time to answer you properly regarding Luís de Camões' quote from 'The Lusiads' on Rob's yesterday comment on my blog, VP left something for you. You might like to check it.

hamilton said...

how poignant to have written this letter only the day before his untimely death.

Jo said...

First photo is beautiful and the story well that is amazing.

LOLfromPasa and Ace said...

Lovely!

Mark said...

An incredible story.
Lest We Forget.

Rose from Oz is Back! said...

Amazing train of events and family history Julie, and a wonderful post.
Lest we forget.

Windsmoke. said...

I agree Lest We Forget :-).

Steffe said...

The horrors of war. A very fine post Julie.

Kelly said...

Just speechless. Remarkable post!

Oakland Daily Photo said...

A stroke of luck that these artifacts have found their way to you. Who else could appreciate them more? Here I am, a total stranger, yet I too feel moved by Ross's loss of life and resurrection through this unexpected gift.

NixBlog said...

Beautiful post, Julie. Lest we forget...

Joe said...

Wow. How amazing. What a treasure chest.

Emma Dalloway said...

quite remarkable. I enjoyed your night rain photo from the 19th too.

Rae Walter said...

A remarkable story Julie. A final homecoming. Lest we forget.

Kate said...

An amazing collection of history for your family. It is fascinating to say the least. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Jim said...

A great tribute on Anzac Day, Julie.

Ann said...

wonderful story. You are so fortunate to have these

Joan Elizabeth said...

Have I been gone this long? I remember reading this on Anzac Day and thinking what a great post it was.