Our Boys’ Junior School ANZAC Assembly was a very special event. Our Year 6 boys led the Assembly with such respect and confidence. Our focus, after a brief background to the ANZAC Campaign, was the famous 11th Battalion AIF Cheops Pyramid Photograph. After a brief discussion about a number of intriguing ‘myths’ surrounding this photo, (such as Myth number 1; there is a dead soldier being supported in the photo, and Myth 2; that the soldiers holding hands in the front row are father and sons) our Year 6 boys told the sad stories of a number of the individual soldiers, such as those following:
Fred and Frank Adcock
Their experience of war for Fred and Frank Adcock was short and brutal. When war was declared Frank Adcock (left) was amongst the first in the rush to join up. Frederick Aldcock (right) made his decision a month later. The brothers trained together in Egypt before heading to Gallipoli to be a part of the first ANZAC landing. When survivors mustered for roll call on the beach within days of the ANZAC landing, neither Fred nor Frank could be accounted for. Both Frank and Frederick were therefore listed as Killed in Action on April 25th 1915.
William signed up for the war when aged 22 and as soon as Great Britain declared war on Germany in August 1914. After two months of training in Egypt, William left for Turkey. He wrote the following in a letter to his family.
So, on the 24th of April we left for Turkey land towing enough of small boats to take us ashore, well we got there at day break and we were welcomed with a shower of shrapnel and the machine gun fire was something terrible, although in our boat no one was hit but the bullets was dropping all round us and two boats of our company was riddled and not a single man got ashore. Now for what life is like in the trenches, well I went in on the Sunday and never got out again till the bullet relieved on the Friday. We were pretty hard hit for the want of water and tucker. The first water that was sent in was on Wednesday morning. We never had a sleep for the Turks kept at us all night and creeping up to the trenches and throwing hand bombs and the German officers used to come right into our lines and give orders. The snipers are good shots. They are hidden in the scrub and also dug in. I think this is all…. hoping this to find you all well.
Your affectionate son
Willie was wounded in action at Pozieres in France in July 1916 and lay unattended for a long time before stretcher bearers, under great pressure finally reached him.
He had been shot in the chest and groin and was taken to Hospital. He died the following day.