Loss brings lessons – MHR

Fremantle MHR Melissa Parke with a picture of her grandfather Jesse.
Fremantle MHR Melissa Parke with a picture of her grandfather Jesse.

WHEN Fremantle MHR Melissa Parke attends Anzac Day ceremonies, she remembers not one but three family members who went off to fight in World War I.

Ms Parke�s grandfather Jesse �Pat� Parke and his two brothers Stanley and Robert all signed up to serve their country on the battlefields of Europe and the Middle East.

Jesse enlisted as soon as he turned 18 in 1918, sailing from Albany to Egypt as part of the fourth reinforcement group before transferring to the Light Horse in Palestine, while Stanley served in the 10th Light Horse.

The eldest of the three, Robert had enlisted at the outbreak of war and assigned to the Field Ambulance of the 11th Battalion, where he worked alongside John Simpson and his donkey.

Ms Parke said fortunately for her family, all three men made it home � a rare feat.

�I am proud of them, their service and the service of so many others whose graves I have seen in Gallipoli, in France and in the Middle East, is foremost in my mind on Anzac Day,� she said.

�Remembering the men and women who served, as well as their families who also suffered enormously, is a vital starting point for reflection about war.

�It is imperative we honour the service of the Anzacs but steer away from any kind of romanticism regarding what happened at that time.

�It�s an observance that teaches us the heavy lessons of war and, I would hope, drives us to always work for the peaceful resolution of conflicts wherever they occur.�