THE Indian Ocean provided a backdrop of a different kind to the usual Joondalup Remembrance Day service today.
Because of the staging of the Kaleidoscope Festival in the city centre, this morning’s service, hosted by the Joondalup City RSL and the City of Joondalup, was held at the Ocean Reef War Memorial.
Vietnam veteran Kevin Emberson was the guest speaker and the Ocean Reef Primary School Choir led the national anthem.
The Naval Association of Australia Perth North also held a service at Memorial Park in Wanneroo, as well as the Quinns Rocks and Yanchep/Two Rocks RSLs.
Flag finally comes home
A SIGNIFICANT piece of WA’s World War I history has been returned to the State after a community-led funding campaign.
Accepting the 3rd Field Ambulance C Section Red Cross flag on behalf of the WA Museum today, Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said it had strong local ties.
“This flag is recorded as being the first flown by the Red Cross on the beach at Gallipoli and is of national and State significance,” he said.
“The 3rd Field Ambulance C Section was largely made up of West Australians who were among the first to land at Gallipoli, supporting the 3rd Infantry Brigade.
“The unit was led by Captain Douglas McWhae from Maylands and included Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick, more famously known as ‘the man with the donkey’.”
The flag carries the inscription ‘Flag of C Section 3rd Fld Amb April 1915’, as well as the signature of flag bearer Private Arnsed Kemp.
He kept the flag throughout the war and sent it to Captain McWhae in 1918 as a keepsake of the Gallipoli landing.
Captain McWhae brought the flag back to WA but after his death it disappeared, surfacing many decades later in Canada where it was bought by military collector Doug Buhler.
By chance, Royal WA Historical Society curator Wendy Lugg saw an online story about the flag.
Ms Lugg and Museums Australia WA initiated a campaign to raise the funds for the flag’s return.
Also at today’s handover event, George Roscoe, son of Gallipoli C section bugler William Roscoe, donated his father’s service medals to the WA Museum.