Facey’s kin keep his memory alive

Jesse and Emily Rose continue to be ambassadors for their great grandfather. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d436225
Jesse and Emily Rose continue to be ambassadors for their great grandfather. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d436225

The Gallipoli survivor, a six-foot jack-of-all-trades, came to the Goldfields from Victoria as a five-year-old with his grandmother, becoming a West Aussie through and through, even spending some time living in Victoria Park following his return from World War I.

These days, his great grandchildren Emily (26) and Jesse (19) � their father, the late John Facey, was one of Albert�s 28 grandchildren and a Town of Victoria Park councillor in the mid-2000s � live in Victoria Park.

As children living in Lathlain, they attended Ursula Frayne Catholic College and Wesley College but never met their great grandfather as he died aged 88 in 1982, just nine months after his book was published.

With the guidance of their mum Joan, the siblings continue to be ambassadors for their relative�s legacy, one which has resulted in his book selling more than half a million copies and being made into a mini-series in the 1980s.

Among the book�s many poignant moments are his accounts of Gallipoli, where he was severely injured in a shell blast on August 19, 2015, resulting in his discharge, and where his brothers Roy and Joseph were killed.

He was taken to a troop ship where he joined 300 sick and wounded.

�It was the nineteenth day of August 1915,� he wrote. �I had been on Gallipoli only six days short of four months and I want to say now that they were the worst four months of my whole life.

�I had seen many men die horribly, and had killed many myself, and lived in fear most of the time. And it is terrible to think that it was all for nothing.

�People often asked me what it is like to be in war, especially hand-to-hand fighting. I was scared stiff. You never knew when a bullet or worse was going to whack into you.�