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Charles Brady’s ‘In Memoriam’ draft letter

Charles Brady’s ‘In Memoriam’ draft letter

Dunkeld and District Historical Museum
Corner Wills & Templeton Street
Dunkeld VIC, 3294

In the Dunkeld Historical Museum is a collection relating to the Brady family. Charles Brady emigrated from County Longford, Ireland, to Victoria in 1864. He married Catherine Murray and the couple had fourteen children, all born in the Dunkeld district. Five Brady men from this family enlisted, and one other was rejected, in World War I.

There is a document in the Brady collection that opens up a distinctive and moving aspect of this family’s war experience – the draft of an ‘In Memoriam’ notice for a local paper. Brothers Charles (36) and Stanley Brady (26) both joined up on 12 September 1914 and served together in the 8th Australian Infantry Battalion. On 8 May 1915, the brothers advanced in the unit’s attack on Turkish lines at Cape Helles, Gallipoli, and Charles Brady was never seen again, becoming one of those thousands of ‘missing’ Australian soldiers of World War I.

‘In Memoriam’ notices for the ‘missing’, and other dead, are readily found in newspapers of the time, and one for Charles Brady appeared in the Ararat Chronicle and Willaura and Lake Bolac Districts Recorder on 8 May 1917. A rare item, in the Dunkeld Brady collection, is the handwritten draft of the notice conveying a sense of how the family might have sat together composing these last public words about their ‘missing’ son and brother. Most likely it was written by one of the female members of the family, but we can never certain about that. It contained three stanzas of verse, all of which were published despite the writer’s offer that one verse, the middle one, could be left out if the notice was considered too long. The newspaper left it in, and it contains the most telling lines of the whole poem from the family’s point of view, as Charles Brady’s name is now among the list of ‘missing’ on the Helles Memorial at Gallipoli:

We shall not stand beside his grave,
And none shall point to where he lies.

References

Draft, unsigned, of handwritten ‘In Memoriam’ notice for Charles Brady, c. May 1917, Brady Collection, Dunkeld Historical Museum.

‘Family of fighting Irishmen’, Ararat Advertiser, 27 April 1916, p. 3.

‘In Memoriam’ Brady’, Ararat Chronicle and Willaura and Lake Bolac Districts Recorder, 8 May 1917, p. 2.

1085 Charles Brady, B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914–1920, National Archives of Australia:
http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/records/123805

1114 Stanley Brady, B2455, First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914–1920, National Archives of Australia:
http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/records/122243

Gallipoli and the Anzacs: explore 7 Helles area sites:
http://www.gallipoli.gov.au/explore-helles-sites/helles-memorial.php#

Further Information: 

Dunkeld and District Historical Museum
Corner Wills & Templeton Street
Dunkeld VIC 3294

Website: http://www.cv.vic.gov.au/organisations/dunkeld-district-historical-museum-inc/

Phone: 03 5577 2386