The stone Digger link to Seymour.TIM WHITFORD November 7, 2012 4:56am
A stone Digger of the Great War of 1914-18 atop a marble plinth, solemnly guards the names of the dead etched into the stone column below him.
It’s such a familiar sight to so many Australians.
An army of these stone warriors of a bygone war gaze out from war memorials all over Australia. They stand in cities, country towns, and at crossroads, now deserted, but where once there were thriving communities.
They have become part of the background of our lives, much loved and precious; a vital part of our heritage.
They represent every Australian serviceman; they are ‘‘the Digger’’.
Lilydale War Memorial
What is less known is that a great number of the stone soldiers have a link to our town of Seymour.
Arthur Fell was an 18-year-old stonemason from Yarraville, Victoria who volunteered to serve Australia during the Great War.
Arthur was allocated to the 37th Infantry Battalion, a unit that was formed, trained, and left for war from its camp at Seymour.
The people of Seymour took the men of the unit into their homes and hearts and continued to support them throughout the war.
The 37th Battalion’s connection to Seymour was so strong that it was sometimes known as ‘‘Seymour’s Own’’.
Arthur served proudly in England, France and Flanders before returning to Australia at war’s end to take up his old trade as a stonemason at Lodge’s Stone Masons.
The company was among the most successful producers of the now-famous sculptures of stone soldiers.
These sculptures were purchased by communities and sent to all corners of Australia, where they quickly became the heart and soul of communities shattered by the grievous loss of so many men during the war.
Being the company’s youngest employee and also a ‘‘returned man’’, it was Arthur Fell who became the model for the stone Digger.
It’s believed that Arthur modelled for at least three different poses of Digger memorials.
On November 11 at 11
Arthur Fell, a real man of flesh and blood who started his journey to war at Seymour, immortalised in stone and who came to represent every soldier, will stand above it all as he has for decades; a silent sentinel over the dead.
■ Remembrance Day is on Sunday.
Local commemorations include at the memorial gates at Seymour District Memorial Hospital (assemble at 10.45
■ Our community has lost many sons to wars, and they will be remembered on Sunday.
Included among them is Warrant Officer Noel Lowes from Seymour.
Mr Lowes was in the Royal Australian Armoured Corps and served two tours in Vietnam aboard armoured personnel carriers.
A career soldier, he showed great bravery during the battle of Long Tan on August 18, 1966. According to his fellow APC crew members, as radio operator he ran about 200
Although his acts of bravery were recommended for recognition by his officers, his feats were never officially recognised. However, to Mr Lowes’ mates who were there, the determination he showed on that afternoon in the rubber plantation in Phuoc Tuy province is still remembered today.
He returned to Vietnam again in 1970-71 and served with the reconfigured 3rd Cavalry APC at Duc Thanh. The war took a heavy toll on him. He died in July 1971, a casualty of the Vietnam War, but importantly to his family, a brave soldier of that war.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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