Pieces of Anzac past revealed
FIRST World War veteran Captain Randolf Churchill Dunkley lives on in the fond memories of his grandson Max Forsyth.
Tucked away in the hinterland of Maidenwell lies a treasure chest of keepsakes telling stories of another world, one where men fought and served for their country.
Mr Forsyth said his grandfather, Captain Dunkley, never spoke about his time serving in the First World War, but photos recently re-emerged and needed to be shared.
"He opened up a bit towards the end, but to prise it out of him was difficult," Mr Forsyth said.
Prompted by the photos and various keepsakes re-found earlier this year, tales of family and friends' service in the Australian military pour from Mr Forsyth.
"I was never married and never had kids or anything but I have a brother with children and a big extended family and most of them haven't kept any of these things," he said.
"So I took the opportunity to do that, to keep those memories."
Mr Forsyth said he would have happily served for his country, but his life took a different path.
"I wanted to go (to war) because all my friends were called up and I had heaps of relations in the military," he said.
"But they said I had flat feet and couldn't go.
"But I didn't."
Mr Forsyth said he suspected later governments exempted all the eldest sons from service.
"First sons were encouraged to go to war, it was common in the First World War," he said.
"But so many sons were lost to World War One and production was problematic afterwards."
He said he thought it was an unwritten policy "because someone had to stay back and work on the farm".
"I'm not saying it's the truth, it's just my hypothesis," he said.
Absorbed in resurfaced photos, Mr Forsyth told the story of Vietnam veteran and long-time friend Douglas Bishop.
"The Vietnam veterans were quite abused and neglected," he said.
"We lost and they were sort of pushed aside.
"But they really did extraordinary things."
Since finding the photos and sharing them with his friend, Mr Forsyth said more stories surfaced.
"It's Pandora's Box isn't it?" he said.