A rare war artifact leads the Anzac march at Boondooma
WATCHING his treasured First World War footlocker carried at the front of the Anzac parade at Boondooma Homestead brought a tear to the eye of Jim Ditton.
The wooden box has survived intact through battles and war, a rare artifact with an unknown past.
Mr Ditton came into possession of the footlocker through his uncle, who brought it over from England many years ago.
It was believed to have belonged to a family member of his uncle's wife, but not much else is known other than the name of the soldier who carried it, H Lucas.
"The mind boggles to think where it has been and the things that have been in it," Mr Ditton said.
"The stories it could tell if only we knew a bit more about it.
"It would be one of a kind, I've never seen or heard of one before."
Mr Ditton has made the trip from Mackay to Boondooma for the past 14 years, but this was the first time he displayed the footlocker.
One of the men holding the box during the parade was Mr Ditton's good friend Kevin Brown.
"To see him carrying it out, it was heartbreaking," Mr Ditton said.
"I've known Brownie for some time."
Mr Brown said it was a special moment to march in front of hundreds of people paying their respects to the Anzacs, and to look over and see his mate in the crowd.
"The bloke came in with tears in his eyes when he saw us carrying it," he said.