Events

Chatswood RSL - Remembrance Day 100 years

Start Date & Time: Sunday, 11 November 2018 10:30 am

End Date & Time: Sunday, 11 November 2018 11:30 am

Address: Garden of Remembrance, 69 Albert Avenue, Chatswood

Cost: Free


Description:

Lest We Forget.

Join the Chatswood RSL at the Garden of Remembrance, corner of Orchard Street and Albert Avenue Chatswood, for a commemoration service, marking 100 years since the end of WWI.

You may also be interested in the St Stephen's Anglican Church special service at 8.30am at 211 Mowbray Rd, Willoughby.

Remembering local hero – Frank Channon (1893 – 1979) - pictured

Gunner Francis (Frank) Eric Channon joined the 1st Australian Field Artillery Brigade in October 1916 aged 23.

Frank was sent to the Western Front in France where he kept a diary about his experiences. The diary is a fascinating record of the daily life of a serviceman in World War I, tracking his journey from Australia to France via England, and demonstrates the very real and constant threat of death or injury experienced by these young Diggers.

Diary entries:
17 July 1917

“…Fairly heavy shelling near (by)… Took cover in trench. Had left dump when 5.9s lobbed there. Trench blown in a good deal and plenty of carrying over the top. Hun aeroplanes above us…. Dumped bombs near Sanctuary Wood. Arrived home. No Casualties.”

Despite the brutality and cruelty of war, Frank saw the beauty in the battlefield, writing on 17 August 1917:

“Enemy aircraft carrying and dropping many bombs. About 18 searchlights after them. Saw two planes in flight. Heard about 20 bombs. Very pretty sight to see and the search light on the cloud and crossing one another. Best display of lights I have ever seen.”

On his return to Australia in 1918, Frank and his family settled in Gordon Avenue in Chatswood where he lived for 60 years and made a huge contribution to the local community. A lifetime member of Chatswood/Willougby RSL, he worked tirelessly to assist Willoughby’s returned services and war widows and was very active in the annual ANZAC Day commemorations.

Frank played a key role in having the Garden of Remembrance set up in Chatswood on Albert Avenue, arranging for the Roses of Picardy to be imported from the WWI battlefields which formed the core of the garden and are still there today. He was an elected alderman (now known as councillor) from 1940-1944.

A variety of Frank’s wartime memorabilia, including his diaries, are held at Chatswood Library where a large portrait of him is on display. As a tribute to his untiring community service, the walkway between Chatswood Bowling Cub and the railway line was named the Frank Channon Walk in his memory.

Contact: Chatswood RSL on 0294197386 or email https://www.chatswoodrsl.com.au/contact/

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