Saturday, 23 May 2015

What news is this? Official Casualty Lists

This official casualty list was printed in the Ballarat Courier on Monday 24th May 1915.  The casualties sustained by the Australians at Gallipolli to date exceed 3000, which includes 360 deaths.  With our 20/20 hindsight from 100 years into the future, 360 deaths seems like a very low number for what the AIF is experiencing on the Gallipolli peninsula. By chance we saw this article from the Sydney Morning Herald, asking why did official casualty statistics become so distorted?  Why the Numbers of our WW1 Dead are Wrong

And as I turned the 100 year old Courier over this week, I found a memorial notice for Major Richard Wells:
 We've been following Major Wells, and noted that he was mortally injured at Krithia.  Here it is mentioned that his father-in-law Con Burrow is the superintendent of the Ballarat Benevolent Asylum. Letters on Major Wells' service record file are addressed simply 'Con Burrow, Ballarat' so he must have been very well known.

The casualty lists published in the Courier contain the names of many Ballarat men, and the grief in the city must have been profound.  A letter written to the Courier Editor wonders why the Town Hall flag isn't at half mast. 

Ballarat Courier, May 6th 1915

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