Remembering the ANZACs at Gallipoli

On Anzac Day, our thoughts turn to the 8,709 Australians who died at Gallipoli.

At the Students’ Anzac Day Commemoration Ceremony held yesterday, His Excellency said we should “remember them not as soldiers at battles in far-flung places … but as young people, with families and friends.”

This Anzac Day, we pay our respects to Private Thomas Joseph Courtney, born in Watsonville, on the Atherton Tablelands. 

One of 13 children, he was an Engine Cleaner in the Railway Department when he enlisted.

He was only 19 years of age when he was killed in action at Gallipoli.

The Queensland Times of Friday, June 25, 1915, said that Private Courtney was "highly respected by all who knew him. At the outbreak of the war… he was amongst the first to volunteer… he was amongst the heroes who were killed in action at the Dardanelles".

At the Rosewood Show in July 1915, Private Courtney’s father Daniel was introduced to the Governor of Queensland, Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams.

Goold-Adams, a decorated veteran of the Boer War, comforted countless numbers of bereaved Queenslanders during the four years of the War. In January 1916, he supported the establishment of the ANZAC Day Commemoration Committee, becoming the first of a chain of Governors – unbroken to this day – to serve as its Patron.

From officiating at the Anzac Day Dawn Service, to placing a Queensland flag at the last resting place of our fallen soldiers, most recently at Harefield (St Mary) Churchyard in England, the current Governor continues the honourable tradition begun by Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams to remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country.

Lest we forget.