As we commemorate Anzac Day – I’m sharing some local stories to recognise and remember those who sacrificed so much, so we can enjoy what we have today.
Like many who went to serve, much of what we know about Alfred William Farragher’s service comes from letters to his loved ones. In this case, it was letters to his sister, Maggie.
“Alf” as he was known, was born and raised in Dubbo. When he enlisted aged 21 in 1915, he left behind his parents, and numerous siblings, including a twin sister.
Writing to his sister in May 1916, Private Farragher observed that, “France is a pretty country, but there is no place in the world like old Dubbo”. Tragically, he would not see his home again.
Having served initially in Egypt and Turkey, Alf reported that he was keen to serve on the Western Front, despite the dangers…
“It won’t be long before we’re in the firing line. We can hear the big guns from where we are,” he wrote. He signed off with a promise to send his colours, noting that “they stand for death or glory. Which will it be?”, he mused.
Scarcely a year later, Maggie and the Farragher family received their answer. Alf sustained head injuries during a battle at Bullecourt, managing to stay conscious as he was rushed to the army hospital for treatment. He subsequently lapsed into a coma for 20 days, before dying on May 30, 1917.
Commemorating those who served, and remembering those who died.
Lest we forget.