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.
Sergeant James Lihou was a Dubbo local who exhibited outstanding bravery serving in France during the First World War. Over the course of the 21 months he served, he emerged as one of Australia’s true war heroes.
James was the eldest of 7 children for Stephen and Eliza Lihou…He went to Wongarbon Public School, and was described as a keen and popular student.
At the age of 15, he left school to support his family by trapping and selling rabbits.
Then at 22, in January 1916, James left his family in Dubbo to support his country.
Enlisting with the AIF, James embarked for France to join the 13th Battalion.
During his time, James’ bravery earned him recognition and promotion.
He suffered injuries in two battles in France, but that didn’t keep him down for long…the Commonwealth Gazette reported he displayed a “splendid example of cheerfulness and cool confidence to his men,” as he led multiple charges, allowing his men to capture enemy trenches.
Upon capturing one particular trench, he noticed a German post holding up another Australian battalion, so he climbed out of the trench and singlehandedly charged the post of 20 Germans.
It was during that act that he was fatally wounded…dying on the way back to a field hospital at the age of 23.
James was awarded a Military Medal, and a Distinguished Conduct Medal.
The Battalion history reports that James’ “cheerful, careless gallantry was such that he was regarded as a certainty for a Victoria Cross had he been spared”.
Commemorating those who served, and remembering those who died.
Lest we forget.