Brothers of Glen Innes
By Marg Powell, Specialist Library Technician, Metadata Services | 24 February 2015
The descendants of the Cole Family have written to us to share the story of three brothers who enlisted in the First World War in June 1915, it is our privilege to share it with you.
When Roy, Harold and Herbert left the family property near Wellingrove north of Glen Innes they left behind eight siblings; twins Roy and Harold were only 19, Bert was 24.
Roy - Harold - Bert Images: courtesy Cole FamilyRoy and Harold embarked from Sydney on HMAT Runic and were originally assigned to the 13th Infantry Battalion, but were separated when they arrived in Egypt. Harold joined his battalion on the Gallipoli Peninsula, whilst Roy remained in Egypt.
Reunited after the evacuation of Gallipoli the twins embarked with the 45th Infantry Battalion for France in June 1916. The Battalion fought its first major battle at Pozières in August 1916, rotating between the front line, training and resting until March 1917 when they operated near Ypres in Belgium, and then in the Somme Valley.
Bert served with the 56th Infantry Battalion and arrived in France at the same time as his brothers. Bert was tragically killed in action 15 May 1917 during the second battle of Bullecourt.
Roy was reported wounded/missing in April 1918; he was later found to be a prisoner of war in Lindum, Germany. After the armistice he spent some time being cared for by a Belgian family before being repatriated to England. He returned to Australia in March 1919.
Daily Observer 24 July 1918Marg Powell
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