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From: Stephen Hayes
To: All
Date: 2004-02-10 05:22:36
Subject: Old RSL Year Book 25

* Forwarded (from: GEN_BRITAIN) by Stephen Hayes using timEd/2 1.10.y2k.
* Originally from gwen (8:8/2002) to All.
* Original dated: Fri Feb 06, 23:15

From: "gwen" <gwenpt{at}bigpond.com>


This Article is taken from The Returned Sailors and Soldiers' Imperial
League of Australia, Official Year Book of 1939. It is stamped 'Defence
Issue' and the price was 1/6, or 1 shilling and 6 pence in the old
pre-decimal currency. After World War 2 the RSSILA became the RSL - Returned
Services League.
Spelling is as in the original articles.



P 109 - 25
GOERING WAS WAR BIRD.
Those medals across the expansive chest of Marshal Goering are stly war
awards. For Hitler's right-hand man was a famous war bird - in 1918 he was
in command of Germany's most redoubtable air unit - the Richthofen Squadron.
Goering wrote a book on his war experiences. One chapter deals ith his
eighth aerial victory. No one was more interested in this an Australian
named F. D. Slee, who used to live at Perth. He was the pilot Goering shot
down.
"I hurl myself at him with one last desperate effort, and put my bullets
into his machine at close range," wrote Goering.
"He goes down . . . at last the victory is mine. The Englishman is a
prisoner, while his machine lies shattered on the ground. This exhausting
bout lasted 10 minutes. The Englishman was a worthy foeman who had shot down
five German machines."
"I was able to have a talk with him an hour later, and we said soule
flattering things to one another about this hard fight."
"I returned to my own aerodrome saying to myself from the depths of a
thankful heart, that it was better for Mr. Slee to figure as the eighth on
my list than for me to be No. 6 of his."
Slee left Australia with the A.I.P. in 1915, and transferred to the Royal
Flying Corps two years later. He was with No. 1 Squadron when Goering shot
him down.

P 110 - 25
THE EMPIRE DEAD.
Total dead      1,104,890
Burial grounds     15,705
Identified dead     587,119
Unidentified dead                        180,861
No graves     336,910
The discovery of British dead on the battlefields in France and Belgium
continued during 1938 and some hundreds of soldiers of all nations were
re-buried in various cemeteries. During the year 1935 - 36,  821 bodies were
found in France and 63 in Belgium.
Of  these, 721 were recovered from the Somme battlefields, The bodies were
reburied in the several British cemeteries still kept open for the purpose,
and in 96 cases identification was established and notification was sent to
relatives. In the same period French official search parties found and
reburied 795 French and 810 German soldiers.
Inhabitants of former battlefields found the bodies of 768 British soldiers
in 1937. In the Pas de Calais Department alone the bodies of 231 French and
483 Germans were found and reburied.
During 1934-1935, 795 bodies of Empire soldiers were recovered, of these 47
were Australians. Although they were, readily identified as Diggers from
their uniforms and metal badges, in most cases their names will never be
known.
Since the systematic work of clearing the graves from the battle. fields
ceased, more than 40,000 bodies have been found. The proportion identified
was about 10 per cent.
The Imperial War Graves Commission, constituted by Royal Charter in 1917, is
staffed and financed, and its policy determined by the nations of the Empire
in permanent co-operation. Each has contributed its men and its ideas to the
joint effort, as well as to national variations within the general scheme.
Major-General Sir Fabian Ware is the permanent Chairman.
The supply of war veterans to act as caretakers and gardeners for Imperial
war graves has begun to fail and the commissioners are appointing sons of
veterans.
When the last memorial of the self-governing Dominions, Aus. tralia's at
Villers-Bretonneux, was unveiled last year, there were recorded in stone
near the places where they fell, the names of 500,00 British dead who have
no known graves.

Regards  Gwen


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