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Donald MacRae, brave Newcastle harbour master

Captain Donald MacRae, former harbour master of the Port of Newcastle, Australia, was credited in some quarters with being the last Allied serviceman to be evacuated after the failed British invasion attempt at Gallipoli, Turkey, in World War 1. His long career was punctuated by acts of great bravery. He died and was cremated in 1963 and his ashes remained among the possessions of his son-in-law until 2015, when some of his grandchildren scattered them off Big Ben Reef, Newcastle, the scene of one of his famous rescues. In 2023 those grandchildren fixed a plaque at…

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Read more about the article Park to Beach: Anzac Day in Newcastle
Anzac Day march in Newcomen Street, Newcastle, 1959

Park to Beach: Anzac Day in Newcastle

From our book, The Hunter Region in The Great War Most of the work of the returned services association in its early years was focused on supporting its direct constituency. But another major role was remembering and honouring the sacrifices and achievements of those who had fought and who were still fighting in a war whose scale and nature was without precedent.From the moment that news arrived in Australia of the action at Gallipoli it was clear that this was an event with immense resonance. Australian families had sent thousands of their sons to fight battles…

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A Newcastle girl’s letters from the WW 1 home front

Doris Schuck was 16 years old and living in Newcastle East when "The Great War" broke out. Like most youngsters in the community at the time she was intensely patriotic and she paid particular attention to the fortunes of "Newcastle's Own" 35th Battalion of the Australian Imperial Force, so often in the thick of fierce fighting on the Western Front in Europe. Living very close to Newcastle's Fort Scratchley - a relic of the Russian scare of the early 20th Century - she got to know quite a few young soldiers and she wrote to some…

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