Losing a son to the war was a tragedy many parents had to suffer during World War One. For the Bickford family, the devastating loss of three sons out of four became their sad reality.
When Kenneth Laird enlisted he was 26 and newly married to Mary Laird. Prior to enlisting, he was a farmer at Calivil who was well-known as a talented footballer for the Calivil Football Club and a long-distance runner. He was the fourth son of Donald and Isabell. His late father, Donald Craig Laird had been an East Loddon Shire councillor.
Hugh was the first Australian in WWI to die on British soil.
ANZAC Cyclist and Regimental Sergeant Major
John Grylls was amongst the first to enlist for service in World War One. At 28 years of age, he signed up on the 19th of August 1914 and was allocated to the 4th Light Horse Regiment. As John had served three years already with the Mitiamo Light Horse, he was given the rank of Sergeant.
Charles’ mining experience came in handy at Gallipoli. He set about digging to try and locate fresh drinking water for his unit. In Turkey, the days were hot and fresh water was in short supply. It is likely that this digging contributed to Charles’ poor health and ultimately his death.
Ernest Old was an inventor, cyclist and soldier. He engaged in active service in the Boer War and World War One. He even attempted to enlist for World War Two in his late 60s.
Christmas came around on the 25th December 1915, but from what we know there would have been no joy shared. It would have been a day of pain and agony for this seriously ill soldier.
In 1914, William enlisted at age 20. He turned 21 on the journey to Egypt. He served in Egypt, Gallipoli and Palestine.
Driver Leo Michael Slattery enlisted in the Great War on the 20th of August, 1914, only a month after war had been officially declared. He was among the first recruits for World War One.