5th Lighthorse Troupe secretary Lee Dominick
5th Lighthorse Troupe secretary Lee Dominick Roxanne McCarty-O'Kane

Weapon ties family with Turkish soldier

WHEN Lee Dominick saddles up to ride in the Anzac Day commemoration service today she will not only be riding for her forebears, but also for a mystery Turkish family.

The 5th Light Horse Regiment, Maleny troop secretary came across a Turkish bayonet when going through boxes of family memories that had long been stored in her shed.

Thinking it was one of her grandfather's former weapons, Ms Dominick added it to her collection she regularly maintains and parades with through the light horse.

It wasn't until a visit to the Caboolture Historical Museum that one of the curators pointed out the star and half moon engraved into the hilt of the bayonet, signifying it was in fact a Turkish weapon.

"My grandfather was a sergeant and brought this home, I still do not know whether he came upon this under friendly circumstance, like a trade of weapons at the end of the war, or it is was taken in revenge as his brother was killed by the Turkish," Ms Dominick said.

 

An authentic 1907 Wilkinson bayonet (bottom) and a Turkish weapon (above).
An authentic 1907 Wilkinson bayonet (bottom) and a Turkish weapon (above). Roxanne McCarty-O'Kane

"My grandfather's older brother, John Maximillian Morrison, died at Gallipoli in Leane trench on August 6, 1915. He is now buried in Shell Green looking over Anzac Cove."

Her grandfather, Leslie James Morrison, did not fight in Gallipoli.

He was en route to Gallipoli when he was diverted to the Western Front.

"There is a whole Turkish family out there somewhere that this belonged to and it is humbling to know that I am marching for them as well as my own family," Ms Dominick said.

"Someone from their family may be missing (the bayonet) and I am hopeful I will be able to match the serial number to that family one day."

Ms Dominick joined the light horse six years ago after her daughter Jay, 21, encouraged her to come along to one of their gatherings and said it had changed the way she looked at Anzac Day.

 

A 5th Lighthorse Troupe hat, imitation ammunition belt and authentic 1907 Wilkinson bayonet
A 5th Lighthorse Troupe hat, imitation ammunition belt and authentic 1907 Wilkinson bayonet Roxanne McCarty-O'Kane

"I always went to dawn services and watched the marches and never fully grasped how important it was to be part of the march, it was, and still is, such a privilege," she said.

"I am marching for my grandfather and my great grandfather and for all of the people who cannot march any more.

"It is amazing how many people open up to you when they see you in uniform in the parade and share their touching and personal stories."

Ms Dominick was also pleased the light horse continued to remind people of the important role horses and other animals played in the war wffort.

Around 200,000 Australian horses were sent to the First World War and only one came home.

"I don't think the war could have been remotely successful without the horses," she said.


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