We'll never forget those who served bravely
ANZAC Day is a time when we gather to reflect on those who served and sacrificed their lives in all wars, conflicts and peace-keeping operations.
April 25 marks the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during World War I but many Sunshine Coast residents also lost family members in other conflicts and monuments to the fallen are common in our towns and cities.
After the military debacle of Gallipoli, life in Australia changed politically, economically and socially.
The hopes and fears of our entire country had been focussed on the war effort and troop trains travelled the country raising funds and gather support for enlistments.
Many towns began fundraising to create local memorials, which were seen as an important way for communities to pull together as the reality and horror of war sank in.
Practical and enduring monuments were built, including community halls, parks and sporting facilities.
Many trees were also planted to remember those who did not return.
In 1916, the Australian Government secured land around Beerburrum to create a "soldier settlement", which would become the largest in Queensland.
The site was chosen because it had an established rail service and the surrounding area was deemed suitable for the cultivation of pineapples and citrus.
Beerburrum was central to the settlement and development of the area.
Known as the "Digger", Prince Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) visited from July 26 to August 5, 1920 on behalf of his father, King George V, to thank Australians for their part in World War I.
Travelling by royal train, Prince Edward visited Maryborough, Gympie, Nambour and Landsborough, stopping at the Beerburrum Soldier Settlement where he was presented with a pineapple.
Train platforms were decorated and the route was lined with crowds.
Special emphasis was given to him meeting ex-servicemen, including visits to soldier settlements at Amiens and Cottonvale, near Stanthorpe, and Beerburrum, as well as Anzac House, Rosemount and Enoggera military hospitals.
Since colonial times, Australian troops have been characterised as larrikins, even in their darkest hours.
One such story is about Dick Caplick, a Eumundi pioneer and soldier. His statue stands tall, adjacent to Eumundi Markets, in a park named after him.
Private Dick Caplick, a machine gunner, was one of the soldiers from the 26th Battalion who retrieved the German tank Mephisto which was stuck in a trench at Villers-Breronneux.
On July 13, 1918, Lt Colonel Robinson, Commanding Officer of the 26th Battalion, was determined to have the disabled tank taken back to Queensland.
Under the cover of darkness, Dick Caplick and his fellow soldiers prepared the tank for retrieval.
They dug it from the mud during bombardment and it was towed about five kilometres behind Australian lines by a British tank.
Eight meters long and weighing 33 tonnes, Mephisto is the only surviving German A7V Sturmpanzerwagen tank in the world from an original batch of 21.
Although it was enormously heavy and cumbersome, arrangements were made to ship the tank to Queensland.
After being put on a barge to England, it was loaded onto a ship bound for Melbourne and then transported to Brisbane.
In June 1919, two Brisbane council steam rollers towed the tank to the Queensland Museum, which was then located at Bowen Hills.
It remained out in the weather with just a canopy for protection for years, until it was relocated to the new Queensland Museum in South Brisbane which opened in 1986.
To mark the centenary of World War I, the Australian War Museum in Canberra exhibited Mephisto in Anzac Hall.
It will be returned to the Queensland Museum later this year as it one of the best-known objects in the Queensland State Collection.
Trooper Horace Dalton, then aged 19, gained his parent's permission and enlisted in early 1918.
He embarked for active service overseas aboard HMAT Port Sydney.
An experienced horseman and member of the Light Horse Regiment, Trooper Dalton went AWOL with some other soldiers during this terrible time.
This was not unusual as soldiers generally only stayed away a few days and the punishment included docking a few day's pay.
But what was remarkable on this occasion was that the soldiers took their horses with them.
Well liked in the Caloundra and Beerwah community, Horace was much respected by all who knew him.
He had a great outlook on life and was mates with fellow World War I veteran and later Premier of Queensland, Sir Frank Nicklin, who always stopped for a yarn when he saw Horace.
Horace worked as a fisherman, helped build the Bruce Highway and gained employment at Brown and Broad Sawmill in Beerwah.
A full military funeral was held for Trooper Horace Dalton in 2012, many years after his death.
A sad story was that of Tom Lillingstone, who married Stella Booth just days before he left for war.
Stella was the daughter of George Booth, a farmer in the Nambour district and Tom was the son of an early Maleny pioneer.
He was killed in action, aged 34, during the Battle of Passchendaele at Broodseinde Ridge in Belgium, near the French Border on October 5, 1917.
An estimated 36,000 Australians were killed during an eight-week period.
Private Lillingstone was a member of the 41st Battalion and went to war as a medic, dying on the front line as he treated injured soldiers.
His body was never recovered.
Lest We Forget.
Thanks to Sunshine Coast Council's Heritage Library Officers for the words and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images.