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Feature Quote

  • I went up the gullies

    “I went up the gullies and through the cemeteries, scattering silver wattle seed. If we have to leave here, I intend that a bit of Australia, shall be here.”

    Chaplain Walter Dexter
  • Author:
    Chaplain Walter Dexter, in a letter to his wife near the time of departure.

    Enlisting in the AIF in Melbourne, Walter Ernest Dexter (1873-1950) was a military chaplain who was stationed aboard the hospital ships, tending to the wounded Anzacs. During the campaign he went ashore and continued to offer spiritual and medical support to the troops, and was a key instigator in efforts to ensure burial records were accurate, supervising surveyors as they cleaned and chronicled graves. Three days before the final evacuation, Dexter walked around the peninsula sprinkling silver wattle seed, which he detailed in a letter to his wife at the time of his departure.

    Image J05400, courtesy of AWM.