ANZAC DAY and the FMI - Footscray
ANZAC DAY and the Footscray Mechanics' Institute.
The Australian troops who volunteered in the enthusiasm for war circa 1914 as Australia rallied to the British cause: this enthusiasm diminished over time and is exemplified in the anti-conscription debate, especially as losses were so shocking in the Australian context.
In regards the local men of the Footscray region, many enlisted with great enthusiasm. Their unit E company of the 7th battalion was sent to Gallipoli, where many were killed and wounded during the landing on 25th April 1915. See the info in the photo of info plaque at Footscray Drill Hall.
The archives of FMI record the that the war impacted upon the FMI, in the latter part of the year ie 1914. The archives record that several members of FMI joined the forces. At least one Footscray Mechanics Institute trustee enlisted and went off to war, fortunately to return. His name was Mr. T.H. Young. The archives show that he was still on active service in 1916. The Annual reports of 1916 and 1917 contain wishes for peace. The Annual report for 1917 records the return of a Mr D. Sleap one of the FMI auditors. As for T.H. Young, he returned at the end of the war and Annual Report of 1918 on 4th December records he was heartily welcomed back.
Lest We Forget
[Thanks to Neil Farren of FMI Committee for honouring our Diggers]