MEMBERS of the Beasley family came together in the darkness at Robertson Park for the dawn service to honour Private WRC Beasley from Orange, who was killed on April 25, 1915, just hours after he landed at Gallipoli.
Among those laying a wreath on the memorial was Australian Red Cross chief executive officer Robert Tickner.
He said it was ironic that it was the Red Cross that was able to track what had happened to Private Beasley at Gallipoli.
“It was actually the Red Cross who wrote to my family in 1916 saying it was likely he had been killed on the first day of the landing,” he said.
“It is strange to think that one day I would head the Red Cross that brought this sad news to my family in Orange.”
The Australian Red Cross Society wrote to Private Beasley’s family on May 9, 1916.
“We have just received by mail from our agents in Egypt two reports that give what is apparently bad news about the above soldier,” the letter said.
It also quoted details of a report by another soldier in Private Beasley’s battalion who was the last to see him.
“The witness knows he landed on the Peninsula on April 25, 1915 and took part in the fighting in the early stages,” the letter said.
“The battalion made an advance on a position near Courtney’s Post soon after the landing.
“A muster was held on Thursday April 29, and Beasley was not present. Witness has not seen him and does not know what became of him.”
Private Beasley’s descendants laid a wreath on the cenotaph during the dawn service on the anniversary of his death.