News

96-year wait to share beer with soldier

Jacob Klaus visited the grave in Europe of his Great Great Uncle Vince Passlow who was killed on 30th April 1917 during World War I. The grave is located in the London Rifle Brigade Cemetery in Ploegsteert Belgium.
Jacob Klaus visited the grave in Europe of his Great Great Uncle Vince Passlow who was killed on 30th April 1917 during World War I. The grave is located in the London Rifle Brigade Cemetery in Ploegsteert Belgium. Contributed

ALMOST a century after his death in the trenches of Belgium, the grave of WWI soldier Vince Passlow received a special visitor.

Last year, the digger's great great nephew, Jacob Klaus of Goonellabah, managed to track down the site and pay his respects to his long-lost relative.

The visit meant a lot to Jacob's father, Peter Klaus, also of Goonellabah, who had been researching his great uncle for three decades.

So when Mr Klaus found out his son was travelling to Belgium he gave him a small task and made sure he was on the phone when it was carried out.

"It was about 1am and I rang him on the mobile and he said 'Dad, I'm just walking into the cemetery now'," Mr Klaus said.

"So I stayed on the line and he said 'Passlow, Passlow, found him!' and I had goose bumps on my arms."

Mr Klaus had given his son two bottles of Reschs pilsener to take to the cemetery, knowing it was the only beer still brewed that was available in Australia in 1916.

"As he was pouring the beer on the grave, Jacob's girlfriend Celia Pethers was on the phone taking the photos and she said the sky just cleared up as he was pouring the beer on the grave," he said.

"He had to wait 96 years for a beer, no wonder the skies opened up."

For years, the family believed Vince fought and died at the Somme battlefield in France.

But when the internet became more accessible in the late 80s and early 90s, Mr Klaus began doing some research and discovered, through the Canberra War Memorial site, that his great uncle Vince had actually fought and died in the Progestasert trenches in Belgium.

Mr Klaus said he grew up listening to the stories of his three great uncles, Vince, Stanley and Glynn Passlow who fought together in the First World War.

Mr Klaus said the three brothers had been in a trench together when a shell known as a "whizz-bang" landed near Vince, killing him instantly.

"He died of concussion," he said. "In the telegrams a witness said that he spotted the body and he carried him and buried him… about 100 metres from where he was killed."

Vince's brothers Stanley and Glynn Passlow managed to make it home from the war and went back to work on the family's Bellingen farm.

Topics:  world war 1 wwi



WIN a fishing trip, $5000 BCF voucher and get free stuff

Want to catch one of these big fellas!? Get your name into our competition to win the ultimate fishing holiday!

WERE running a stack of reely incredible giveaways!

Three news subscriptions and a free paper for $3 - saywhat?!

No Caption

FORGET everything you thought you knew about a great deal.

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

Local Partners

High achievers honoured at Australia Day Awards

FIFTEEN new citizens to be welcomed and 27 exceptional citizens and groups honoured.


What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

'More sick people will be jailed': Confusion over medical cannabis

There is ongoing confusion about the legalities surrounding medical cannabis.

Is it legal? Where can you get it? What are your rights?

This week's Northern Rivers markets list

CASINO: McAuliffe Park in Hickey St is the venue for the new markets.

Check out the new Casino Riverside Markets this weekend

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

Agents desperate for stock as homebuyers circle region

Coorabell houses had a whopping median sale price of $1.4 million.

Lower price ranges stand out as Coffs property best sellers

7 quirky Airbnb homes on the Northern Rivers

Broken Head Bodhi Treehouse

Stay in a shipping container or treehouse for your next holiday

Controversial Iron Gates development renamed

Raine and Horne

Peaceful, pristine and perfect is the new motto for Iron Gates

'That’s the nature of commercial reality': Lismore council

GAME CHANGER: The $13 million proposal by Quest proposal is for a three-storey complex featuring 41 serviced apartments, 53 on-site carparks, 24-hour on-site management, a gymnasium and modern guest facilities.

"It's a shame the development is no longer on the table"

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!