News

Nightmares plagued Gallipoli survivor until his death

PILGRIMAGE: Thea Warren, of East Lismore, will go to Gallipoli to honour her father, James Fairhall, who fought in the ill-fated campaign.
PILGRIMAGE: Thea Warren, of East Lismore, will go to Gallipoli to honour her father, James Fairhall, who fought in the ill-fated campaign. Marc Stapelberg

NIGHTMARES plagued the sleep of Gallipoli veteran James Fairhall until his death in 1961, more than 40 years after the war.

"I can remember getting up when I was a child and my mother would be making him a cup of tea because he'd had another nightmare," daughter Thea Warren, 90, remembered.

"She said he had his last one two weeks before he died."

Next week Ms Warren and her children will attend the centenary dawn service of the Gallipoli landings, braving the cold of the Turkish night to pay tribute to their loved one's sacrifice.

Mr Fairhall spent four years in the trenches after he enlisted aged 18, but rarely mentioned the ordeal to his family.

"He only talked to me once, and he said that the worst thing that ever happened to him was the first time he had to use a bayonet," Ms Warren said.

"Late one night we were just sitting there talking and he just said that to me.

"And I can imagine that would have been pretty bad.

"He didn't talk much, that's the only time."

What Ms Warren does know is that Mr Fairhall went to Gallipoli with his older brother, who was a sergeant in the same unit.

She knows that one day after fighting her father was in the latrine, bleeding heavily from an unknown wound, and his brother helped save his life.

"He looked after him, so I guess he was lucky," she said.

 

But "lucky" is a relative term. His life was saved, but the trauma was permanent.

"They went over there and didn't know anything about wars... they wouldn't have had any idea what they were getting into.

"So you can imagine that it would have had a big influence on them.

"I felt sorry that I didn't know as much then as I do now so I could have talked to him about it."

Ms Warren visited Gallipoli the dawn service eight years ago and was shocked at how close the opposing trenches were.

"We went up to Lone Pine... it's very steep where the men were coming up and they said the Turks had guns right along there and were just shooting them as they appeared.

"They tried to tell the chap in charge not to send them anymore but they said he wouldn't take any notice.

"War is terrible."

Topics:  anzac centenary, anzac-centenary, ptsd, world war 1




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

MUMS' TOP 5: 'Musts' to have on your childcare checklist

SOME FALL SHORT: Organisations that train childcare workers will be subjected to extra audits.

SENDING your child off to day care can be daunting and confusing.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Ballina set to showcase region’s food and wine

at the Ballina Food and Wine festival.
Photo Mireille Merlet-Shaw / Northern Star

The best food and wine in the region will be showcased in Ballina

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as as stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

No-fuss Samsung tablet a winner for kids and commuters

Get this Samsung tablet for FREE with a local news subscription.

THIS is one handy addition to your device line-up.

Latest deals and offers

Vivid timelapse

Screenshot from timelapse of Sydney's Vivid Festival

This timelapse shows Sydney's Vivid Festival

Carnifex Snippet 4

Carnifex are about to release new music with their sixth album. Photo Contributed

"Drown Me In Blood" from CA based death metal outfit CARNIFEX. Sixth studio album...

Carnifex Snippet 3

Carnifex are about to release new music with their sixth album. Photo Contributed

"Drown Me In Blood" from CA based death metal outfit CARNIFEX. Sixth studio album...

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%

DIY: How to build a backyard fire pit

DIY stars and Weekend magazine columnists Ayden and Jess Hogan.

Would you build this for your backyard?