HELP: Lismore RSL sub branch president and Vietnam veteran Cecil Harris at The Lismore Memorial Baths in front of the WW1 Honour Roll. Mr Harris is asking residents to come forward with information about unknown Diggers on the roll.
HELP: Lismore RSL sub branch president and Vietnam veteran Cecil Harris at The Lismore Memorial Baths in front of the WW1 Honour Roll. Mr Harris is asking residents to come forward with information about unknown Diggers on the roll. Patrick Gorbunovs

RSL searches for Lismore Cenotaph's unknown soldiers

DO YOU know a S Wilson, A McDonald or W Kelly who served and died in the First World War?

The Lismore City RSL Sub-Branch is appealing for community assistance to find out more about 35 unknown soldiers listed on the Lismore Memorial Baths honour roll.

President Cec Harris said with the centenary commemorations of Australia's deadliest conflict fast approaching next year, the sub branch was keen to improve its records.

But many of the 191 names have multiple matches in the Australian War Memorial Archives, while some have no records associated with them at all.

One soldier, A McDonald, has 78 identical matches, with no possible way of narrowing the search any further.

The hunt for information started quietly 12 months ago, but appears to have hit a wall - unless community members recognise the names and are willing to come forward.

"We want to get the schools involved for the centenary and ask students to do projects on some of the soldiers," Mr Harris said.

"But we'd like to give the students something to go on, so we need someone to give us a starting point.

"We can go back to the archives and find the exact unit that person served in."

Of the remaining 156 names, 146 have accurate records of rank, unit, service number and date of death - the basic information used as a springboard to further research.

The 10 remaining soldiers on the roll are recorded as having died after they were repatriated to Australia.

Mr Harris speculated they may have fallen ill during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1917 and were counted as war victims.

Please, do not send information to the sub-branch but phone 6621 3851, between 8-11am Monday to Friday, and a member will copy the documentation.



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