Many WWI centenaries are being marked this year but there’s one reward for bravery that has a strong Tenterfield connection.
Private Albert Duck – father of retired builder Pat Duck and grandfather of Deborah (Halliday) and Terrence – earned a Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the first day of the 15th Battalion’s battle for Hamel on July 4, 1918 under General Monash.
His citation reads:
This man whilst acting as a stretcher bearer went forward with the attack, dressing the wounded as they fell and showed great coolness in the face of the enemy’s heavy fire.
He later carried wounded through machine gun and rifle and artillery fire to the RAP, returning to the front line immediately for more wounded.
He showed extreme devotion to duty in his untiring efforts to get wounded in and was not deterred by any danger,
His determination and courage saved many lives.
Albert grew up on a farm at Neumgna outside Kingaroy, with son Pat moving to Tenterfield in 1959 to set up home with wife Joyce.
This family is justifiably proud of their patriarch’s heroism and Pat is hoping to march in Wednesday’s ANZAC Day parade wearing Albert’s medals (along with his own), as Albert’s last surviving son. The last time Pat marched was as a National Serviceman in Stanthorpe in 1958 as part of the 25th Battalion Darling Downs Regiment.
Pat said one of the few possessions Albert passed on to him was a book on the 15th Battalion, into which he had pasted the quote: “The only thing we learned from war was that it teaches us nothing.”
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