20 Apr 2021

Lest we forget

Blessing 2nd43rd Flag - Daniel Purvis trim - Mar 2021_01464.jpg

The Southern Cross  |  April 2021

Lest  We Forget

A regimental flag completed 75 years ago in honour of the 2/43rd Infantry Battalion was blessed and handed over to St Aloysius College (SAC) students last month in a moving ceremony in St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral.

The Women’s Auxiliary of the 2/43rd battalion, formed in 1940, embroidered the names of the campaigns and battlegrounds of the infantry men during World War II.

Over eight decades the regimental flag led the battalion’s veterans who have marched on Anzac Day in Adelaide.

In 2012 the battalion’s memorial crosses were entrusted in perpetuity to SAC students who have been placing them in the Field of Remembrance before November 11 every year.

The crosses were presented to the college by Bill Corey, one of the last remaining members of the battalion who visited the college a number of times to speak with students before his death in 2018 at the age of 101.

Bob Boscence, who was president of the 2/43rd Battalion Association for 13 years and was involved in handing over the crosses to SAC, gave a brief history of the 2/43rd battalion at the flag blessing. His father-in-law, Wilf Marlow, was instrumental in the installation of the 43rd and 2/43rd Colours in the Cathedral in 1964.

Mr Boscence also thanked SAC for its “ongoing commitment to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of the battalion”.

The regimental flag was brought forward to the altar by Janine Keulen, daughter of Captain Rockleigh Sudholz, who was mentioned in despatches at Tobruk and mortally wounded at El Alamein in 1942; Alison Smith, wife of the late veteran Hedley Smith, an original 1940 enlistee who died in October 2000; and Jane Sturm whose uncle, Sergeant Harold Heath, was killed in New Guinea in 1943.

A new regimental head cross made by SAC staff members was also blessed at the ceremony.

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