Many ROSL members and staff have family who have fought on the front lines for their country during the First World War. Contemporary reports in the Overseas journal depict life during the war for members and staff fighting on the front lines, and at home. A century later, many of today's members also have personal stories of the impact of the war on their families. With their kind permission, we look at some of the stories of those who served. Click on the image to see each entry in full.

Malone ROSL member Anita Young tells the story of her grandfather, Lieutenant Colonel William George Malone, who commanded New Zealand’s Wellington Infantry Battalion, first in training in Egypt and then during the Gallipoli Campaign. Her story depicts his time at Quinn’s Post in Gallipoli, an exposed position that had was difficult to defend from the Turkish lines, which were at points no more than ten metres away.
Anita artworks Anita was invited by film director Peter Jackson to Gallipolli to see where Malone fought. Her artworks, depicting the terraces of Quinn's Post are displayed as part of Jackson's WWI exhibition in New Zealand.
Ken Giles thumb The annual Battlefield Tour, which ROSL has run throughout the centenary of the First World War, has given many members the chance to visit the battlefields of France and Belgium, and in some cases, visit the graves of family members who fought a century ago, as was the case for member Ken Giles, who joined the 2018 tour to visit the graveside of his uncle, Walter P Bailey.
Jean Adams thumb Jean Adams's story has an even closer connection to ROSL than most. Her father-in-law, Edward Attlee Adams, served as a Junior Hall Porter at the club before taking up arms, and was featured in the December 1916 edition of Overseas.
Philip Williams Philip Williams tells the story of two of his great uncles, Arthur and Alfred, who fought for the British and Canadian armies, respectively, during the First World War. One part tells the story of Philip's visit to Arthur's graveside in France, the second tells the story of Alfred's survival in the fighting only to meet his end in a murder on the streets of London.
David Smith Some members have also submitted memories of their family who fought in the Second World War. David Smith has submitted the citation his father, Ralph Beaumont Smith, received which details the action in 1944 for which he was commended. It records his "ceaseless devotion to duty" while under shell and mortar fire in Cairo.
Barry Whittaker Barry Whittaker returned to his father’s grave in Normandy, many years after he died, along with thousands of others, as part of the push inland following the D-Day landings in 1944.
Pin It