COMMEMORATING THE BATTLE OF LONE PINE AT CRIMSON HILL

COMMEMORATING THE BATTLE OF LONE PINE AT CRIMSON HILL
CRIMSON HILL COMMUNITY CENTRE, LINDFIELD, NSW

11.00AM, SUNDAY 9 AUGUST 2015

 

**CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY**

 

I am honoured to be here today, to see this impressive Defence Housing Australia community, and to be part of this special event.

This morning I have the privilege of helping to unveil plaques in honour of two remarkable Victoria Cross recipients.

However, before I acknowledge their bravery, I would firstly like to recognise the men and women of today’s Defence Forces. I am sure you all agree they do a fine job serving and protecting our great nation.

I would also like to acknowledge Defence spouses, partners and children. The support they provide their loved ones and each other is second-to-none, and no doubt contributes to the wellbeing of our Defence Forces.

And last, but certainly not least, I would like to acknowledge the work of Defence-related organisations such as Defence Housing Australia.

You only have to look around today to see that the housing Defence Housing Australia provides is more than keeping pace with community standard.

And, more importantly, it is about so much more than bricks and mortar—it’s about people, enhancing their experiences and way of life, and creating communities.

Sustainable communities are places where people can live, work, and, most importantly, play.

Spaces like the sports field behind me and the communal area where a Family Fun Day is being held today, are show just how successfully Crimson Hill incorporates all of these elements.

Congratulations to Sandy, Peter and all the DHA staff for a tremendous job. You should be immensely proud of what you have created here at Crimson Hill.

I trust that our country’s service men and women, and their families, will relish living in this vibrant community for many years.

Today we are honouring the lives of Victoria Cross recipients Lieutenant William Dunstan and Lieutenant Leonard Keyser.

Let me tell you a little about Lieutenant Dunstan before I call upon the family of Lieutenant Keyser.

William Dunstan was born in the Victorian country town of Ballarat in 1895.

In June 1915, at 20 years old, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force, joining the 7th Battalion as a Private, before being promoted to acting Corporal.

On 9 August 1915, just one month after enlisting, he was awarded the Victoria Cross for outstanding bravery at the Battle of Lone Pine.

Dunstan was part of a group of soldiers defending a newly captured trench when the Turks made a determined counter-attack.

Among them were Lieutenant Tubb and Corporal Burton, who are also honoured here at Crimson Hill.

When a large explosion blew down the barricade, Dunstan and Burton began to rebuild it while Tubb kept the enemy at bay.

Before the work was complete, a bomb detonated between the men, killing Burton and temporarily blinding Dunstan.

Dunstan was sent back to Australia for treatment, before being discharged in February 1916.

He promptly rejoined the militia, serving in various ranks until he retired as a Lieutenant in 1928.

He was presented his Victoria Cross by the Governor-General on the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne in 1916.

He went on to have a highly successful civilian career, particularly in the newspaper industry, and was greatly respected in business, judicial and parliamentary circles.

Sadly, he passed away suddenly of a heart attack in 1957.

His family were unable to be located, otherwise I am sure they would be here today.

Pleasingly though, we have several members of Lieutenant Leonard Keysor’s family with us.

I would now like to invite Ms Keira Quinn Lockyer to say a few words about her great uncle.