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Forest Lodge Public School

Forest Lodge Public School

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World War I

Lest We Forget – WWI & Forest Lodge Public School

The WWI centenary focus in current ANZAC Day commemorations has prompted us to remember and honour the former Forest Lodge School pupils and teachers who served in WWI. One of the school's most famous former pupils was the legendary Albert ‘Tibby' Cotter (1883 – 1917), Australian Test cricket's first modern fast bowler and a handsome, much-loved larrikin. Cotter served at Gallipoli with the 1st Light Horse and the 12th Light Horse. While acting as a mounted stretcher-bearer he was killed by a Turk purporting to surrender on October 31, 1917. Tibby's brother John had been killed at Ypres a few weeks earlier. In 2015 a bridge was opened –the Albert Tibby Cotter Walkway – that crosses Anzac Parade at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Harold (Hal) Murray, who attended the school in the early 1900s also fought on the Western Front. In August, 1917 Murray wrote to his sister Flo, who lived in Hereford Street:

"Our OC came up on the Tuesday afternoon and said he wanted four volunteers to sail

‘for the front' in the morning and I took a mad fit in my head and jumped out and now I

am plunging in the deep…" "I wrote to Mr Bardsley last week. I have met a good few of

the old Lodge boys over this side." (Headmaster William Bardsley corresponded

regularly with ‘his boys' who had volunteered.) Hal Murray was killed in action in

Belgium in September 1917.

Another Forest Lodge student, Jack Simpson, left the school in 1914 to enlist (underage) at 16, becoming Private Simpson First Field Ambulance. While on service in France, Jack's path crossed with a Mr Anderson who had been one of his teachers at Forest Lodge. Anderson, a Corporal in the in the first Division Column, was killed by a bomb just prior to returning to Australia on leave. Jack Simpson survived the war. Their names can be seen on the School's WWI Roll of Honour, located outside Ms Dwyer's classroom, along with all the former pupils and staff who enlisted in wartime service.

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