Trove Tuesday: The Saddest News of All
While ‘Troving’ for one of my family surnames recently, I came across an article that was just heart-wrenching, and have decided to share it with you as a Trove Tuesday post. It is an article which advises that Charles Spurgeon McCullough, the son of my son of great great grandparents the Rev. Robert McCullough and his wife Eva (nee Richardson), had been killed in action in World War 1.
Having never been exposed to the atrocities of war other than reading about it in history books, and seeing it on TV, I don’t pretend to have any real concept of the feelings of how my family (or any family for that matter) felt when their son left for war. Let alone getting the news that he’d been killed in action. And how the family dealt with this afterwards? But you can get a small sense of it from the article.
As the text is somewhat blotchy, here is the transcript of what it says:
PRIVATE C. S. McCULLOUGH.
Private C. S. McCullough, who left with the 4th Reinforcements for the 6th Battalion of the A.I.F., was killed in action on July 13. He was the second son of the Rev. R. and Mrs. McCullough, who recently left the pastorate of the Mitcham Baptist Church for Burnie, Tasmania. Private McCullough was just over 20 years of age, and was educated at Queen’s School (Hobart) and Parkside School, and after leaving his first employment was with Messrs. Cowell Bros. and James Marshall & Co. Prior to offering his services to the army he had been with the Union Steamship Company. He left four sisters, Mrs. Ralph Hannaford, Narracoorte; Mrs. P. Willmott, Sydney; Nurse McCullough, “Walwa” Hospital, Fullarton; and Miss E. McCullough, Burnie; and two brothers, Mr. R. L. McCullough, of Messrs. Elder, Smith, & Co., Adelaide, and Corporal A. G. McCullough, who left this State with the 3rd Expeditionary Force.
My McCullough family isn’t one that I have researched to any real degree, so trust me I am no expert on this family in any way. But I did find Charles’ military records on the National Archive of Australia’s website, which showed just how quickly the McCullough family’s lives were changed forever.
Charles signed up to the army in January 1915, and passed his medical in March that year. He was then assigned to the 6th Battalion AIF, 4th Reinforcements, and in May 1915 embarked and headed for the Dardanelles, and on 17 June 1915 he joined his unit in Gallipoli.
It was a mere days later he was killed in action, and has been buried at Shrapnel Valley Cemetery in Turkey.
My McCullough family, together with the many thousands of others who lost loved ones through war, had their lived changed forever. Great Uncle Charles McCullough signed up to serve for his country, and sadly he died for it too. But he will be remembered.