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The vendor, after describing the details of this cover, finishes up by stating: “Could you imagine it getting to the addressee to-day?!”  The cover sold for AU$190.00 and it was addressed to Rev. H.W. Lane, Australia.  It was sent from Joao M.G. dos Santos, Rua Sete de Setembre No. 71, Rio de Janeiro, (Brazil) and it the envelope has a printed Brazilian 200 reis stamp which was postmarked RIO DE JANEIRO/ 12 NOV 97/ (5A).   A boxed INSUFFICIENTLY ADDRESSED handstamp had been applied as well as a pencilled ‘Try Alexandra’ (Figure 1).

The reverend gentleman must have been reasonably prominent in Australia for the reverse shows that it was duly delivered with a transit postmark of MELBOURNE/ (–) L/ JA 5/ 98 and a reception postmark of ALEXANDRA/ JA 7/ 98/ VICTORIA (Figure 2).

A New South Wales Post Card with the printed red 1d ‘Shield’ stamp was postmarked SYDNEY/ 29 JA 06 3.–P.M/ 24, and was addressed to Rev. H.W. Lane, 333 Rae St., North Fitzroy, Melbourne (Figure 3).

The reverse was dated Monday 1 p.m. and the message read: “Boat arrived 11 a.m.  Absolute misery ever since coming through the “Rip”: nothing but hot water for last 24 hours.  Not built for the sea “thats p– ”.  Going to stroll quietly down to Botanical Gardens.  Boat sails to-morrow Tuesday about 6 p.m. so will endeavour to scrape together a little vitality.  Couldn’t be bothered looking at the harbour coming in but what I did see of it through the port hole was very pretty.  Love to all   Frere (brother?)” (Figure 4).

Whereas the postal department was able to locate and deliver this insufficiently addressed mail to Rev. H.W. Lane, there was only one website that gave any information about someone of that name.  Whereas  Joao dos Santos is a common name in Portugal and Brazil, there was a Rev. M.G. Joao dos Santos living in Rio de Janeiro in 1897.  I can’t say with certainty that I have identified both, but I am going to ask you to accept that what follows may well be related to the addressee shown in both mailed items.  I ask the reader “to take a leap of faith”, for therein lies an interesting episode of ANZAC history.

Clement Frederick Wills Lane was a 23 year old single male living with his parents when he enlisted on 24 August 1914 as 2nd Lieutenant in the 6th Battalion, G Company, having had previous service in the 64th Infantry.  His parents were Rev. Henry W.  and Emily Lane, Rennie Street, Coburg, a suburb of Melbourne.  His unit embarked from Melbourne on board Transport ‘A20' Honorata on 19 October 1914 and he died of wounds at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 at the age of 23, with the rank of Lieutenant.  He has no marked grave.  His war service was first in Egypt and he died at Gallipoli.  He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, presumably posthumously.

The Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey is situated in the Lone Pine Cemetery at Anzac, and it is the main Australian Memorial on Gallipoli, and one of the four memorials to men of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.  It was designed by Sir John Burnet, the principal architect of the Gallipoli cemeteries.  The memorial consists of a thick tapering pylon 14.3 metres high on a square base 12.98 metres wide.  It is constructed of limestone mined at Ilgardere in Turkey.  The Memorial commemorates the 3,268 Australians and 456 New Zealanders who have no known grave, as well as the 960 Australians and 252 New Zealanders who were buried at sea after evacuation, from wounds or disease.  

The Memorial stands over the centre of the Turkish trenches and tunnels which were the scene of the heavy fighting during the August offensive.  Most cemeteries on Gallipoli contain relatively few marked graves, and the majority of Australians killed on Gallipoli are commemorated here.
A photo of the Lone Pine Memorial is seen in Figure 5.

Lest We Forget

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