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by David Hay
A family memory from the UK, happier than many others; My mother, as a young child three or four years old, remembered during a visit to her grandparents, the Greens of Pound Cottage, Bishopsgate, Corby, Northamptonshire, UK. a young soldier from the Australian Forces calling to see them.
Mum, in her own words, was "spellbound" by this individual. The visit lasted until dark when the soldier offered to escort Grandfather and Mum back to her own home about a mile away . The journey was made with Mum sitting on the soldiers shoulders . She recalled that she felt she could reach the stars. The highlight of the journey was when the soldier paused outside the "Black Horse" pub so that Mum could blow out the candle that was in the lantern by the door. This apparently satisfied a childhood ambition. After that there was no recollection of any further visits.
The name given to the soldier was Allan Semple . I have no idea why he paid the visit. The possibilities are that he was
- a relative by marriage
- an acquaintance of an uncle that lived in Australia
- the result of a casual meeting whilst on active service
I have found some detail from the attestation papers which I believe refer to Allan. There is a note that he spent some leave in England prior to return for demobilisation in Australia. From other records he may have settled in Rosedale, NSW where he married Allen Irene Marie Stone. Both, at the end, were laid to rest in East Ballina Cemetery.