My contribution for this week’s challenge…
Last Thursday, April 24th, I was told by a government source (that sounds good doesn’t it?) that there is to be a ceremony to commemorate the centenary of the firing of the first allied shot in World War I, later in the year. This is of interest to me as my grandfather was part of the Gun crew which fired across the bow of the German steamer ‘Pfalz” as she tried to escape from Port Phillip Bay only hours after war had been declared in Europe.
The 1994 article on the left of this photo details how a group of volunteer students uncovered the gun emplacement, that fired this shot along with the gun emplacement from which the first shot of World War II is believed to have been fired. Both sites had been buried under sand for more than forty years.
The photo on the right accompanies an article written about the firing of the first shot. The officer standing in the left of the photo, Lieutenant Charles Morris, gave the order to fire.
About two months ago while listening to my favourite Sunday morning chat show on ABC radio I heard a guest talking about World War I. After having many school children not believe me when I ascertained my connection with the start of WW I, I quickly tapped out an email and hit send….thinking that it would go into the ether and nothing would come of it. But I felt better. 🙂
I quickly forgot my actions in favour of a Sunday morning breakfast. However, about two hours after breakfast I answered a phone call from the grandson of Lieutenant Charles Morris. One of his friends had heard my email being read by ‘Macca’ (the chat show host), phone calls were made and eventually Charles’ grandson contacted me. At that stage he did not realise that my grandfather was part of the crew….just that I had an interest in the firing of the first shot.
The central typed page details how, when, where and why of the morning’s actions and was sent to me by Lieutenant Charles Morris’ grandson. On ANZAC Day I phoned my auntie and told her of my conversation with the relevant government secretary. She is eagerly looking forward to the commemoration and told me she would advise her sister and all families involved.