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A moving tribute to our 568 war dead

On Remembrance Day, Scotch honoured the memory of the Old Boys who died in the World Wars.

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Eleven o’clock on the morning of 11 November each year is always a solemn moment throughout the world – and Scotch is no exception. This year marked the 93rd anniversary of the day the guns fell silent, as the carnage and destruction of World War I finally came to an end, and the world began to count the cost.

More than 90,000 Australians died in the two World Wars, including more than 500 Old Boys who are known to have died.

On Remembrance Day, Scotch welcomed a number of Old Boy war veterans to a special assembly. During the assembly, Year 7 boys placed crosses in the east and west lawns of the Quadrangle, each cross marked with the name of an Old Boy who died in one of the World Wars. It was a quiet and reverent tribute by the boys to those who died in their country’s service.

Meanwhile, inside the hall, Lindsay Hamilton (’34) was the school’s special guest at the Remembrance Day Assembly.

In late 1939, Lindsay joined the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and was drafted to Queenscliff, Victoria, with many other Morse code operators. A few months after Christmas, Lindsay’s section was informed they would be going to Rabaul in Papua New Guinea. However, Lindsay was left out of this Rabaul group as he was more of a dispatch writer than a Morse code operator.

The Rabaul group was captured by the Japanese, and 1,500 AIF members were taken as prisoners of war. While they were aboard a Japanese vessel, the ship was torpedoed by an American submarine and all on board died. Meanwhile Lindsay became a sergeant in the 8th Armoured Regiment, later being promoted to lieutenant and posted to Officer Commanding 22 Teleop Section.

Lindsay’s section was first selected to operate a submarine cable for communication to the islands north of Australia, and he was then transferred to Dobodura near Kokoda, where his role was to transport food and ammunition across most of Papua New Guinea.

While in the AIF Lindsay met a beautiful Queensland girl, Connie, and they were married four months after they met. Connie and Lindsay have had a wonderful marriage of 68 years, and they have four children, 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Lindsay is now 93 years old and lives with Connie (93) in a retirement home.

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Leigh Hamilton and Lindsay Hamilton (’34)