Thursday, September 27, 2012

Historians vow to bring Private Dudley Clift’s story to light

From the Maitland Mercury report:
The mystery surrounding a sepia-toned image of a Maitland soldier has partly been solved.
Stored in a box for almost 100 years, the identify of the solider has been revealed as Pitnacree’s Dudley Joseph Clift.
But the identification is leading researchers on a whole new trail to unveil Clift’s story before he enlisted and that of his family left behind.

Maitland resident Heather Yates discovered Private Clift’s photo in a box of memorabilia belonging to fellow (Maitland) fallen war soldier Sam Robinson.
Through their research, Maitland war historians John Gillam and Yvonne Fletcher have discovered the former stock and station agent’s name, age at the time of enlistment along with his height and weight. The strapping six footer was a month short of his 32nd birthday when he enlisted on March 30, 1915 a month before Australia’s baptism of fire at Gallipoli.
They have also learned the details of Private Clift’s tragic death in France in March, 1917. “Dudley was hit carrying rations to the front line in France. It was a very quiet period and it was bad luck,” Mr Gillam said.

Full article by Emma Swain available at Maitland Mercury, Sept. 26, 2012.