Retracing loved ones’ journey image

10 October 2018

Narelle Levin of Melbourne will visit Albany later this month as she retraces the footsteps of two of her loved ones who were among the Anzac soldiers to sail from King George Sound in 1914 for World War I.

The Albany visit is part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience she won after entering a competition in April to win an exclusive Remembrance Tour of Anzac Albany and the battlefields of the Western Front, thanks to the National Anzac Centre and Foxtel’s History Channel.

The competition generated a huge response from viewers across Australia and New Zealand with the question: “What does the legend of the Diggers mean to you?”

Narelle submitted the winning entry, writing poignantly of her family’s personal connection to the ANZAC story:

“Great Uncle Charlie’s blood stains Gallipoli’s shores and Granddad Carl’s footprint is imprinted on the Fields of Flanders; the digger to me is family.”

Narelle’s great uncle Charlie Fincher was an exceptional footballer, picked up by South Melbourne in 1913 and Essendon in 1914 who enlisted in the AIF at the outbreak of WWI. He departed Albany on the Orvieto, the flagship of the First Convoy, on 1 November 1914. Sadly, Charlie was among the first to be killed as the troops landed at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915 (http://www.sydneyswans.com.au/news/2018-04-25/on-this-day-charlie-fitcher-killed-at-gallipoli).

Private Carl Dettmann, Narelle’s grandfather, also sailed from Albany with the First Convoy aboard the troopship Wiltshire as a member of the 4th Lighthorse Regiment. Carl later transferred to the 1st Australian Cyclist Corp where he served with distinction on the Western Front, undertaking vital reconnaissance of enemy positions.

To honour their family members’ service and sacrifice, Narelle and her husband Leon will retrace the journey of the diggers from Albany to the battlefields of Europe in October and November this year.

They will begin in Albany with a visit to the acclaimed National Anzac Centre overlooking King George Sound from where Narelle’s great-uncle and grandfather departed 104 years ago. They will also experience the new Field of Light: Avenue of Honour installation by Bruce Munro that pays tribute to those who served.

Narelle and Leon will then travel to Europe for a 10-day tour of the battlefields of the Western Front, culminating in the Centenary of Armistice service on Remembrance Day at Villers-Bretonneux.

Click link to view Foxtel competition promotion: https://vimeo.com/265117180

For more information on Anzac Albany programming for November 11, 2018 visit www.anzacalbany.com.au