On this day I will especially remember my great-uncle, Roy Figg, who was an original Anzac. He landed at Gallipoli on the evening of the first day. Six week later he was injured in the leg while advancing on the enemy he was shot in the leg. He was sent to a hospital in Greece and later on to a hospital in England. He was still on crutches when he arrived back in Australia in 1916.
The following appeared in the Mercuy newspaper on 1 Jun 1916.
Our Parattah correspondent writes: -
"A welcome home social was tendered
last, week by the residents to Private Roy,
Figg. The arrangements werE made
the local branch of the Red Cross So-
ciety. The Jubilee-hall was crowded,
and the Warden (Mr. Fisher), who pre-
sided, opened the proceedings with a
patriotic speech and most cordially, wel-
comed home the returned soldier, and
presented bim with a gold medal, in-
scribed "One of the Anzacs, from the
residents of Parattah.' Private Figg
suitably responded, and amidst cheers
the Warden pinned on the medal"
Sadly Roy disappeared around 1919 and our family never heard from him ever again. My grandmother alway though that he must have died in the Spanish Flu epidemic and no one knew who he was.
Roy sometimes used the surname McDermott. He hated his abusive father and Roy was close friends with the McDermott family, his half-sister had married one of the McDermotts.
I found a 1919 death certificate for a Roy McDermott in Ballarat (father unknown, mother unknown) aged 25. Our Roy would have been 27 years old. One of Roy's half-sister had been living at Ballarat but had moved away before 1919. Maybe Roy went there thinking she still lived there?
Roy Figg's name was later added to the War Memorial at Oatlands. My grandmother named my father Roy Harold after her missing brother.
My grandmother had Roy's photo and medal but they were lost in the 1967 bushfires.