Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world.
I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist. Through my blog I am
seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Sunday, 26 April 2015

ANZAC Day - 25 April 2015 - 100 years centenary - We will remember them

On 7 September 1914 Norman Albert Clayden, a 19 year old Mercantile Clerk, originally from Pingelly where he had gone to school, his current address listed as C/- Hill & Hill, Wagin, Western Australia, enlisted, as did thousands of other young men from across Australia, only a month after the declaration of war on 4 August 1914.

Norman was a Lance Corporal and was assigned to the 11th Infantry Battalion AIF, H Company, a rifle company.

Following a period of training at Blackboy Hill Camp, Northam, the Unit embarked from the port of Fremantle, Western Australia, on board Transport A11 Ascanius on 2 November 1914.
The Ascanius formed part of the convoy of 38 troopships carrying approximately 35,000 Australian and New Zealand troops destined to join the Imperial Expeditionary Force. They reached the Port of Alexandria, Egypt on 2 December 1914, where they spent the next nearly 5 months before being deplored to Gallipoli, Turkey. 

Norman was shot in the head and killed on 2 May 2015 at Wire Gully on the Gallipoli Peninsula, only a week into the Gallipoli campaign.  

 Please click on "read more" to keep reading and seeing more pics

There seems to be some confusion over Norman's age. His Enlistments papers in 1914 show his birth date at 6/12/1892 and his age as 22 years and 8 months.  However The Australian Birth Index and his details given for the Roll of Honour Australian Memorial War Museum shows his birth as 1896.  Did Norman lie about his age when he enlisted? The following note was written on our family tree in Ancestry.com -  

Norman Albert Clayden enlisted into the 11th Battn Infantry, Australian Imperial Forces for service abroad, stating that he was a mercantile clerk and born on 6 Dec 1892 making him 22 years. At his death in 1915 he was actually only 19 years of age. His enlistment paper also stated that he had already done one years service with the 25th Light Horse.

I am currently searching to find Norman's correct birth date. 
What we do know is that Norman is one of thousands whose place of actual burial is unknown, but he is remembered on the:

The Lone Pine Memorial (Panel 33), Lone Pine Cemetery, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey.   (These pictures courtesy of my sister, J Shearing)

and Panel 61 on the WW1 Commemorative Wall at Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia. 

In Canberra you can place a poppy next to the name of your loved one. We did that when we visited in January 2012. Somehow seeing his name on the wall made Norman more real to me and ever since I have felt an intense grief when we attend the Anzac Dawn Service. 

Norman was my father's uncle. In fact my father was named after him. Norman's brother Frederick Roberts Clayden was my paternal grandfather.
Their parents were William George and Clara Clayden (nee Drew), from Kulyaling, a small town in the Western Australia wheatbelt. His brother  Pte Ernest Wilfred Clayden, 11th Bn, served on the Western Front, and returned to Australia on 3 March 1919.

 The Lone Pine Memorial at Gallipoli commemorates the 3268 Australians and 456 New Zealanders who have no known grave and the 960 Australians and 252 New Zealanders who were buried at sea after evacuation through wounds or disease.

On 8 January 1916, the last British troops left Helles. The Gallipoli campaign was over. Gallipoli cost the Allies 141 000 casualties, of whom more than 44 000 died. Of the dead, 8709 were Australians and 2701 were New Zealanders.
You can read more by clicking here - Gallipoli & the Anzacs

 All across Australia and New Zealand, at Gallipoli and in France, and in other countries where Australians and New Zealanders gather there are Anzac Day services on 25th April. It is a time for us to remember them.
Below are some images from the Dawn Service and daytime march and service in Bunbury on Saturday 25 April.  Our War Memorial has just been restored, the white paint stripped off revealing the beautiful Donnybrook stone beneath. 

This year there has been many exhibitions, television programs, museum displays, etc commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. Even though it was a glorious failure (from the point of view of the Allies) an Australian identity was forged in those battle fields.

On 1 November 1914, 40,000 Australians and New Zealanders left Albany on our south coast, bound for Egypt and World War 1. The new National Anzac Centre on Mount Clarence in Albany gives visitors an insight into WW1 through their interactive, multimedia displays, artifacts, rare images and audio commentary. It is well worth a visit.  An overwhelming impression I received from the exhibition was to think about those people who may have returned home but continued to suffer for many years from the affects of their war experiences and the appalling human cost of war. There are many lessons we can learn.I fear however, that we have not.

The Centre overlooks beautiful Princess Royal Harbour from where the ships left Australia. For many it was their last view of their homeland. On the summit of Mt Clarence is the magnificent Desert Mounted Corps Memorial, featuring two mounted soldiers, an Australian and a New Zealander. It is a copy of a statue originally erected in Port Said in Egypt. Another copy is located in Canberra. I wrote about it on my previous Anzac blog post which you can see by clicking here - Anzac Memorial

The Albany Heritage Park on Mt Clarence where the Anzac Centre and War Memorial is located has been upgraded with walks and several new lookouts with magnificent over the harbour and ocean. You can also visit the Princess Royal Fortress.  

One of the lookouts is the Padre White Lookout. From 1916 to 1918 Padre White served as an army chaplain with the 44th Battalion. At dawn on the 25 April 1930 he led his parishioners from St John's Church to the summit of Mount Clarence where they watched a boatman laying a wreath in King George Sound. This was the first dawn service in Australia.
 You can see images of the church below.

Another exhibition we saw this year was "Camera on Gallipoli". A unique series of photographs taken at Gallipoli. This was an Australian War Memorial Travelling Exhibition on display in Busselton. Knowing that my great-uncle Norman died at Gallipoli I was moved to tears looking through this exhibition. In the photo below you can see soldiers trying to get some sleep in their trench.

Norman Albert CLAYDEN
Regimental number881
SchoolPingelly State School, Western Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationMercantile clerk
Addressc/o Hill and Hill, Wagin, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Next of kinW G Clayden, 9 Edward Street, East Perth, Western Australia
Previous military serviceLight Horse
Enlistment date7 September 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll18 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name11th Battalion, H Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/28/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board Transport A11 Ascanius on 2 November 1914
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll11th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 2 May 1915
Place of death or woundingGallipoli, Turkey
Date of death2 May 1915
Age at death19
Age at death from cemetery records19
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Lone Pine Memorial (Panel 33), Gallipoli, Turkey

Parents: William George and Clara CLAYDEN, Craigie, Kulyaling, Western Australia. Native of Pingelly, Western Australia

Brother: 6488 Pte Ernest Wilfred CLAYDEN, 11th Bn, returned to Australia, 3 March 1919.

The Lone Pine Memorial stands over the centre of the Turkish trenches and tunnels which were the scene of heavy fighting during the August offensive. Most cemeteries on Gallipoli contain relatively few marked graves, and the majority of Australians killed on Gallipoli are commemorated here.

Above information is from: The AIF Project

Sadly I have been unable to find a photo of my great-uncle Norman Clayden. There is a famous picture of the 11th Battalion on one of the Pyramids in Egypt before they left for Gallipoli. Many of the men in the picture are unidentified. I know my uncle is among them - but which one is he?  There is a project to find out their names - you can read more about it at the link below. 

Camped in Egypt before being shipped to the Dardanelles, the men of the Australian Infantry Division’s 11th Battalion were ordered to a nearby landmark, for a group photo. It was likely the last ever image taken of many of them.
“After Church this morning the whole Battalion was marched up to the Pyramid (Old Cheops) and we had a photo took or at least several of them,” wrote Captain Charles Barnes in his diary for Sunday, January 10, 1915.

Click here to read more - 11th Battalion Egypt

Some further reading: please click on the links: 

Western Australian Genealogical Society Inc 

On 31 October 1914, two transport ships sailed from Fremantle. HMAT Ascanius carried Western Australia's 11th Infantry Battalion with South Australia's 10th Infantry Battalion and HMAT Medic carried Western Australia's 12th Infantry Battalion and 3rd Field Company Engineers. Also travelling on the Medic were Western Australian and South Australian men from the 8th Battery 3rd Field Artillery Brigade, Divisional Train (1 to 4 Companies Army Service Corps), 1st Division 3rd Australian Field Ambulance and the Divisional Ammunition Column.
The HMAS Pioneer and the Japanese ship HIJMS Ibuki provided escort. On 3 November 1914 they joined up with a large convoy from Albany to make their precarious journey to war. 

11th Battalion
The 11th Battalion was formed on 17 August 1914, less than two weeks after the declaration of war on 4 August, and was among the first infantry units raised during World War I for the all-volunteer First Australian Imperial Force.
On formation, the battalion consisted of eight rifle companies, designated 'A' to 'H', and a headquarters company with signals, transport, medical and machine-gun sections.

Australian War Memorial
Australians call the campaign “Gallipoli”; to Turks, it is “Çanakkale Savasi”. As part of the First World War, soldiers of the Ottoman Empire, on one side, and soldiers of the British Empire and France, on the other, fought a long and bloody battle on the Gallipoli peninsula.
The Turkish defenders were victorious. After an eight-month-long campaign British Empire and French forces withdrew, having suffered 44,000 deaths. At least 85,000 Turkish soldiers died in the campaign.
Consequently, Gallipoli is of profound importance to the national identity of both Australia and Turkey

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this look at the Anzac Day tradition in Australia. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Mosaic Monday
Travel Photo Mondays
Our World Tuesday
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Agent Mystery Case
What's It Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday

You might also like:
  April - on Anzac Day we will remember them - 25 April 2014
Celebrating Australia Day and Waltzing Matilda - January 2014
Making Anzac biscuits  - June 2014


  1. Genealogy is very interesting. The stories and information gathered gives you a sense of family and helps you to understand how their lives were.

  2. Wether Norman was 19 or 22 that is way too young to die.... I loved your personal side of the ANZAC story. Our ANZAC celebrations all over the world this year have been remarkable, at least whilst I don't believe the world seems to be learning, I think it is fair to say we are not forgetting. We attended a dawn service in Singapore this year!
    Wren x

  3. We watched the most moving memorial services that were shown here in the Bay of Bengal on the BBC. Sadly, I am not sure anyone in the US - other than those traveling in this part of the world - knew there was such news as it seemed the only thing our media was reporting was Bruce Jenner. So sad to be so self-focused as is the US media. Most interesting blog post, Jill~

  4. A wonderful tribute to this distant family member. I've heard the war museum in Ottawa, our capital is a moving and emotional journey to visit.
    Thanks for sharing this historical information and linking to Mosaic Monday Jill.

  5. Interesting post! I saw the ANZAC memorial in Sydney, Australia on a visit. It was very very stirring. So many meny young men killed in this battle

  6. So many died. We do well to remember them. A great tribute to your great-uncle. Thank you for sharing this piece of your family history.

  7. Such a moving post - especially that wall of poppies.

  8. That photo of the soldiers is just intriguing. It would be wonderful if they could eventually put a name to everyone's face.

  9. What a lovely and very sensitive post Jill. Although so sad to learn about his death it must be equally rewarding to know more about your father's great uncle and each year be able to put some history behind your gratitude for his sacrifice on Anzac Day. As you say, we should have learnt from that terrible war, but civilisation has a long way to go still.

  10. What an impressive and touching story, Jill!

  11. We visited the memorial in Melbourne when we were there in March.

  12. There was a strong Australian and New Zealand military presence in Penang. The commander lived in my building since they no longer have a base that houses them. I began to learn a little about your country's Anzac Day tradition through them.Your story about Norman is both touching and sad. That project of identifying all the men in that battalion photo is daunting but a good tribute to them. Even though it's been 100 years, they will not be forgotten. By the way, I hope you have a chance to stop by and read my post. I was taking some wildflower photos and the many wonderful photos you've taken were on my mind as I was attempting to capture something good. I just wanted you to know that you've inspired me.

  13. Wow, what indepth information, great work. My Grandfather was in the 12th Battilion and left Fremantle on the Medic and fortunately returned and later served in WWII. I wrote a tribute for him on Anzac and would love you to have a read. http://www.aholeinmyshoe.com/lest-we-forget/ Thank you for sharing your story of your Great Uncle.

  14. All these shots are great, Jill. I love the pyramid shot, and it would be great to be able to identify your uncle. My Dad and his 3 brothers were in Europe in WW2, but Dad never talks about it much. Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

  15. I am filled with equal parts of admiration for those young men who sacrificed themselves so far from home, and rage at the politics that put them there. It's so difficult to imagine an entire generation where everyone had a family member or knew someone who was killed - I hope those days never return.


I hope you have enjoyed your visit to my blog. Thank you for stopping by and for taking the time to comment. I read and very much appreciate every comment and love hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return.