SITTING in a rocking chair with a card in his hand, Ronald McDonald read a poem written by a mother in 1917 who would never see her son again.
“How his life was spent we know not, what his last word, look or thought,” the poem read.
“Only that he did his duty, died as bravely as he fought.”
Mr McDonald’s aunty, Agnes, was engaged to Private George Sayner who went to war in France.
But he never came back and his body was not found.
When Mr McDonald’s mum saw his aunty Agnes’ grief, she wrote to George’s mum who replied with the poem inside a card thanking her for her sympathy.
The card reminded Mr McDonald, now almost 90, of a promise he made his own mother 40 years ago before she died.
“Mum gave me the card before she died and said it was something to remember my aunty by,” Mr McDonald said.
“Every time I read that verse, I get a lump in my throat — it’s beautiful.
“I promised mum I’d try and find out what happened to him.”
Mr McDonald has since contacted the Albury RSL, which was able to find his service number, 2250, and that he had served with the 43rd Battalion.
Private Sayner was 25 when he died on June 10, 1917.
He hasn’t been able to find the full story, but Mr McDonald wanted to share his family’s experience during the war.
Private Sayner’s name appears at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium.
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