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A Letter of Thanks from the Military

envelope front

envelope back

letter 1916

DESCRIPTION: a letter written to my great grandpa John Beavis “JB” Randell from Lieutenant Colonel Hanson at the Keswick Barracks in South Australia
DATE: 19 December 1916
CURRENT OWNER OF THE ITEM: Alan Phillips
STORY/ABOUT: This is one of those small ephemera items that was still in it’s original envelope just waiting to be discovered. As I’m nosey, I had to have a look to see what it was all about.
It was a thankyou letter from the Australian Military thanking JB Randell for arranging for the mother of a WW1 solider to who died whilst a Prisoner of War to be advised.
That WW1 soldier was Raymond Holstein Pflaum from Blumberg (now Birdwood), and no doubt my great grandpa knew the family through the Baptist church amongst other things.
It is so sad as Raymond signed up in 1915 when he was only 18, and was reported missing-in-action while fighting in France only a year later. A few months after that it was confirmed that he died in a POW camp in Germany. That would have been heartbreaking news for any family to receive, but I have do believe the ‘not knowing’ would have been worse.
You can view Raymond Pflaum’s military records from the National Archives of Australia online here.

One Response to “A Letter of Thanks from the Military”

  1. Alan Phillips says:

    J.B. Randell was not an ordained minister (Reverend). He was lay pastor of Birdwood Baptist Church for a time, where the Pflaum family attended. Four Pflaum brothers served in the war, two of them losing their lives. The Baptist church there was named Peace Memorial church in 1916. In 1929 it ceased to be a specifically Baptist church and became Birdwood United Church (not to be confused with the Uniting Church).

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