Wallace Sharpe. WW1 Photograph Album

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Wallace Sharpe. WW1 Photograph Album
Uplifting News
Image by Kiama.Library
Just prior to ANZAC Day, 2014, Kiama Library was visited by Sarah Johnston, the great grand niece of Gerringong WW1 soldier, Wallace Sharpe. Sarah very kindly made available to us scans made of Wallace’s WW1 photograph albums. These images give a unique view into the life of a Lighthorseman.

Wallace Sharpe did not follow the family tradition of farming. Instead, he worked with his Uncle, Will Nelson in his Gerringong general store. Often riding his horse to outlying parts of the district, Wallace was very popular and likeable, of good moral character, and fine manly qualities. He also played tennis with the Gerringong Tennis Club.

Enlisting on 29th July, 1915, Wally, as he was familiarly called, joined the 6th Light Horse Regiment, 16th Reinforcement, embarking from Sydney on 3rd May 1916 on HMAT Hymettus, leaving his home, “Aorangi” in Gerringong, forever.

The First Battle of Amman aimed at cutting the Hejaz railway line running south from Damascus. The operation began on 22 March 1918 with the building of bridges across the River Jordan. Rain made going extremely difficult, but by the evening of the 25th, the village of Es Salt had been taken. On the morning of the 27th, the attack began on Amman. About 3,000 Allied soldiers faced 4,000 Turks in well prepared positions, supported by machine-guns and fifteen artillery pieces.

The Turkish resistance, bolstered by the German Asia Corps, proved impossible to overcome. By 2nd April, the Allies had withdrawn. The venture had cost 118 killed and 55 missing from the Mounted Division. (Ency. Of Australia’s Battles. Coulthard-Clark)

According to a Red Cross Report:

“Informant states that on the 28/3/18, the Regiment was in action against the Turks at Amman east of the River Jordan in Palestine. During the advance, Sharpe was hit by machine gun fire, together with two or three others. Informant was about 50 yards away, and saw all the men hit, lying on the
ground. He recognised Sharpe who was still alive.”

“I knew Sergeant Sharpe by sight. He was a tall man standing about 6ft. of big build, dark, clean shaved. He went out with Liet. Ridgway’s party, when they made an unsuccessful attack on Aman. We were in support; Ringrose was the only man of the party who returned. He reported that everyone of them had been hit. This was on the 28th March, 1918. Another attack was made on Amman 6 months after this and the place was taken. Some of us went out to see the place where Liet. Ridgeway’s party had been attacked.The dead bodies were lying there just as they had fallen, and we buried them. Sharpe was identified by some of the men. Sharpe was one of the most popular men in the Regiment – He was a great leader of men.”

Back on the home front, for nearly a year the family lived in anxiety and suspense,
not knowing whether 27 year old Wallace was alive or dead. Finally they received the bad news – previously he was reported missing.

The memorial Service to Sergeant Sharpe was conducted by the Rev. W.T. Hooker in the Gerringong Congregational Church. The rostrum was draped with the Union Jack and Australian flag. In the centre was placed a large wreath of white flowers with streamers of Sergt. Sharpe’s Battalion colours (red and green). The whole service was uplifting, a note of triumph ran through it all, in prayers, readings, anthems, hymns and address from Romans 14:7-8.

Wallace has a memorial inside the Gerringong Uniting Church and a plaque at the Jerusalem Memorial. Panel 58.

Image Courtesy Sarah Johnston.

Ten Cool Things Seen in the First Year of LRO
Uplifting News
Image by NASA Goddard Photo and Video
Mountains on the Moon

On the Earth, we are taught that mountains form over millions of years, the result of gradual shifting and colliding plates. On the moon however, the situation is quite different. Even the largest lunar mountains were formed in minutes or less as asteroids and comets slammed into the surface at tremendous velocities, displacing and uplifting enough crust to create peaks that easily rival those found on Earth. On a few occasions in the past year, NASA has tilted the angle of LRO to do calibrations and other tests. In such cases the camera has the opportunity to gather oblique images of the lunar surface like the one featured here of Cabeus Crater providing a dramatic view of the moon’s mountainous terrain. Cabeus Crater is located near the lunar south pole and contains the site of the LCROSS mission’s impact. Early measurements by several instruments on LRO were used to guide the decision to send LCROSS to Cabeus. During the LCROSS impact LRO was carefully positioned to observe both the gas cloud generated in the impact, as well as the heating at the impact site.

Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

To see the other nine images go to: www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/LRO/news/first-year.html

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation’s largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.

The Story of Linda Hailey
Uplifting News
Image by Kevin Gebhardt
Photo Story
by Kevin Gebhardt for WCHI NEWS

The switch was flipped and Daley Plaza was aglow with the spectacularly beautiful Christmas tree that is the centerpiece of the plaza’s seasonal Christkindlmarket. A wonderful symbol of joy and celebration that marks the most uplifting aspects of our human condition, among which are faith, hope and charity.

Linda Hailey also witnessed the tree lighting ceremony. To the gathered crowd she pleaded, “Please bless me with spare change.” Most people ignored her appeal. Yet her message is more integral to the tree lighting than the commercial pleasures of the season.

Hailey exists in the margins of our peripheral sight. She is forced to beg for our charity out of desperation and hopelessness. Like many in Chicago, she is suffering from financical struggles and is looking for ways to make a little extra to survive. “I never thought it come to this,” she says. The change she collects goes towards the smaller things like laundry or a cup of coffee. She lives in a group home for disabled senior citizens. Her rent is subsidized by government assistance and she lives on food stamps to survive.

As most of us enjoy the bounty of holiday feasts, 42.2 million Americans will be on food stamps – according to the Economic Policy Institute – or about as many people living in California and Connecticut combined, according to U.S. News & World Report. And a report by the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit government watchdog group, said that its Food Stamp Challenge program estimates that a person receiving such aid has a budget of about .25 per meal. As U.S. News suggests, a person on food stamps must buy an entire meal for less than the average cost of a cup of coffee.

Linda Hailey does not see herself as down and out. Her words are inspirational and enlightening. She says, “Never look down on people, regardless of what they make, what they own or what they do.” She deeply appreciates those who help her with her struggles. She shares the crowd’s upbeat mood and sense of wonderment that the blazing tree lights inspire. Hailey continues to be engaged with life. She is proud to have been politically active. She has supported races for Governor and President and marched for causes that she believes in. She is hopeful for her future.

Most importantly, she is here, with us, among us, living a life of struggles and celebrations. The Daley Plaza tree is lit for all of us who live by the core values of faith, hope and charity. Some simply need a little more than others.

As I am inspired by the tree, I am reminded of its meaning by Linda Hailey.

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