The Scottish grave of a young Bega war veteran is the site of a touching long-standing tribute.
Eric Courtney Campbell enlisted in the Australian Infantry in June 1918, listing his occupation as “dairyman” and address the historic Warragaburra property outside Bega. His parents were John and Wilhelmina Campbell of The Murrah.
However, his time in the 57th Battalion was short-lived. Private Campbell died of pneumonia in a military hospital in Edinburgh on February 2, 1919. He was only 19 years old at the time.
Along with 16 other WWI Diggers, Private Campbell is buried at the Comely Bank Cemetery in the Scottish capital.
Jim Allen, a veteran of the British Army who saw service during World War II, now lives in Edinburgh and lays flowers on their graves each Anzac Day.
He says the gravestone carries the message “son of Mr and Mrs Campbell of Bega NSW”.
Mr Allen wrote a special letter to Club Bega this week to let the local community know he still thinks of them and acknowledges the service of Private Campbell and the 16 other Diggers buried in his home town.
“In 1988 my wife and I visited Bega on Anzac Day and I had the privilege of marching to the Memorial Gates and attending the Bega RSL club for breakfast as a guest of the club president Percy,” Mr Allen wrote.
“I met several members of the Campbell family, accompanied by your local member Bill Abrahams now deceased.
“Each Anzac Day I attend the gravesite of the 16 Diggers buried here alongside Courtney and place a floral tribute. I will do so again this coming Anzac Day.
“I thought I should write this message to say that here in Edinburgh we respect the memories of your local Diggers who did not return from their exceptional service in the First World War.
“I myself, though wounded, did recover and have survived to this great age of 94.
“I am humbled to carry out this long standing tribute each year as the Bega community do in your lovely Australian town where Courtney left 100 years ago, not to return. Remembered still.”