Robert honours his father’s legacy at Yuleba Dawn Service
“IT’S a legacy.”
Those were the words of Yuleba-born man Robert Leicht after seeing his own father, World War 1 veteran Charles Henry Leicht, adorning one side of the new Yuleba War Memorial.
Private Light Horse Trooper Leicht was one of dozens of names listed on the new structure, which was the centre of Anzac Day commemorations in the old Bendemere Shire on Monday.
Robert, who was one of Pte Leicht’s 10 children, told the Western Star of his father’s service during WW1 in Egypt and Lybia and medical discharging in 1917 due to contact with mustard gas.
But he said he couldn’t tell any of his father’s stories – because Charles never talked about it.
“He never talked to me or my brothers about his time – he suffered over the years health-wise; he was not a well man,” Robert said.
“I would say he did face combat – I do (wish he’d talked about his experiences), but like most soldiers he never did.”
After working in several jobs around the Bendemere Shire, the family moved to Toowoomba when Robert was just 12 months old, where they became well-regarded.
The new war memorial, designed with consultation from the Yuleba and built by Dan Murray, was meant to have a modern look from the outset and is perfectly in line with the community hall on the other side of the railway tracks.
“The connection between the hall and war memorial was very important,” community member Paul Masson said.
“It’s also attractive enough for people to stop and look at the names.”
Veterans their descendants from across wars and conflicts converged on the dawn service to honour the sacrifice made by members of our defence force.
Vietnam veteran Don Roberts said while they come from different time periods, all diggers followed the same Anzac spirit.
“Out of all of this came the legacy of doing your best, sticking by your mates and that carries today,” he said.
“When we were over there, we asked ourselves whether we were honouring the Anzacs – as in, are we going to measure up?”