Family’s Anzac spirit shines at march

Sixty members of the Ashenden family gathered in Mount Gambier to attend the Anzac Day Service on Monday with 10 members joining the annual march.

Family members ranged from four-weeks-old to 80-years-old travelled from all over Australia to honour the late Stirling “Ash” Ashenden who was a life member and past president of the Mount Gambier RSL and who would have turned 100 in April, while another family member celebrated their 80th birthday on Anzac Day.

Mr Ashenden was a 2/27th Battalion returned soldier of World War II serving in the same battalion as four of his bothers, all of who made it home.

He received a soldier settler block in the South East between Lucindale and Millicent where he and his wife lived for nearly 30 years before moving to Mount Gambier.

Mr Ashenden’s daughter Joan said when her father passed away 20 years ago on April 23 the whole family marched on Anzac Day in his honour, with the family gathering again this year to recreate the event.

“We are honouring mum and dad and the fact we are all direct descendants of them,” she said.

“This was an idea that was created between my brother Rex and I a couple of years ago and this is the outcome of that planning.

“I am really pleased that despite COVID-19 we can have the borders open and our family can travel from other states.

“Some of us have not seen one another for 12 years so it is great to catch up on each other’s lives.

“I have spent some time putting together a folder of historical information and anecdotes of our family for the younger generations to read about.”

Family members also took a nostalgic trip to Lucindale visiting the museum and soldier settler’s block for family members to unearth their history.

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