Former Bulldog Andrew Ryan and Wests Tigers player Mark O'Neill have come together to tell stories of a former service persons that has an affiliation with their respective club.
The video also features The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP, director of the Australian War Memorial, in an emotive piece to camera talking about what ANZAC means and the partnership with the NRL.
3014 Corporal Alfred Bray, 3rd Battalion (Bulldogs Affiliation)
Alfred Bray enlisted in the AIF at Holsworthy Camp in August 1915, and embarked for Egypt with a reinforcement group for the 18th Battalion in December 1915. The fighting on Gallipoli had ended by the time he arrived, although the 18th Battalion spent the following months training at Tel-el-Kebir near Cairo. Bray was transferred to the 3rd Battalion as part of the ‘doubling up’ of the AIF, and embarked for the fighting on the Western Front in March 1916. He participated in the fighting at Pozières and Mouquet Farm throughout July and August, and was transferred to the 1st Australian Division School of Instruction in December. Promoted to corporal after returning to his unit, Bray was sent to the 1st Training Battalion at Perham Downs in England, where he helped train fresh reinforcements from Australia before they proceeded to the Western Front. Bray returned to the fighting in October 1917 towards the end of the Third Battles of Ypres, whereupon he was slightly wounded in the leg by German shrapnel while the battalion was in billets near Ypres. Bray remained with the battalion until the German spring offensive, whereupon he was gassed during a German attack near Strazeele in July 1918. Evacuated to Le Havre where he spent several weeks recovering, he later suffered from a heart condition that necessitated his evacuation to England. Bray never returned to France. He was transferred to the No. 2 Command Depot at Weymouth in September where men too sick or injured were accommodated before they were repatriated to Australia. He returned to Australia in December 1918 and was discharged from the AIF in five months later.
17248 Driver Roy Liston, 2nd Field Company Engineers (Tigers Affiliation)
Having enlisted at Moore Park in Sydney in December 1916, Roy Liston embarked for the training camps in England in May 1917 with a reinforcement group for the Field Company Engineers. After several months training on the Salisbury Plain, Liston embarked for the Western Front in March 1918 and was assigned to the 2nd Field Company Engineers which were still in their winter positions near Hollebeke in Belgium. As an engineer, Liston helped construct trenches, bridges, tunnels, observation posts, roads and railways, and repair them when they were shelled by German artillery. He helped construct bridges, pontoons and strong points in the defence of Hazebrouck and Strazeele during the German spring offensive, and then participated in the Battle of Amiens on 8 August 1918 and the advance to the Hindenburg Line that followed – repairing pumps and wells, constructing water troughs for supply horses and water bottle filling points for the advancing infantry. Liston remained with the 2nd Field Company Engineers until the signing of the armistice, after which he returned to England and was briefly attached to AIF Headquarters in London. He returned to Australia in March 1919, and was discharged soon after.