Sunday, October 9, 2011

THE AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL CANBERRA



During the last school holidays i went to the war memorial to see the WW1 collection. We were able to find some interesting articles from the time of Keith Anderson's operations in Belgium/ France. 



A map of the Western Front.



There was also a flying boot from the Barron Von Richtohfen which survived his crash. Anderson would have needed something like it to fly at freezing altitudes.



A Captured German Albatross - one of the most deadly fighter aircraft of WW1
A Camel like the one Anderson would have flown
A WW1 Poster of Aircraft
An SE5 like the one's Flown by RAF and RAC





We paid our respects to the unknown soldier buried at the War Memorial before leaving.
LEST WE FORGET


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

KEITH ANDERSON's 113th Birthday Wednesday 6 July 2011

WEDNESDAY 6 JULY 2011 - OUR VISIT TO
NORTHERN SUBURBS CREMATORIUM
SOUTH ROSE GARDEN
LYAL (BON) MAUD TATE (HILLIARD)
Bon's ashes were scattered in this garden (1982)
199 Delhi Rd, North Ryde.



Me and My Brother Searched for Bon's name but nothing was found.




SOME ROSES.. Symbolic... from Bon Hilliard's garden 
to Keith Anderson for his Birthday!

KEITH ANDERSON's MEMORIAL 6 JULY 2011


Keith Anderson in Rawson Park only 14 km from Bon Hilliard's
Rose Garden 



Keith would Have been 113 Years Old Today!


Keith was Buried here on his 31st Birthday in 1929



A typical Sponge Cake. Like he would have had in the 1920's.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEITH ANDERSON.

Keith Anderson and his FiancĂ©, Bon Hilliard share a moment
(Photo: Fitzsimons, P. "Charles Kingsford Smith and those Magnificent Men") 


"The Passing Years shall leave him Ageless Loved and Unforgot"

NOT FORGOTTEN.



Sunday, June 26, 2011

Map of 73Sqn Action In France - Anderson At War

We know Keith Anderson was borne in Perth Australia and lived in South Africa, working as a clerk in the Education Department for "Whites" when he joined the Royal Air Corps. After his training he joined 73 Sqn and was sent to the front line in France on 24th February 1918 (He would have been 19 years Old).

We know 73 Sqn was sent to France in January 1918 and saw action over Lietres (73Sqn's Base) ; Bethune; Fleurbaix; Menen; Boesinghe. On 1 April 1918 Keith Anderson was made a lietenant in the newly formed Royal Air Force. Keith Anderson returned to England and was posted to the "Home Establishment" (Like the Home Defence Force shooting down Enemy "Blimps" bombing England etc) on 6th April 1918.

Anderson was Posted Back to the "Independent Force France" on 23rd October 1918The Armactice was signed three weeks later on 11 November 1918.

The map also shows "The Somme" lines in 1916 to the South of 73Sqns lines in Northern France.  








From Wikapedia on 73 SQN
The first offensive patrols over enemy lines took place on 18 February 1918. On the 20th, all 18 Camels, divided into three 'Flights' patrolled a line between Roeselare and Menin and the first combat report was completed by Captain Gus Orlebar, submitting that an Albatros D.V may have been damaged. It was the start of a combat record that would show ten aces serving in the squadron, including Owen BaldwinGavin L. GrahamWilliam StephensonWilliam Henry HubbardEmile John LussierRobert ChandlerNorman CooperMaurice Le Blanc-SmithThomas Sharpe, and future Air Vice-Marshal Geoffrey Pidcock.

[edit]Aircraft used

As at 1 October 1917, the squadron had the following aircraft:
'A' Flight:
'B' Flight:
'C' Flight:
  • 1 Avro
From November 1917, the squadron began to re-equip entirely with Sopwith Camels powered by 130 hp Clerget engines. By the time it deployed to France in January 1918, the Squadron had 18 Camels, which it retained throughout the rest of the Great War.








Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Keith Anderson Diary & Photos - Permission Sally Douglas

The Keith Anderson Diary photo is Eric's as is the Aboriginal trackers (I'm fairly sure) - Eric was the only one in the RAAF party with a camera but he had to hand in his negatives to the RAAF. The Hitchcock and Anderson photo was sent by Milton Kent for my father to copy - Eric may have done the print himself - I do remember him developing his own photos
I'm happy for you to use these on the blog

Sally 


Diary -
"Page 1.
Diary 10/4/29 to  /4/29.
Forced landed here 2.35 p.m. 10th April, 1929, thru push rod loosening No 2 cylinder cutting out x (x as at Algebuckna a.m. 9/4/1929 but temporarily fixed K.V.A. exhaust valve and 25h.p. Cleared bit of a runway here which turned out insufficient or engine coincidentally lost power. Since 12/4/29 all efforts of course next to nil thru having no water to drink except solutions of urine with oil, petrol  methylated from compass.
Directed on obtaining sufficient power from engine to point of successful take off.
No take off able to be attempted since 11/4/29 due to increased debilitation, thirst, heat, dust, flies. Left Stuart (Alice Springs) 7.15 a.m. local time and followed telegraph for 100 miles.
Page 2.
which was intention. Cut off then direct for point between Wave Hill and Ord River Downs. On a/c. cross wind and inaccurate compass and having practically only sun for guidance as large map showed only featureless desert determined to above on norrard of course which am sure have done as was in the air 7 hours. 7 a.m. Pretty confident had duckpond on my starboard. I figure the position to be".

Eric wrote this in long hand and also had it typed and now I've word-processed it . The diary is in the WA Museum and I viewed it a few years ago - they hadn't had it out of storage for about 30 years and when I was there they decided to make a storage box for it - I had to go to their storage depot out of Perth. It was a sobering and mindful moment for me to view the Diary.

Bobby Hitchcock and Keith Anderson in front of the Kookaburra 
(Possibly taken just before leaving at Richmond NSW)

Photo of Kookaburra in Tanami - Permission Sally Douglas



This picture was taken by Eric Douglas. It shows the "Kookaburra" Registration "AUKA" (AU - for Australia; KA for Keith Anderson) with the Grave of Hitchcock under its wing. 

Eric Douglas' Story - Permission from Sally Douglas

Eric Douglas' Story
 Commanding Officer - 3 AD Amberley – July 1942 to November 1948 (possibly to early 1949)
Duties - Formation of No 3 Aircraft Depot RAAF Amberley and it’s build up of Workshops, and ancillary sections to a self contained unit of 1600 (RAAF) personnel. (Eric’s notes)
In 1947 there were 94 Civilian staff associated with Amberley and the ancillary bases mentioned below. Of course there were also many US Servicemen stationed at Amberley during this period and there was also quite a village ‘off’ the Air base at Amberley – were many of the RAAF Airmen lived. It is only in fairly recent times that many of these old wooden houses have been removed. The US Servicemen included many Afro-Americas who were heavily involved in conveys, transporting aeroplanes and parts of aeroplanes to and from Amberley. There were also many top-ranking US Colonels – Reed, Gilchrist and Majors – Millard; to name a few. Of course there were many visits by Chiefs of the RAAF and other dignitaries; including the Duke of Gloucester, and Lord Montgomery (to Archerfield)
RAAF Aircraft at Amberley during that period included – The Anson, Beaufighter, Beaufort, Beechcraft, Boomerang, Dakota, Gipsy Major, Liberator, Mitchell, Mosquito, Mustang, Scout Fighter, Spitfire, Vampire [1948 demo flight – I was lifted into the cockpit by my father], Vengeance, Ventura and Wirraway (Eric’s notes)
Other aircraft in the skies over Amberley included – the Aerocobra, Black Widow, Boston, Catalina, Commando, Corsair, Dauntless, Flying Fortress, Hudson, Kingcobra, Kittyhawk, Lancaster, Lancastrian, Lightening, Lincoln Bomber, Maurader, Percival Gull, Rapide, Skymaster, Superfortress, Tiger Moth, York, Waco Glider and Wapiti.
Other areas under Eric’s command in Queensland were – Archerfield, Lowood, Charleville, and Kingaroy. (Eric’s notes)
While Oakey (Eric made solo return flights from Amberley to Oakey) and Warwick also linked in with Amberley.
Mentioned by Eric are 3AD (Amberley), 82 living and ADHQ in 1946. (Eric’s notes)
Aircraft Storage of ‘Mosquito’ – (likely 1946) – 3AD – Category B - 22, Category A – 10; Lowood – Category B – 21, Category E – 3, Kingaroy – Category E – 7 ie Total of 63.
Total Storage of Aircraft as at 30/9/1946 was 339. (Eric’s notes)
Eric was also instrumental in developing and opening up new runways at Amberley – initially we lived in the (local) Amberley School house and later in a house that was virtually at the end of the main runway and made up of two (pre-fabricated) sections with an outside lobby or landing in between – that is where the kegs of beer were kept. One section contained what we called ‘the ballroom’ (which was often used for entertaining and dancing – by Eric as C/O), the main bedroom and a bathroom – the other section contained the kitchen and a dining/living room and a couple of small bedrooms. It was all very modest and austere in keeping with those war and post-war days.  There was often a RAAF drill that went past the house and I had a perfect view hanging over the fence and could enjoy seeing who was in step and who wasn't and being the ‘boss’s daughter’ could call out and let them know – earning some quick sly looks.
In the latter stages, the road from Rosewood to Ipswich crossed over the main runway at Amberley and there were gates on both sides of the airstrip. So vehicle traffic was often banked up, waiting to drive across the main runway in either direction. A bit like a railway crossing these days - but now of course it is all off limits.
At the back of our house were aircraft hangers and on the other side of the airstrip aeroplanes of seemingly all types lined up – their days of use over. Some were under dark camouflage nets and obviously were secret or had further days of use. At the other end of the main runway was the creek and that was too far and not the place for me to adventure to – although my (older) brother Ian spent many hours there enjoying himself swimming and ‘mucking around’ with his mates and  ‘the troops’.

Eric Douglas' Stetson Hat that he wore - Permission Sally Douglas

Eric Douglas' Log Book - With Permission from Sally Douglas



FINDING ANDERSON - Eric Douglas' Statement - With permission Sally Douglas


Photo of Douglas and Eaton Returning to Point Cook after their Journey to Tanami.


I, Sergeant Douglas, of the R.A.A.F. of Melbourne state:-
On 24th, April, 1929, in company with Flight Lieutenant Eaton and Mr Moray, I left Wave Hill station en route to the bodies of Lieut. Anderson and Mechanic Hitchcock, in the vicinity of their Westland G-AUKA aeroplane.
I arrived there at one (1) o’clock P.M. on the 29th April,1929.
The bodies were situate about eighty (80) miles, direct air line, East South East of Wave Hill.
The body of the mechanic Hitchcock was lying under the right wing of the aeroplane. The body was lying on its right side, with the head resting in the palm of the hand.
Through being decomposed, the features of the man were unrecognisable, but deceased had brown hair, round features, and was about 5 feet 7 inches, or 5 feet 8 inches in height - stout built. There was also a bandage on the left leg of the body: this, and the fact that he left Alice Springs with Anderson after treatment at the hospital there led me to the conclusion that it was Hitchcock's body.
The deceased was not personally known to me.
The registration marks and name on the aeroplane corresponded with the one for which Lieut. Eaton and myself were searching.
After a further search round we found the body of Anderson about four hundred and forty (440) yards from the machine.
Papers close to the body showed him to be Lieutenant Keith Anderson.
Deceased was unknown to me personally.
In company with Lieutenant Eaton and Mr Moray I buried the bodies.
(Signed)
(by E Douglas)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The RAAF used Wave Hill Cattle Station as a base and a team went into the Tanami to the "Kookaburra" -
Flight Lieutenant Charles Eaton - Officer in Charge of the RAAF search, Sergeant Pilot Eric Douglas, Mr Moray (Lawrence) of Vestys and based at Wave Hill, Mr Moray's 1928 single seater Buick car, 3 Aboriginal trackers and 26 horses. The RAAF aeroplanes (DH9A's) flew overhead at times indicating the way to the "Kookaburra"

"Two of our aeroplanes then appeared overhead and by dipping, they indicated the direction which we should take; they then flew over to our left and made landings on the nearby clay pan which we could partly see through the scrub, several miles away. Flight Lt. Eaton went across to them on horseback accompanied by the station hand "Sambo" as a guide, and met F/O. Ryan and F/O. Gerrand. Later they returned with a supply of salt beef and Flight Lt. Eaton informed us that he told F/O. Ryan we intended shortly to abandon the car and take to the horses..."
Eric said that the trackers were Daylight, Sambo and Jimmy (likely the Jamama that Charles mentioned)
The trek into the Tanami and back took 8 days - many of the horses perished through thirst

----------------------------------------------------------------


...Distances traversed by land party
(a) By Flight Lt. Eaton, Sgt Douglas & Mr Moray - by car 84 miles and by horses 140 miles.
(b) By natives and horses - 265 miles.
(by C Eaton (snr)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The DH9A that Pilot Officer M. Allen  was flying was destroyed after permission was sought by Flight Lt Eaton from the Air Board - Eric had made a local test flight and reported that it was using excessive oil - the test was to check the oil consumption

Flight Lt Eaton's DH9A crashed and soon after instruments were removed from the cockpit
That is two.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------






Monday, June 20, 2011

Eaton and Douglas information

I am going to contact Charles and Sally for permission to post some of the information they have sent me

Contacting the experts

Over the past few months some interesting people have viewed and commented on my blog. These people include Dr. Charles Eaton (the son of GpCpt Charles "Moth" Eaton) and Mrs Sally Douglas (daughter of GpCpt Eric Douglas) who were the men who found Anderson and Hitchcock in the Tanimi Desert and buried them where they lay beside their aircraft. Dr. Charles Eaton and Sally Douglas have provided a great deal of personal information from their father's diaries and log books. In 1929 "Moth" Eaton was a Flt Lt pilot and Eric Douglas was a Sgt pilot in the RAAF. "Moth" Eaton was incharge of five DH9A bi-planes sent to fly from Laverton RAAF to search for Anderson in the northern parts of Australia.

According to their log books they flew for up to five hours per day in very harsh conditions logging about 50 hrs flying for the whole trip. The aircraft had lots of spare parts and five mechanics to keep them flying. However it is worth noting that of the five aircraft three were destroyed or damaged beyond repair during the mission and only two returned to Point Cook. Even with all that support they lost most of their planes, so what chance did Anderson and Hitchcock have trying to do this on their own... None!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Keith Anderson's Home in South Africa?

Could this be Keith Andersons "home" in South Africa? This is 2 Wigtown Rd, Green Point, Cape Town (Top and Middle Photo's). The home appears to have a recent (1960's) upper floor extension. There are Villas behind the house (bottom photo on "Sydney Street") and could have been one big complex on a large block of land. There is no reference to Wightown Villas on Google and locals say they dont know of any place called Wightown.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Southern Cross Minor Wreckage

Bert Hinkler's Avro Avian Cirus

Southern Cross on Display

Anzac Day 2011

As you may have noticed i have not writen in a while and that is because school exams and assignments have taken over. Thank goodness for holidays. We went to Queensland and visited The Southern Cross an display at Brisbane airport. The Southern Cross was named by Keith Anderson but sadley no-where is a reference to Keith Anderson and his input into this historic aircraft. We went to the Brisbane Museum at Southbank where two major exhibits from Keith Andersons eara are on display. One Bert Hinkler's historic flight in his Avro Avion from England to Australia in 1928 and two the original wreckage of the Southern Cross Minor of which Bill Lancaster died in 1933 attempted to fly from London to Cape Town. The name Southern Cross has a distinked conection to Keith Anderson.(see photos) Anzac Day 2011 was again celebrated at Tangalooma on Moreton Island off Brisbane at a beach setting. The dawn service was very cold and raining heavylily soaking our Scout uniforms anlong side numerous police, ambulance and returned servicemen listening to the War Memorial Broadcast on ABC radio and. The Australian flag was raised on the beach as reveille was played and we remembered those gallant servicemen who died.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Keith Anderson's "Record of Service"

I was able to get a copy of Anderson's "Record of Service" from the nice people at the AWM. We also know that Keith Anderson was born in Perth on the 6th of July 1898.

Anderson joined the Royal Flying Corps on the 11th of April 1917.

Before that in Cape Provincial Educational Office and was living at :
2 Wightown Villas, Green Point, Cape Town, South Africa. (since discovered that there was most likely an address mistake..Should be 2 Wigtown Villas, Green Point, Cape Town). The 'H' on the Quirky keyboard is next to the 'G' and this may account for the mistake. Also, Google Maps shows an address matching Wigtown and the photo shows a brick house of the 1910's period that has had a upper floor added. 

At this point in time Anderson was 18 years old.
Keith Anderson was posted to 2 Offices Cadet Wing on the 11th on April 1917.

Keith Anderson was then posted to No. 2 School of Aeronautics on 27th of July.

Keith Anderson was appointed as 2nd Lt (on probation) R.F.C. on the 30th of August 1917.

His next posting was 89 sqn on 28th of September 1917.

Then he was promoted to Flying officer on the 14th of December 1917.

Keith Anderson was posted to 73 sqn in France on the 24th February 1918.(he would have been 19 years old by then and going to war).

Keith Anderson was Transfered as a Lieutanent to the newly formed Royal Air Force on the 1st of April 1918.

Anderson was posted to the "Home Establishment" on the 6th of April 1918.

Anderson found himself posted to No. 14 Training Depot on the 6th of June 1918.

Anderson was then posted to No. 1 Fighting School on the 10th of August 1918.

His posting was to the "Independant Force France" the 23rd of October 1918.

The Armistice came into affect on the 11th of  November 1918 which affectivly ment that Anderson didn't have a job anymore.

Anderson was then posted to No. 32 Training Depot Station on the 5th of December 1918.

Anderson was then posted to No. 2 Training Depot Station on the 5th of February 1919.

Anderson's next posting was to the Repatriation Camp, Blandford on the 5th of May 1919.

Anderson then finds himself transfered to the "Unemployed List" on the 6th of October 1919 aged 21.

Lt. Keith Vincent Anderson Relinquished his Commission on the 1st of September 1921. He was permitted to retain his rank.

Anderson in WW1

So what did Keith Anderson do during World War 1? In order to answer this question we need to find his diary, pilot's log book, so we contacted the Mossman RSL for any information that they might have because they were involved with Anderson's funeral in 1929. However they were unable to provide any useful information. I used the internet to research the Imperial War Museum and the UK National  Archives in London but this was a dead end. We spoke to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on two occasions without any success. After hours of research on the AWM website we found a minor referance to his name and rang the research departmant for more information. There was some information in the private collection that is only avalible to see in person as there may be copyright issues. The research staff were fantastic. They went out of their way to search for the unknown document which turned out to be Anderson's "record of service". His birthdate, his name and his referance to 73 sqn match perfectly and we can be confidant that this is the same person. The AWM staff  sent a copy of his "record of service" via email as it was not copyright. This document is a goldmine of information and tells his us a story about his wartime adventures.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Finding Anderson's Birthday

So we have been trying to find out Keith Anderson's birthday for a long, long time because none of the records show his birthday, not even his grave. I tried the NSW births, deaths, and marriages records and it showed me nothing, so then i tried the WA births, deaths, and marriages records which revealed his birthplace as Perth WA, registration number 35021898. His fathers name was Sidney Jerrold Anderson and his mothers name was Constance Willdridge. The record only showed his birth year which was 1898. We rang the WA births, deaths, and marriages department (1300 305 021) and they helped us look up his records on a micro film. They rang back the next day to tell me that Keith Anderson was born on the 6th of July 1898. Now comes the AMAZING part which was that he was buried the same day as his birthday only 31 years later on the 6th of July 1929. He died very young, he was only 30yrs and 9 months, he died on the 12 April 1929!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Looking for Keith Anderson's fience (Bon Hilliard)

So I have said some stuff about Keith Anderson's fience and you are probably wondering who that is well I will explain. Well you see we were looking through Peter Fitzsimons' book and it told us that Keith Anderson's fience said in her will that when she died she wanted her ashes spread over Keith Anderson's grave by plane, but Mossman Council refused to do that so I thought that we should make her wish come true and we should do that and the first thing we had to do was find out information on where she was.

So firstly I looked up births, deaths, and marriages, typed in "Tate" because that was her married name to her late husband Thomas (he died after 11yrs of married life) and we found that she got married to him in 1935 and her name was not really Bon Hilliard it was in fact "Lyal Maud Hilliard". Now that we know this information we could look at the "Ryerson" death index. So then I looked up Ryerson death notices which told me that there was a notice placed in the Sydney Morning Herald in June of 1982. Then we rang the Sydney Morning Herald which has a department that will search their advertised death notices for you. A day or so later the death notice was emailed to me which confermed her identity but stated she was privately cremated (location unknown). My father rang the Northern Suburbs Crematorium (being closeto Mossman) where a search of their records revealed that Lyal Tate's (Bon Hilliard's) ashes had been scattered amongst the rose bushes in the South garden.

We plan to visit Bon Hilliard and collect some roses and spread them over Keith Anderson's grave as a tribute to their undying love. We dont know where Thomas Tate is, but its interesting that Bon wanted to rest with Keith Anderson. She must have been overjoyed when Dick Smith gave her the telgram she sent keith Anderson just before he died, confirming her undying love for him. How amazing is that! We should never forget such stories of bravery, passion and emotion.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Learning about who Keith Anderson was

We sat next to Keith Anderson's grave and had a picnic while reading Peter Fitzsimons' book and found out so really interesting stuff about Charles Kingsford Smith and of course Keith Anderson. In the 4 hours we were sitting down under the tree what did i learn?

1. Keith Anderson was active in France and England during WW1 and shot down 3 Aircraft and drove several more down to the ground. Not sure on the rules of becoming an "Ace" but sounds like he should be recognised.
2. He met up with Kingsford Smith while flying mail in Westurn Australia.
3. Kingsford Smith was also a WW1 pilot then he returned to Australia after being shot in the foot.
4. Keith Anderson and Kingsford Smith met in WA while flying with various companies where they discussed their vision of flying across the great oceans.
5. Smithy wanted to fly across the Indian Ocean from South Africa to Australia.
6. Keith Anderson wanted to from across the Pacific Ocean to America.
7. Although they were both keen to do the trip nothing really happened until Charles Ulm came along and organised the Pacific Ocean trip.
8. Keith Anderson organised a fair bit of the money to pay for the trip and Ulm arranged for things to happen and for things to come in place.
9. Keith Anderson became good friends with Kingsford Smith's girlfriend Bon Hilliard who in a short itme was Keith Anderson's fience. From this time on there seemed  to be a clash in Keith Anderson and Kingsford Smith's friendship.
10. Anderson, Smithy, and Ulm traveled to America to purchase an aeroplane when Keith Anderson names it The Southern Cross.
11. After several months of getting no where, Keith Anderson returned to Australia to be with Bon Hilliard.
12. Kingsford Smith and Ulm sent a telegram to Keith Anderson informing him that they are ready to go. But Keith Anderson didn't go.
13. Kingsford Smith and Ulm fly across the Pacific but Keith Anderson was given no credit for his part or vision.
14. Kingsford Smith and Ulm needed another record to break and went missing on the coast of WA. This became know as the Coffee Royal incident.
15. Keith Anderson had purchased a second hand widgett monoplane six weeks before the Coffee Royal incident but it wasn't airworthy.
16. Hearing about Smithy being lost while at a pub in Sydney Anderson offered to go fing Smithy but needed funding. The pub owner offered to cover the expences.
17. Anderson and his friend Bobby Hitchcock set off from Richmond and landed in Alice Springs. After making some repairs they set off for WA in the hope of finding Smithy.
18. Normally pilots follow the telegraph lines but Keith Anderson took a shortcut across the Tanimi Desert. Unfortunatly he had engine trouble and had to land in the desert.
19. They had very little water. They couldn't take off because of the thick plants.
20. Anderson and Hitchcock died of dehydration.

Keith Anderson acheived so many great things in his very short life.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

We found Keith Anderson's grave

We downloaded images of Rawson Park, Mossman, loaded the car with a picnic and plugged the GPS in for Mossman. Along the way we drove past 68 Yoe St, where Kingsford Smith grew up. Unfortunaly this address is now Woolworth Supermarket. We parked near the Croquet Club on the north side of Rawson Park and  climbed the stairs in search of Keith Anderson.

We came across the Cricket oval and then Govenour Maquarie's carne and then a big stone cross further to the east. We were excited to find a plaque at the bass of the cross marking Keith Anderson's final resting place. There are no other graves at this location and the surrounding park is amazing. We sat down near the grave under a tree and thought about Keith Anderson's life while reading parts of Peter Fitzsimons' book " Kingsford Smith".

This trip was so worth the effort, made easier by the research we did before going there.

We need to explore more information about K A's life, his fience, and the reasons for him going to rescue Kingsford Smith in an unprepared aircraft.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Our vist to Keith Anderson

Some clues along the way. Google searches of Keith Anderson lead me to discovering the location of his remains. After Keith Anderson was found in the Tanami Desert (18DegS Lat, 137DegE Long) the Gouvernment was forced to recover the bodies of Keith Anderson and his mechanic Henry (Bobby) Hitchcock. Bobby Hitchcock's body was sent to Perth and Keith Anderson's back to Sydney. In my readings of the newspapers from the day Keith Anderson's funeral was amazing with 35,000 people lining the streets to his resting place, Rawson Park, Mossman. This man must have been a real legend in Australian history to atract this much attention in 1929. This is further evidence of  Keith Anderson's hero status. A search on Google Earth located Rawson Park in Mossman which showed a number of possible locations of Keith Anderson's grave. After speacking about it with my family we decided to take a day trip in attemp to find his grave with the addresses we had found.

I also discovered that Charles Kingsford Smith grew up at 68 Yeo St, Mossman which is just around the courner from Rawson Park where Keith Anderson is burried.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

WW1 History search

So today i emailed Peter Fitzsimons yesturday and i am glad to say he replied back to me today. He wrote back with words of encouragment on my journey to discover more about this fantastic man. Sadley he couldn't offer anymore information on the life and death of his fience Bon Hilliard. Unfortunatley i am finding it very difficult to get more information about Keith Andersons WW1 Service. I am hoping that discovering more about his post war life might lead me to his war time experiences.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Looking for information

I had a look at the internet for Keith Andersons WW1 history. He served with 73 sqn Royal Flying Core and managed to shoot down 6 enemy planes making him an Ace before returning to England then Australia. I looked up Peter Fitzsimons video to Mossman Library were he spoke about Keith Anderson and revieled his resting place at Rawson Park in Mossman. We intend to visit his grave this Sunday (the day after tommorow) to discover more about his life. I wrote to Dick Smith as he has visited the "Kookaburra" crash site. I have also written to Peter Fitzsimons to try and find out more about Keith Anderson's fience Bon Hilliard. News Paper articles from 1929 revieled that Keith Anderson's funeral was massive and over 35 000 people lined the streets to his resting place. This alone proves that Lt Keith Anderson was indeed a national hero.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

How did i find out about Keith Anderson

Well  I bet you are wondering how I know about Keith Anderson.
About a year ago my dad (who is a retired RAAF veteran of the Gulf War) was listening to an interview with Peter Fitzsimons about the new book "Charles Kingsford Smith". They were having a competition for a copy of the book and anyone who could answer the question "What beach was Charles Kingsford Smith rescued from on the 2nd of January 1907?" would win a copy. Dad knew the answer. Now you all probably listen to the radio and hear questions and you know the answer but you don't bother calling, well that's what my dad did. After dad had dropped me and my brother at school he got home and turned on the radio and still no one had called in and answered so my dad for the first time picked up the phone and called in. He got through to them and answered the the question CORRECTLY!! (by the way the answer is the famous Bondi Beach, Sydney NSW..Kingsford Smith was noted as being the first person saved by using a life saving rope mounted on a beach based drum in Australia) and got the book signed personally by Peter Fitzsimons. A few days later, my brother and myself got home from school and dad was flicking through a book that he said he had won. We all sat down reading it and in the book the author had references to Keith Anderson which dad drew my attention to.

I was amazed to hear some of Keith Anderson's adventures and wanted to learn more about this Australian hero who contributed so much to our early history.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Keith Anderson WW1 War Hero

This is the beggining of my journey into the life and history of one of of Australias forgotten aviation heros of WW1. I am inviting comments or questions that will contribute to Keith Anderson.