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Family finds WW1 soldier

  • Family finds WW1 soldier

Family finds missing WW1 soldier

A Wangaratta family has finally received closure, after a local soldier killed in World War 1 has been identified.

Judith Douthie's great uncle, Captain Kenneth Malcolm Mortimer has been formally identified by the 2018 Fromelles Identification Board.

The process involves many specialists including anthropologists, archeologists, DNA specialists, as well as artefacts and historical records to aid the process.

Federal Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester, has told the Wangaratta Chronicle that "One hundred years later, Australia has not forgotten the service and sacrifice of these soldiers"

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Capt. Mortimer was one of 7 boys, a Wangaratta Agricultural High School student, and was described as a well liked and charismatic person.

Ms Douthie has said that "it's just amazing, after 102 years" and that Capt. Mortimer has always been kept very much alive throughout the generations of family. Family have "always wondered what happened", brothers and other members wrote letters to the War Department and Prisoners of War requesting information.

Capt. Mortimer's last known location was crawling through the trenches with his friend Capt. Sheridan, who was found in the pits at Pheasant Wood in France. This had given the family hopes of finding Capt. Mortimer nearby.

Capt. Mortimer's mother survived to age 96 and is known to have asked other serving brothers "what do you think happened to Ken?".

Ms. Douthie has a personal passion for family history and was involved in many years of research, efforts and of course waiting. But she never gave up. Ms. Douthie has said that it is also thanks to the many efforts of volunteer Royce Atkinson from Unrecovered War Casualties that her family finally has closure to the whereabouts of Capt. Mortimer.