Legacy of Maleny WW1 Digger honoured

By Sonia Isaacs Clark

NEARLY 105 years after his untimely death at the battle of Passchendaele, the legacy of Maleny WW1 Digger, Private (Pte) Tom Lillingstone, 41st Battalion AIF has been further remembered with the inclusion of his name on the Maleny Soldiers Memorial Hospital WW1 honour roll.

Ahead of Anzac Day, his niece and family historian Jill Lillingstone travelled from Melbourne to meet with hospital Director of Nursing Karen Croker to see the last remaining gold plaque on the honour board inscribed with her uncle’s name.

Jill said that while her uncle’s name had previously appeared on the WW1 honour board in the Maleny RSL hall, as well as on a plaque located along the ‘Walk of Remembrance’ next to the hospital, it had been accidentally overlooked on the WW1 honour board which had been moved over from the old hospital site. Jill said as Tom had only been married for a few days before leaving for war, he had no children, and with no living nephews or nieces apart from herself, she was dedicated to continuing to preserve his memory and the legacy of other diggers for future generations.

“Tom was a carpenter and dairyman who left Maleny in 1916, joining the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) to serve as a medic in WW1,” said Jill.

“I am very grateful and pleased to have his name included on the honour roll today as further recognition that the sacrifice of these men has been valued and not forgotten.”

Director of Nursing at the Maleny Soldiers Memorial Hospital, Karen Croker, said she was very pleased that Tom’s name had been finally included.

“It’s nice to see the hospital’s honour board now complete with the names of everyone who should be on it,” said Karen.

Main image: Director of Nursing at the Maleny Soldiers Memorial Hospital Karen Croker with Jill Lillingstone