Last Saturday was the 102nd anniversary of the death of Private Patrick Bugden. Budgen was killed in action in the battle of Polygon Wood in Belgium so it was only fitting that the date was chosen to unveil a bronze bust modelled on his likeness as a representation of all of the young men who died overseas at the hand of war.
Among the dignitaries on the day were Justine Elliot who unveiled the bust and an honour roll. ‘The Bangalow RSL who are such strong advocates for our veteran community, and indeed, for the wider community, who I know strongly support their endeavours,’ said Ms Elliot. ‘RSL members came to me some time ago with proposals to create these permanent memorials and I’m proud to have assisted them in securing the federal funding for these projects.
‘Every town in Australia has its own story and its own personal connection to the terrible conflicts of war, and today we honour and renew that connection to our region.
‘Today’s dedication ceremonies are for the Honour Roll and the bronze bust. They were created and will be displayed to remember the sacrifice made by so many locals in defending our nation.
Ms Elliot also noted that the RSL has shopped locally for these projects. ‘The stone came from Tregeagle and it was arranged and delivered by a Ballina business; the bronze bust which was conceived and created by sculptor, Susan Kaden, working from her studio in Huonbrook, and the stonemason for the project – Albie Hartnett – is based at Friday Hut Road, Possum Creek. The Honour Roll was designed and constructed by Stuart Pratley, who is directly across the street from the RSL.’
Patrick Bugden attended the Bangalow Public School from 1903 to 1905. The Honour Roll bears the names of those district volunteers who paid the ultimate price in the First World War.
On the 28th September 1917, Private Patrick Bugden was killed as well as Private John Hare, a farmworker from Teven and Reverend David Hunter, of the Knockrow Methodist Church. These three men are on the new Honour Roll. There is also Private Willie Brandie and Private James Weir of Clunes, both were killed in action just one day before.
‘We must never forget the more than 1.5 million Australians who have served our country in wartime and the more than 100,000 who have lost their lives.
‘We must always be mindful of these brave men and women, who have served, and continue to serve, our nation during times of war and peace. We all owe them, and their families, a continued debt of gratitude. Lest we forget.’
‘Lest we forget.’