WHENEVER he glances up at one particular photograph of his father, Michael Fitzgerald will feel a sense of pride few others can share.
The framed photo is of Edward Fitzgerald and 87 other men who walked out of Wagga on December 1, 1915, on the famous Kangaroo March to Sydney to recruit men for service in World War I.
The photo was presented to Mr Fitzgerald this week by executive members of the Wagga sub-branch of the RSL.
“There are very few descendants of the original Kangaroo marchers living in Wagga at the moment, and this being the 100th anniversary of the march we decided to give a copy of our photo of the original Kangaroos to Michael,” said sub-branch president, Kevin Kerr.
Mr Fitzgerald said he felt flattered and honoured the memory of his father had been acknowledged by the sub-branch in such a way.
“I’d like to thank them very much,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“The photo will take pride of place in my home.”
Edward Fitzgerald served on the Western Front from 1916 to 1918 and survived the war, but suffered badly from trench foot on his return to Wagga.
A bricklayer by trade, Edward Fitzgerald died in a car crash in 1949 when Michael – his eighth child – was just four years old.
A re-enactment of the Kangaroo March will start in Wagga with a commemorative service in the Victory Memorial Gardens on September 5.
The 542-kilometre trek will finish at Campbelltown on October 10.
Mr Fitzgerald, now 70, hopes to walk in the footsteps of his dad and his uncle, Charles Fitzgerald, who joined the original Kangaroo march at Cootamundra.
More information about the march can be found on the Kangaroo March re-enactment website www.kangaroomarch.org.au
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