Soldier’s 100-year-old message in a bottle

 Colac’s Graham Connor kept a bottle his father Edward threw into the ocean 100 years ago, which made its way back to Colac.

Colac’s Graham Connor kept a bottle his father Edward threw into the ocean 100 years ago, which made its way back to Colac.

A GLASS BOTTLE thrown into the ocean 100 years ago is acting as a lasting memory of a Colac man’s father.

Graham Connor’s father Edward enlisted for the First World War on July 20, 1915, in Colac and when he set off from Port Melbourne on the HMAS Ulysses later that year, he decided to throw a glass bottle addressed to his mother Martha into the ocean.

Mr Connor said his grandmother received the bottle at her Bromfield Street address after somebody found it on the beach at the Great Australian Bight on the South Australian coast.

 Edward Connor

Edward Connor

“It was washed up apparently across the Great Australian Bight, I’ve never found out who actually found it, but it was sent to my grandmother at the time when they found it.

“I don’t know where he sent it from but he left from Port Melbourne on the Ulysses and then threw it into the ocean and it was found at the Australian Bight,” he said.

“I’ve had it for years and years. My grandmother received it, of course, and it’s been handed down to me.

“There’s a note in it with the date and my grandmother’s address on Bromfield Street, it’s got the name of the boat he left on and it says love Ted.”

Edward Connor was 28 years old when he enlisted, and he fought with the seventh battalion, Australian Imperial Forces.

He received a medical discharge on November 3, 1917, after suffering from tuberculosis.

Edward entered the New Zealand Stationary Hospital suffering from pleurisy, an inflammation of the membrane around the lung, on July 19, 1916, and he arrived back in Melbourne on September 24, 1917.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Australian forces landing at Gallipoli.

The Colac Herald will feature a series of stories about Colac district people involved in the First World War.

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