The story of the two Kellyville brothers, William and Arthur Russell, who were killed in World War I, is remarkable.
Both Russell brothers enlisted with the Australian Imperial forces on the same day, August 28, 1915, and were both allotted to the 54th Battalions which suffered 65 per cent casualties in Frances. Arthur died aged 21 at the battle of Fromelles on July 19, 1916.
William Russell was wounded in the same action that took his brother’s life, and after recovering in England, he re-joined his battalion in France in the Somme Valley.
He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in May 1917, only months prior to his death — aged 25 — in Belgium on September 25, 1917. He has no known grave.
For 95 years, Arthur’s gravesite was unknown until DNA supplied by a relative was matched to a body recovered from a mass gravesite at Fromelles. Private Arthur Russell was given a full military funeral in France on July 19, 2011.
The Hills paid a particularly heavy toll in the war effort, and this memorial is a reminder of the service and sacrifice that New South Wales men and women like the Russell Brothers have made in defence of our country.
Lest we forget.