MEMORIES: Rosilyn Burkett reads the final letter, John Cameron sent to his family.
MEMORIES: Rosilyn Burkett reads the final letter, John Cameron sent to his family. Daniel Harkin

WATCH: The final words from two diggers

ONE hundred and fifty-three letters written by two fallen diggers and left in an old Bushells tin for more than five decades has led to a book about their experiences being published.

Rosilyn Burkett said her grandparents had kept the letters from her two uncles, Jack and Robert Cameron, in a

Bushells tin since the 1940s until she rediscovered them about 10 years ago.

She said it was fortunate the tin was air-tight and the letters kept in a cloth, because it had begun to rust after being left in storage for so many years.

"The tin started going rusty so obviously it was time to take them out and since then I have kept them in archive safe sleeves," Mrs Burkett said.

The project of collating the letters first started out as something Mrs Burkett could share with her family, but her friends also showed interest when she told them about it.

"I was happy just to just do it for my family but it quickly evolved into a book," she said.

 

 

Mrs Burkett said one of the most memorable letters had been the final letter from her uncle Robert before he was killed.

"He described the conditions perfectly and what it was like," she said.

"He really gave a good description of the land mines and how they work and from what I can work out, it was only a matter of hours after when he wrote the letter that he was killed from one of those landmines."

From going through the letters Mrs Burkett said she feels closure in knowing that the Salvation Army tended to the fallen soldiers.

"I felt great reading their letters and knowing that they were attended to with care and respect," she said.

"Buried alongside mates was the phrase."

 

 

'Jack and Robert Cameron never had any descendents, so Mrs Burkett views the book as a way of pay tribute to them.

"They didn't have descendents to tell their story so I see this as a chance to tell their story for them," she said.

"Depending on the book's success; I would like to make a donation to a foundation and I believe being the characters that they were, they would have liked that."
 


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