TED Chenoweth rescued hundreds of wounded soldiers from the mud and carnage of the battlefields in World War I, including Gallipoli, and survived numerous close calls to return home alive to Warrnambool.
Yet his worst injury came in peacetime when he was working as a telephone linesman and a pole broke, causing him to fall and break his leg.
The former lance-corporal, who died in 1956 in his 67th year, never spoke much about his war exploits. But he was remembered yesterday when his great-grandson Tim Chenoweth delivered the Anzac Day service address.
“I owe my life to my great-grandfather,” he told the crowd of about 4500 around Warrnambool’s cenotaph.
“This is not a day to remember war, but we honour those who served their country.
“Let us strive to be worthy of the memory of those we honour here today.” Lance-Corporal Chenoweth was an ambulance driver who recalled working 27 hours straight at Gallipoli.
He later went to the Western Front where he and his unit would have to drag injured Diggers through deep mud and dodge shellfire.
“My great-grandfather was lucky and survived, but others were not so lucky,” Tim said.
“He lost a lot of good friends.”
Much of the information about Lance-Corporal Chenoweth came from his son Geoff, now aged 86.
“He never spoke much about the war, but when I was a kid his mates would come around to our home for a chat with dad,” Mr Chenoweth said.
“I remember them talking about things that happened in the war.
“One incident was when they carried wounded men to the beach and three days later the same men were still in the same place in a hospital that had been set up there.
“He said Gallipoli was a walk in the park compared with the Western Front and it took four men to get a soldier out of the mud.
“He was gassed in the war and as he got older the perforations in his lungs got bigger and sapped his energy.
“I went with him to many Anzac Day marches and remember the first in about 1933 when it stopped outside Young and Jackons hotel.”
Three generations of the Chenoweth family attended yesterday’s service to honour Ted and his mates.