Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Alex Dunbar

During the Second World War, my Father served as an anti tank gunner in the 22nd Battalion, in the New Zealand Army. He was in Egypt and Italy, and probably other places I have not heard about. Like many who served in this conflict, he does not talk about it to anyone, except maybe those who were there. For many years he went to Battalion reunions, but because of the diminishing numbers, reunions have not been held for some years. At these reunions, the crosses of those who did not come home were always on display, a reminder I suppose, to those who were charged with remembering them. At the final reunion, the crosses were distributed to families around the country, and where no family was found, the cross was given to a living member for safe keeping. Dad was given the cross of Alex Dunbar because Dad was with him when he died.
A few years ago we traveled to Dad's place on Anzac Day, and there on the front lawn was Alex Dunbar's cross, and it was then we were told his story.
Last weekend, I stayed the night at Dad's place, and while putting some bits out in the garage, noticed the cross in a rack of tools, waiting for the next Anzac Day.
Alex Dunbar had no relations to claim his cross, and Dad has been unable to find any reference to any. I have spent some hours in various genealogy sites looking for any one who may be looking for him, but have had no luck. It is understood that he came from Napier, or some area up that way, but that is all that Dad can remember. I will continue to look.
The next time I mention Alex Dunbar, it will be with a photo of the cross on the front lawn, and I will give you more details then. In the meantime, if you are a Dunbar genealogist, feel free to get in touch.

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