PRIVATE RONALD WILLIAM RESCHKE
10TH APRIL 1918 AGE 22
BURIED: CRUCIFIX CORNER CEMETERY, VILLERS-BRETONNEUX, FRANCE
This is a very popular inscription from an equally popular piece of memorial verse regularly printed in the 'In Memoriam' columns of newspapers:
We think we can see his smiling face
As he bade his last good-bye,
When he left his home forever
In a foreign land to die.
He sleeps beside his comrades
In a grave across the foam,
But his name is written in letters of love
On the hearts he left at home.
Ronald William Reschke was a labourer in Kyogle, New South Wales when he enlisted on 31 October 1916. He served with the 31st Battalion Australian Infantry and was killed on the 10 April 1918.
On the night of the 9/10 April, the 31st Battalion relieved the 58th in the Corbie sector of the front line. The war diary reports that the enemy was very quiet during the relief but that their artillery became very active during the day:
"At 1.30 pm enemy shelled farm occupied by us in J.34 central with 40 rds of 5.9" and 4.2". Three direct hits on the farm caused 27 casualties ... "
Reschke was one of the 27 as these were the only casualties to be reported that day.