Before the war Clifford Gower enlisted on the 9th May 1917 at the age of 21 years and 8 months and was part of the 12th Battalion, which was comprised of half Tasmanian men and formed part of the 3rd Brigade. He embarked on the 28th of February 1918 in Melbourne. In March and April 1918, his battalion helped to stop the German spring offensive, and later participated in the great allied offensive of 1918, fighting near Amiens on 8 August 1918. On the 2nd of September 1918, he was sentenced to 45 days of detention. He returned early to Australia, due to an injury, on the 2nd of January 1919 aboard the Karmala. In The Singleton Argus, published June 26, 1942 it states ‘Clifford William Gower (50), soldier, was sentenced to 10 years penal servitude at the Criminal Court for having fired from a military rifle, wounding Mrs. Elsie Maud Sainsbury in the neck.’
Gower’s story in particular is important to remember as it helps provide insight into how war really affected the men who fought for their country. Many endured physical and psychological damage which affected them for the rest of their life. It is important to remember those who did not fit perfectly into the ANZAC legend mould as it reminds us they were real men. not just war heroes. Research by Sarah Pilgrim.