VIDEO: Family is full of pride at Duncan Chapman statue
A NIECE and nephew of Duncan Chapman, the first Anzac ashore at Gallipoli, have sent thanks to the citizens of Maryborough after funds were raised for a statue to be unveiled in Queens Park.
Duncan Chapman, named after his uncle and a son of Lt Chapman's older brother Fred, and Eugenie Maude McLeod, daughter of Duncan's youngest sister Clara, are the closest living relatives of the man who was given "the extreme honour" of being the first to step ashore in the landing at Anzac Cove.
Neither Eugenie, 89, a resident of Victoria, nor Duncan, 92, of Erina, NSW, are well enough to make the journey to Maryborough for the unveiling of the statue but their families say they are delighted their uncle is being recognised of his iconic role in Australian history.
Duncan Chapman was named after this uncle who was killed in action at Pozieres in 1916, six years before he was born.
"Duncan has been a large part of my life," said his nephew.
"My dad spoke often of him and named me after him. His achievements were many and I often try to imagine all the things he may have done with his life if it hadn't been cut short.
"I was filled with pride when I heard of Duncan's statue at Maryborough and had my situation been different nothing would have stopped me from being there.
"I often read Duncan's letters from the trenches which he wrote to my father Fred and the description of the way they survived was certainly heroic and very moving."
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Duncan Chapman of Gallipoli fame was born in Maryborough in 1888. He went to school in his home town and began work as a paymaster at solicitors Morton and Morton.
His statue will be unveiled at a "Dawn of the Anzacs" tribute at dawn on April 24.
The ceremony will be repeated on Anzac Day, leading into the dawn service at the adjacent cenotaph.
The nephew named after him was born at Bankstown in 1922 to Frederick Chapman and his wife Ethel.
"I think the memorial at Maryborough is simply splendid and I would like to give a big thank you to all who are involved in bringing it to pass," said Duncan.
"I will be there in spirit."
His cousin Eugenie, the youngest daughter of Clara Maunsell, Duncan's youngest sisters, has sent thanks to Maryborough through her son Tony and made a short video thanking citizens who contributed to the statue.
Tony, who will be flying from Melbourne with his two brothers for the unveiling of the statue, said his mother was sad she was unable to be present but delighted her uncle was being honoured.