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World War Heroes

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Courage, determination and hope were only a few of the unique qualities which were displayed by the thousands of brave soldiers who fought throughout World War I. Arthur Brownlie held these character traits, giving his life for the benefit of his country.

Love, attention, and obedience are all essential components in order for a proper and supportive childhood. Arthur Andrew Brownlie was one of eight children, born to Alice and James Brownlie in November 1889. Arthur and his siblings lived in Maitland until Arthur was 7 years old, when his mother and three of his brothers and sisters moved to a small farm near Miles, Queensland. It can be suggested that Arthur was quite close with his siblings, as their age gap was minimal and when abroad from a family member, Arthur often exchanged letters showing affection and exuberance, and kept in contact with his siblings and mother. Arthur's youth helped him to develop qualities necessary in growing into an optimistic and content man. These qualities prepared Arthur for the terror he would soon be faced with fighting in the upcoming World War.

During 1914, when the war broke out, thousands of fit young men offered themselves for the service of their countries. Community pressure and the spirit of adventure temporarily blinded the fear and uncertainty of battle and enabled these adolescents, and young adults to volunteer. However, Arthur did not enlist until two years after the war had begun. Many stories of the war began to reach Australia including Keith Murdoch's infamous article promoting the courage and patriotism of the AIF soldiers who had fought in the recent battle of Gallipoli. This article may have inspired Arthur to similarly fight for his country. On the 20th April 1916, aged 26 and a half years old, Arthur enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force to serve in World War I. At the time of enlistment, Arthur was single which made him the perfect candidate for a recruit in the military force. However, because of Arthur's age and height; which was a slight 5 foot, 6 7/8 inches, he exchanged the idea of barracks and dangerous combat, for the much safer option of enlisting in the Machine Gun Company. Because of Brownlie's short stature and age, it was a wise decision to enlist in the Machine Gun Regiments as there was not as much fitness and athleticism required in performing tasks.

Arthur began his duty in Brisbane up until October 1916, when he was then forwarded to Seymour, Victoria for training in preparation for joining the Machine Gun Company. After almost two months of training in Melbourne, Arthur and his fellow troops made their way to Sierre Leone at which they arrived on the 5th of December 1916 to collect coal for their ship, continuing their journey to Devonport, England where they arrived on the 28th of December 1916. The brave soldiers marched their way to Perham Downs, slowly approaching what would soon become a place of fear and

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