Anzac Day this year was significant for Navy aviation technician Able Seaman Adrian Ebenwaldner as he reflected on his family’s military tradition when he joined Australia’s Federation Guard in Gallipoli.
Able Seaman Ebenwaldner’s great-great-uncle was Brigadier General John Robinson Royston, a South African officer who in 1916 led the Australian Imperial Force’s 12th Light Horse Regiment.
In temporary command of the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, he fought at the battle of Romani, earning the nickname of Galloping Jack from his Australian troops for always galloping around the battlefield with “astounding energy and courage”.
He led Australian forces at Bir el Abd and at the battle of Magdhaba.
“Galloping Jack is a legend in our family for his service in three wars and I am proud to be part of the family’s military tradition,” Able Seaman Ebenwaldner said.
Brigadier Royston first led Australian troops in South Africa during the Boer War and gained a lifetime affinity with and respect for the Australian soldiers he led and served with.
He attended the dedication of Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance in 1934, on invitation from the 8th Light Horse Regiment. He passed way, coincidentally, on April 25 in 1942.
Able Seaman Ebenwaldner, from Canberra, has served eight years in the Navy and served at sea and ashore with operational service supporting Operation Resolute.
He is proud of his family military history and, along with his brother Joshua, who serves in the RAAF, understands the importance of remembering those who serve.
“It was such a privilege and an honour to be at Anzac Cove and pay respect to those who served and fell there,” Able Seaman Ebenwaldner said.
“It was a profoundly memorable moment of pride for me and one I will never forget.”
Australia’s Federation Guard and the Australian Army Band, working with the Department of Veterans' Affairs, conducted a solemn and poignant dawn service at Anzac Cove and a commemorative service at the Australian Memorial at Lone Pine, Gallipoli.