A century on from the end of World War I we acknowledge their service …
Lest we forget.
Private William Edward Lasich
Born: 6 August 1891 Maffra. Died: 19 February 1928 Pakenham.
Enlisted: 1 August 1916 aged 25.
Served: Western Front.
Will Lasich is honoured on the Pakenham South War Memorial – one of the post-war soldier-settlers who made that area his home after WWI.
Will was 25 and working on farms around Yarragon when he enlisted, travelling to the Melbourne Town Hall to do so.
He left Australia in August 1917 and was deployed to France as an engineer.
On 26 May 1918, Will was wounded in action, among many to be gassed – “chiefly through their eyes being affected by the gas and mustard oil burning”, according to the unit’s war diary. By the time he got out of hospital the War was almost over.
While waiting to return, Will visited Guernsey in the English Channel, where his mother’s family was from.
There, he met Clarice Blondel and after a whirlwind courtship, they married in July 1919.
They sought a soldier settlement property and were eventually allocated a block in Hagelthorn’s Estate at Pakenham South, which he took possession of in 1922.
Will and Clarice named the property “Blondelfield”. There, he went in primarily for potato growing.
Will died of meningitis, at just 36 years old.
This is an extract from Patrick Ferry’s book A Century After The Guns Fell Silent – Remembering the Pakenham District’s WWI Diggers 1914-18.
For more details on this and other profiles in the book, head to the website www.pakenhamww1.com