Two wreathes for the Waddell family at the Singleton Dawn Service

HONOURING THE FAMILY: Private Herbert Waddell, the first Singletonian to pay the ultimate sacrifice in 1900, was remembered by his Cessnock based relatives Alexis and William Waddell-Wescott at Singleton's Burdekin Park this morning.
HONOURING THE FAMILY: Private Herbert Waddell, the first Singletonian to pay the ultimate sacrifice in 1900, was remembered by his Cessnock based relatives Alexis and William Waddell-Wescott at Singleton's Burdekin Park this morning.

Two commemorative wreathes were laid down by siblings Alexis and William Waddell-Wescott at Singleton's Burdekin Park this morning.

The first would take place before hundreds who had gathered for the Anzac Day Dawn Service as a sign of respect for those lost during the great war.

Though there would be no audience for the second presentation many would agree that the gesture from the siblings, aged 12 and 11, was just as sacred.

They had travelled to pay respects to their great-great-great uncle Private Herbert Waddell who was the first Singletonian to pay the ultimate sacrifice.

STANDING PROUD: Alexis and William Waddell-Wescott stand before the memorial of Private Herbert Waddell at Singleton's Burdekin Park this morning.

STANDING PROUD: Alexis and William Waddell-Wescott stand before the memorial of Private Herbert Waddell at Singleton's Burdekin Park this morning.

"We always knew his memorial was here but we never came until last year," the Private's Rayworth based great nephew William said.

"We did attend the Newcastle service last year and it was packed so we thought we'd pay our respects to our great uncle and visit Singleton on this occasion."

He added, "I set the alarm and it didn't go off so I'm glad we made it in the end."

The Private was one of 589 Australians who would not return home from the Second Boer War which lasted from October 11, 1899 until May 31, 1902.

He would be killed in battle on the Pienaars River on September 27, 1900 before news was published in the Singleton Argus five days later.

"Word was received yesterday that Private Herbert Waddell, of Singleton, a member of the Bushmen's Contingent, was killed in a battle at Pienaars River," the article stated.

THE NEXT GENERATION: Darrel Waddell, William Waddell-Wescott, Sharon Waddell, Alexis Waddell-Wescott and William Waddell.

THE NEXT GENERATION: Darrel Waddell, William Waddell-Wescott, Sharon Waddell, Alexis Waddell-Wescott and William Waddell.

"The deceased, who was a son of Mr D. R. Waddell, of Sedgfield, was a native of this district, and is the first Singletonian to lose his life at the front.

"Hitherto our local men have been attended with marvellous luck, but it has now come to this unfortunate young fellow's lot to lose his life for Queen and country, and he now fills a soldier's grave in South Africa."

After years of campaigning the monument, now situated at Burdekin Park, would be unveiled three years after his passing by Mrs F. A. Bennett who was noted as the 'Mayoress of Singleton' at the time.