Private Angus Doak

Angus Doak Lydia Kelly at a World War One grave Two young women with a wreath

Photos: Private Angus Doak. Lydia Kelly at Private Doak's grave. Jenna Stacey and Lydia with the Frank MacDonald MM Memorial Prize Group 2019 wreath.

'He gave his life that we might be free'

The story of Private Angus Doak is special to Lydia Kelly, a St Patrick's College student, selected for the Frank MacDonald Memorial Study Prize 2019.

While not related to Private Doak, Lydia formed a connection with the World War One soldier by researching his life and service for the Frank MacDonald Study Tour, which included travelling to the Western Front to learn more about military history.

Lydia found piecing together Private Doak's story was a privilege that provided another perspective on the extent to which World War One impacted Australia. Lydia wrote:

"It is one thing to read statistics and numbers of casualties but one cannot really fathom the impact of war until you look into the story of one of the 60,000 and see how much they are so much more than a number. So many families, just like the Daoks, were torn apart by the loss of brothers and sons. Each one a thread in the tapestry of devastation that was the Great War."

Lydia Kelly in military cemetery


  • Lydia Kelly's research report "He gave his life that we might be free" about Private Angus Doak (PDF, 1.62MB)