• Natalie Cooling visited the grave of Tasmanian Lieutenant Frederick Lane in France.

Growing up at Lindisfarne prompted Natalie Cooling's decision to research a local soldier for the Frank MacDonald Memorial Study Tour.

Lieutenant Frederick William Lane was a draughtsman from "The Turning", at Lindisfarne, Tasmania, who embarked with the 47th Battalion at Melbourne on the Orsova on 17 July 1915. 

The 47th Battalion rotated in and out of the front line throughout the winter of 1917-18. In the spring of 1918, it played a role in turning the German Spring Offensive by defeating attacks around Dernancourt during the last days of March and the first days of April 1918.

But the defeat of the German offensive came at a cost, with the Battalion suffering heavy casualties.  Lieutenant Frederick William Lane was one of the casualties.  Barely a month after a reaching the front, on 28 March 1918, he was hit by an exploding shell and killed in action at Dernancourt, France.

Before travelling to Europe's Western Front to make a pilgrimage to the grave of Lieutenant Lane Ribemont Communal Extension Cemetery (Somme), in France, Natalie visited Lieutenant Lane's relatives.

Frederick Lane was one of six brothers to enlist with the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) to serve during World War One. His older brothers Denis and Norman and younger brothers Albert and Alfred all survived. Frederick and his younger brother Bernard, both died on the Western Front. Natalie was fortunate to visit the graves of both Lane brothers, as Bernard is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery, where Frank MacDonald Memorial Tour 2014 group member Jan Hunt made her pilgrimage to the grave of her relative Private Herbert Lord.

Natalie, a Policy Analyst with the Department of Premier and Cabinet, also researched her great grandfather, Sergeant Samuel Frank Cooling for the 2013 Frank MacDonald Memorial Tour. Sergeant Cooling was awarded a Military Medal for his actions at Polygon Wood in September 1917.

< Soldiers researched for the Frank MacDonald Study Tour