Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Brisbane graveside ceremony for famed Gallipoli sniper

Commemoration service for Billy Sing 2009 - Lt Col Ron Ti salutes at the grave of Billy Sing.

Billy Sing, the crack shot kangaroo hunter who skills were put to great use as a sniper during the Gallipoli campaign, will be remembered tomorrow by both sides of his heritage.

On the 66th anniversary of his death the Chinese consul-general, RSL office bearers and community leaders will lay wreaths at his grave during a short ceremony at Lutwyche Cemetery in Brisbane.

Born in Clermont in central Queensland of a Chinese father and English mother, Billy Edward Sing gained international fame as a sniper during the Gallipoli campaign.

Known for his sharp shooting when kangaroo hunting, Billy also competed for the Proserpine Rifle Club before joining the Light Horse in 1914.

As a sniper in Gallipoli's tortuous terrain he was credited with more than 200 kills.

His skills were recognised by his Anzac commanders and was Mentioned in Despatches by the commander of allied forces, General Sir Ian Hamilton. In March 1916 he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
Billy also excelled as a soldier in France before sickness and illness caused by old wounds and gas attacks forced his repatriation to Australia.

Chinese Consul-General Ren Gongping said Australians of Chinese heritage should be proud of Billy Sing's contribution and sacrifice.

"Billy Sing is a symbol of the long history of Chinese in Australia, and the great role they have played in your nation's past," he said.

"It also reminds us that China and Australia were allies through both world wars, and that we have a long and proud shared past," Mr Ren said.

After a brief period of fame Billy Sing died in poverty in a Brisbane boarding house on May 19, 1943, aged 57.

Article written May 18 2009
Source Retrieved 4/5/2010
1st and 3rd Photo were taken by -------- at the Commemoration.
2nd photo source


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