Gayndah grazier turned soldier vowed 'never to kill anyone'

ARCHIBALD Kirk was a gentle man caught in a brutal war.

Despite the bloodshed, the soldier captured these photographs of a First World War battlefield in France.

Vowing to never take a life, the Gayndah grazier entered the army as a stretcher bearer.

He saved hundreds of injured soldiers on the Bray-Sur-Somme battlefield in France.

Private Kirk was awarded the Australian Military Medal for Bravery after heavy shelling tore through his company on August 13, 1918.

The only uninjured stretcher bearer, Private Kirk returned again and again to the battlefield - under a constant barrage of bullets and shells - to dress his comrades' wounds and drag their injured bodies to safety.

"Throughout the day he showed great coolness and set a most excellent example of courage and devotion to duty," his medal citation reads.

Ted Kirk, Private Kirk's 91-year-old son, said his father was a hero.

"He was a gentle man," Mr Kirk, a bomber pilot who fought in the Second World War, said.

"He vowed that he would never kill anyone."


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