Leigh Goldsmith

Mr Leigh Goldsmith, of Canberra recounts his memories as a child of Thomas Faunce.

“One of my fondest childhood memories was of Tom Faunce, who lived at 19 Lambert St Kangaroo Point, next door to my mothers family home. The old Faunce family home, which by then seemed to be slowly decaying, was always my first port of call when we visited my grandparents home. It was an Aladdin’s Cave for a small boy in the 1960s. Pith helmets, war memorabilia, threadbare carpets, mysterious rooms, the kitchen, scullery and what I like to suppose was the maids room out back, the collapsing chook shed, the coal pile under the house, the iron lace verandah. What a home! I will always have such warm memories of that house.

I remember Tom as a quietly spoken, kind gentleman who smoked Dr Pat. (The empty tins were a prized gift), would sometimes give a Bertie Beetles, and would tell us he could hear the chickens chirping through eggs as he would hold them to our ears.

He was also a great supporter of my elder brother’s love of cricket. Not surprising. He had a small album of photos with a picture of him from the newspaper after he had scored a century. He told me that he had been gassed at the Somme (That was, according to the Australian Archives, on 9th June 1917, when he served with the 11th Machine Gun Company, suggesting that it was at the Battle of Messines Ridge). This had some significance, as my aunts and uncles and grandfather had told us many times of that terrible time and the effect it had on the boys who came home.”

South Brisbane District Cricket club would like to thank Mr Goldsmith for allowing us to share his memories of Tom Faunce on our page.