Remembering Ashley Birt

Dale Birt remembers his lost comrade and brother at yesterday's Anzac commemorations in Gympie.
Dale Birt remembers his lost comrade and brother at yesterday's Anzac commemorations in Gympie. Renee Pilcher

FALLEN Gympie war hero Ashley Birt had plenty of friends in Kilcoy yesterday, as his many mates and loved ones gathered at the town's RSL headquarters.

They held a special commemoration to mark the renaming of the sub branch bar, now the "Ashley Birt Anzac Bar".

Kilcoy's RSL members welcomed about 70 of Cpl Birt's Gympie family and lifelong friends, along with his Army comrades from the 1st Topographical Squadron, based at Enoggera.

"We had about 300 people here," sub branch secretary May Wallace said yesterday.

"I've been run off my feet serving drinks," she said during a short break mid afternoon.

The unit, of which Cpl Birt was a member, has a long association with the Kilcoy RSL, she said.

"We had a meeting to approve the name change and it was unanimous.

"They just said yes straight away," she said.

The bar, which was already named the Anzac Bar, now has its new identity bedded in with renewed celebrations of Cpl Birt's life and the courage of the fallen.

He will now be remembered more specifically in Kilcoy, as well as Gympie, as one of those absent comrades whom age shall not weary nor the years condemn.

Cpl Birt was one of three Australian troops murdered in Afghanistan last October by a rogue Afghan soldier they were training.

A spokesman for Cpl Birt's lifelong Gympie mates, Dean Walker, told The Gympie Times yesterday that a very large crowd had gathered at the sub branch headquarters, where the bar is oper

ated. Troops from Enoggera joined Kilcoy locals and a big contingent from Gympie, led by Cpl Birt's parents, Linda and Don.

Sub branch president Les Thomson welcomed the diverse crowd, with the help of Mr and Mrs Birt, Ashley's brother and fellow soldier Dale and Kilcoy sub branch patron Ken Kuhn.

Mr Thomson said Cpl Birt's unit had been linked to Kilcoy RSL for 12 years.

"Ashley was a member of the 1st Topographical Survey Squadron and had attended ceremonies here in Kilcoy to aid our sub branch.

"To us the news of Ashley's death hit home; he was to us part of our family."

Mr Thomson then handed proceedings over to the Birt family and Mr Kuhn to unveil a very personal town tribute, in the form of a timber slab carrying the bar's new name.

"A local supplied the timber, a carpenter built it and he knew a cabinet maker who finished it," Ms Wallace said.

Gympie Times

Topics:  anzac day ashley birt

WATCH: Men welcomed to women's group

Bev Hall, Diane Walsh, Denise Maycock and Margaret Grayson at the QCWA Scarf and High Tea day. Photo Sophie Lester / Warwick Daily News

Major change for nation's largest women's group

Rooster needed: too many eggs

ROOSTER HUNT:  Rhans Campbell and Alex Haynes were at the Pig and Calf Sale in search of a rooster.

THEY'VE already got themselves quite the menagerie at home.

Warwick welcomes newest citizens

NEW CITIZENS: Cr Rod Kelly and Mayor Tracy Dobie welcomed 18 of the newest Australian Citizens to the Southern Downs in an official ceremony in Warwick on Wednesday.

Southern Downs councillors welcome newest citizens

Local Partners

Australia Day Award nominations now open

ALL those who know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the Warwick community is encouraged to nominate them for an Australia Day Award.

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Events you need to be at this week...

Some Australian sevens rugby squad members will be in Warwick this weekend.

It won't be all rodeo in Warwick this weekend

He's here for the Melbourne Cup of campdrafting

David Thorn from Cootamundra on Oh How Foxy.

David Thorn is here to make the most of the Warwick Rodeo.

RECAP: The Bachelorette S2E12 - the finale

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

GEORGIA chooses Lee and leaves Matty J heartbroken.

The Bachelorette finale: Georgia declares her love for Lee

Georgia Love with The Bachelorette winner Lee Elliott.

MATTY J left heartbroken in emotional grand final.

Buy your own brothel: Scarlet Harem for sale

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS: The Coast's first brothel, Scarlet Harem at Kunda Park, is up for sale.

Coast brothel madam sells up

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

ABBA to reunite for virtual live experience


ABBA have confirmed they are to reunite - in virtual reality form

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June