Remembering the sacrifices...
The summer of 1965 was hot. Eltham was just starting to grow, the township was starting to have substantial developments being planned and more and more people were moving to the area.
Like many Fire Brigades, the Eltham Brigade during those years had casual firefighters - those who answered the call when it really hit the fan...
March 3 was a day when this was needed.
15 houses were destroyed that day, along with over 600 acres of bushland.
Elwers and Coleman were seen heading up Black Gully (as this area was known) in search of Coleman's Father.
A sudden wind change, late in the afternoon, turned the fire away from the Eltham Township which had until then been under substantial threat, and sent the front racing up the Gully. Elders, Crowe and Coleman were later found in the area having been unable to escape the flames.
As these men were not registered members of the CFA, they were not seen to be fighting the fire that day in any official capacity and so their deaths are not recorded as firefighter deaths. Clearly however, they were indeed fighting fire until it consumed them.
This cache is placed to remember these 3 men and to recognise the sacrifice and effort they made that day in defence of Eltham and each other.
Remember - always be aware of your surrounds on hot days, and understand, as we much better now do, that fire behaviour on a wind change is dangerous. Watch the fire danger, and when it is bad, don't put yourself at risk.