Tom, Jack and Keith Eddison grew up in the 1920s and 1930s on their family farm “Yamba” in Canberra’s Woden Valley. All three were killed during the Second World War. Although their father, Walter, never spoke publicly of the loss of his sons, their sacrifice is publicly remembered in several Canberra locations. A plaque was laid at St John’s Church, Reid, in 1946, and Canberra Grammar, the school they attended, named one of its school houses in their honour in 1963.
Tom, the eldest, was a keen horseman and left Australia in 1934, spending several years in Palestine as a mounted policeman. By the late 1930s he had joined the Royal Air Force (RAF), earning a reputation as a daring and courageous pilot. In the Second World War Tom flew bombing raids over Germany. On 9 May 1941, he and his crew were shot down over the Netherlands, where he was buried.
Jack enlisted in the army in 1940 and was soon posted to 2/20th Battalion, bound for Singapore. When the island fell to the Japanese in February 1942, Jack was taken prisoner and transferred to Tokyo. News from Japanese prisoner-of-war camps was scarce, but the Eddison family still waited hopefully. Only with the end of the war was Jack’s death confirmed. He had died on 7 June 1943 of pneumonia.