Corporal Frank McLean MM – A proud great grand-daughter honours his service in Singapore.

Corporal Frank McLean MM – A proud great grand-daughter honours his service in Singapore.

Eva Thomson , a Year 2 student at Avondale Grammar School in Singapore, used the RSL Virtual War Memorial to assist her research for a school assignment. Eva’s task was to explain to her class why ANZAC Day had special meaning for her.

Eva’s proud mother Heather said,  “I just love the site and love that this next generation can so easily learn about this history and how they are connected to it. “ Heather captured Eva rehearsing her presentation and has made it available for viewing.

This is a wonderful example of all that we hoped the site would be able to deliver. Being in Singapore was no barrier to Eva being able to access multiple sources of information to support her school assignment, including her great grandfather’s profile, via the website. With her mother having captured her rehearsal on video we are able to link this into her great grandfather’s  profile for her extended family (and the general public) to view now and into the future.

Thank you to Eva and her family for the wonderful contribution to the memory of Corporal McLean MM and his service.

Corporal Frank McLean MM

He was just 22 when he enlisted for service in the 2nd AIF having specifically chosen the 2nd/27th Battalion (link: after his rejection by the Air Force due to being coloured blind.

It  was during the Battalion’s first offensive operation - in Syria - which began on 8 June 1941 that Corporal McLean was recognised for “High courage and devotion” (to duty). A solo reconnaissance mission on 13 June 1941 that delivered some unexpected challenges,  earned Corporal McLean a Military Medal link to: ( (MM) at the age of 23 . He remained with the 2/27th until his discharge in September 1945 having seen further action in Papua New Guinea where the Battalion and its men earned a reputation as a tenacious fighting unit on the Kokoda Trail.

His letters to home, many of which were published in local broadsheets, convey an element of adventure and paint a picture of exotic surrounds that sometimes remind him of home. They also convey a good measure of stoicism and humour, both of which would have been required in large doses to deal with the daily physical and psychological challenges of the war.

Read more in Frank’s profile here 

© Sharyn Roberts, RSL Virtual War Memorial