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A Pathetic Ending The war has claimed another vie tim in the person of Mr Ben Byard, who passed away at Portland on Thursday morning last-a stranger in a strange land, unknown except by the few who tended to his needs in the closing period of his life on this earth. Ben's was a pathetic case, and one which should quicken the consciences of those callous and indifferent ones -all too many in our town-who, not having seen, do not understand. Prior to enlist ing early in the war, the deceased was a fine strapping young fellow of soThe 16 atone weight, employed at Casterton in the tailoring trade. On joining the colors he was admit , d to the humanitarian branch of the army known as the Medical Corps. He rendered much service at the fiont, where he contracted Spanish influenza, which left him aith a weakened heart and lung trouble. At the initial stage, how ever, this was not sufficient to pre vent Ben, who previously had never known a day's illness, from resum ing duty, and he again took up the work of alleviating the sufferings of his afflicted comrades. The strain, in his impaired state of health, proved too great, and he was ulti mately invalided home as a cot case-a complete physical wreck. For two years he was an inmate of the Caulfield and other military hospitals, but in the end he was discharged as incurable. His home was in Tasmania, but being too de licate in health to undertake the voyage, he was compelled to remain in the sister State, and decided to visit his friends at Casterton. Whilst there he was recommended to Portland, where he arrived some months ago, and building a tent in the grounds at "Claremont," re sided there up to the time of his death. Those few who were brought into contact with Ben could not he otherwise than impressed with his magnificent spirit in always keeping a smiling face when the most cur sory glance could detect suffering in .the most acute form. His 16 stone frame had cruelly wasted to almost r half, yet the fortitude which he at n all times exhibted was wonderful, e and a true reflex of that indomitable courage with which he had an swered the call to the heroic and sacrificial. Having labored well. he now sleeps well-life's turmoil over, a hero at rest. A sad fact connected with his death was that his biother had arrived from Tasmania a few weeks ago, but was called away suddenly from Ben's side only a day or two before he passed away. T) further add to the pathos of t he case deceased's father died some Stwo months previous, and the fact that Ben was unable to undertake the voyage to see him before his death greatly preyed on the young man's mind, and no doubt was an accessory to hastening his own end. It is consoling to know that a few friends with whom he had become casually acquainted were able to provide a measure of comfort in the last days of deceased's lonely life by faithfnl attention, and in this respect Miss McLean might be spe cially mentioned. The funeral took place on Friday, when about 20 returned men atten ded to pay their tribute of respect to their late comrade-in-arms. They marched in front of the hearse, and the cortege presented an impressive spectacle as it slowly wended its way through the main streets of the township. But a total absence of townspeople was conspicuous, which does not reflect with credit upon their gratefulness and appreciation to one of that illustrious legion who assured the people's security and retained that freedom which they now enjoy. It would be ignomi nious, though deserving, if by some means these unmindful ones could be forced to a realisation of their indebtedness, and made follow, in all humiliation, the remains of what represents their salvation from bondage. And this is just where so-called Christianity errs. Those same people will go to Church and thank God that such men were given to the world, yet when it comes to a practical illustration they are found wanting-and sadly wanting. Ignorance of the event may be reasonably pleaded by some of the people, but not by those in the immediate vicinity of the town, where the sad news was well known. At anyrate, the soldiers found out and were there almost to a man-all credit to them, but, as has been saf8 before, they, having seen, un derstand the loss of one who was not afraid to take his life in his hand, figuratively speaking, and say, " Here it is, I give it freely for YOU I" The coffin-bearers were Mensrs Sutton, Spiken. McIntosh, Symington, Pettit and Thomas, and the service at the house and grave. side was conducted by the Rev. I. W, Hopkins (Baptist). The last rites were followed by the sounding of the Last Post by Mr W. Stuchbery Reference was made to the death of Mr Byard by Rev I. W. Hopkins at the Bapotist Church on Sunday evening. The preacher referred to the admirable characteristics of the deceased, and wished it to go to his relatives and friends in Tasmania that, though far away from home. he had had every attention possible from loving hands in Portlantd, and his memory would be for ever cherished. The death occurred last week of Mr C. Reed, well known in Port land. Previously to his removal by illness from the town, he had charge of the clerical work at Farr's Livery Stables. The annual meeting of subscrl bers to the Portland Hospital takes place to-night in the Town Hall. Mr W. E. Thomas is reported to he suffering from an affection of ;the throat,