A RETURNED HERO. In October, 1915, the 6th Grade (then the 2nd) at Kensington State school, sent a billy-can to a soldier at the front. Sgt.-Major Fleming, D.C.M., whilst lying wounded in hos pital at Lemnos, after the evacuation of Gallipoli, received this billy filled with gifts, good wishes and little mes sages of love from the children, which he answered, thus beginning a corre spondence lasting 2½ years, between the scholars and their soldier brother. Each mail brought and took letters, parcels, comforts, papers, etc. to and from the school children, to the battle fields of Egypt, France, Belgium and later to hospitals in England, each child being eager to write to "Brother Tom" (and equally as eager for an answer, which always came) resulted in some hundreds of letters passing be tween this Anzac and his little Aus tralian brotlers and sisters, who treas ured very much the interesting and cheery letters from their adopted sol dier-brother. Following the usual custom, the con tents off the parcels were divided amongst the men with the Sgt.-Major, and many thanks were sent to "Flem ing's Kids," as the children were called by the soldiers. Great was the joy when the schol ars' learnt that their soldier had won the D.C.M., but great was the sorrow when they learnt that he had been badly wounded, and would be in hos pital for months. Even when suffer ing fearful pain, he managed to write a few words to the class, telling them not to worry about him, but to ask that he might be spared to see them. The children brought their pennies to school, and a cablegram of sympathy was sent to the hospital in England. The English nurses were so touched by this action that they had the mes sage pasted up in the ward, and when ever the Australian mail arrived they
would say: "Here's more love and messages from your 60 brothers and sisters." Just before Easter the long-expect ed news came that the soldier-brother was to be sent home, and eagerly was each list of returning men read over, to find the nanme of the one expected, and soon after he came from his home in New South Wales especially to see his little friends. One needed to be present on that occasion to realise the pride and love Australian children have for "Our Boys." Speaking of his escort to the school by the children, the Sgt.Major re marked that it was the finest escort he had ever had or wished to have. After making friends with his little brothers and sisters, the whole party, at the invitation of their big brother, went for a picnic to North Essendon, and spent such a happy time that the day with "Brother Tom" will be remem bered for many years. Besides serving his king and coun try in Africa, Sgt.-Major Fleming has had 3½ years' active service in this war, and he considered that he had been brought back safely, though much battered, to Sunny Australia and his dear home-folk by the love and prayers of the little ones, who asked every morning, before starting the day's lessons, that God would bless and take care of their soldier-brother.