FAMILY legacy is everything for Horsham resident Ray Harris.
The Horsham RSL volunteer is dedicated to keeping the Wimmera's war history alive through his work at the venue's Military Library and Museum.
War medals received by Mr Harris' grandfather Samuel 'Stephen' McInnes during the First World War are on display at the museum.
Mr Harris will be joined at this year's Horsham Anzac Day march by his great-grandson Beau Ryan, 12.
The pair will ride in a jeep and will lay a wreath at the Horsham Cenotaph for their family members who fought in the First World War.
Mr Harris said it would be a great opportunity for Beau to honour his ancestors.
"Beau visited the RSL museum with his school and he was fascinated with all the memorabilia that we had there; not a lot of kids who visit are," Mr Harris said.
"Beau's mother, my granddaughter Rachel, is ex-Navy and told me Beau was very interested in the history, so I asked whether he wanted to take part in the Anzac Day march with me."
Beau will be wearing his mother's Navy service medals during the march.
Mr Harris said it was important for young people to learn about Australia's war history.
"What we focus on at the RSL is that it's not about the war but it's about the people. We try to remember the people who were there, what they did and what happened to them," he said.
"The most important thing is remembering our heritage and that's what we're trying to do. People say that they were brave men, and of course they were, but bravery is something that happens spontaneously.
"For a man to storm a group of enemy soldiers knowing that nine times out ten he would get killed doing it, that's bravery."
Mr Harris had several family members fight in the First World War.
His grandfather Samuel McInnes lied about his age and name in order to enlist, giving the false name of Stephen and fake age of 36.
"He was over 40 years old at the time so he put his age back to join," Mr Harris said.
The false details are still listed on the Australian Defence Force's database.
Samuel was a Constable in Horsham when he enlisted in July 1916. He joined the 24th Battalion 16th Reinforcement where he served as a military police officer.
His unit embarked from Melbourne on October 1916 and proceeded to France in February 1917. While in France, he was treated for chronic rheumatism, trench fever and influenza.
His illnesses forced him to be invalided to England in June, 1917 and he returned to Australia in January, 1918. Samuel died in 1933, on the same day Mr Harris was born.
"The story goes that he got ill after a dispute with a neighbour. My mum was in hospital about to have me. My other grandfather was driving Samuel into Horsham to see her and he died on the way," Mr Harris said.
Four other members of the McInnes family fought in the First World War. They were Samuel's cousins Malcolm, Angus, Charles and William.
Angus enlisted in 1915 at the age of 23. He would later receive the Military Medal for heroic actions during the war. A copy of the Commonwealth Gazette No. 115 from October, 1919 detailed his actions:
"During the operations on September 2, 1918, east of Mont St Quentin, near Peronne, Lance Corporal McInnes was carrying despatches between Battalion Headquarters and Brigade Forward Station on horseback," it says.
"He repeatedly rode through a very heavy enemy barrage. Though his comrade was wounded, he carried on alone, and his courage in spite of very heavy enemy fire was most marked. He showed conspicuous courage during the whole operation."
Later records revealed that Angus' 'wounded colleague' was actually his brother, Charles. Angus apparently placed the wounded Charles into a shell hole, rode on and delivered the despatch, then returned to find his brother and take him to safety.
Charles enlisted as Charles Currie, which was his mother's maiden name. He enlisted in 1916 when he was 17, however he stated that he was 21.
During the incident on September 2, 1918, Charles received multiple gunshot wounds to his leg and shrapnel wounds to his chest. He was taken to England and his leg was amputated.
Mr Harris said he would also be honouring his grandmother's nephews, Robert and Hervey Langley, on Anzac Day. The St Helen's Plains brothers both died during the First World War.
"The Langley boys wrote many letters to my grandmother during the war. They are both buried in Europe - one in England and one in France," Mr Harris said.
Mr Harris said his own military history involved being called up for National Service in 1952 to fight in the Korean War.
"As luck happened, they called armistice and I didn't have to go. But I continued on with National Service, so I did three years of training. Then some years later I went back and joined the Citizen Military Force again, spending another six years there," he said.
The Horsham RSL Library and Museum is open Wednesdays, 10am to 4pm.
"People can research their family's military history or we can do it for you - all you need is a name. We also have a large collection of memorabilia. It is run by a great crew of volunteers," Mr Harris said.
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