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Sillar, Roy Allen (1894–1918)

Captain Roy Sillar's School Career.

On March 3rd, 1918, Surgeon-Captain Roy Allen Sillar, second eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Sillar, of the Bank of Australasia, Dubbo, sailed from Sydney as medical officer in charge of a unit for the front. It was the final step in a career which, from the day he entered the Dubbo District Public School as a chubby little boy, may be summed up in the one word, "Thorough." It was the keynote of his character, even as a boy, and when details come from Home we may feel sure that it characterised him till the light went out and he slept. He was a bright scholar, with a receptive and analytic mind. He absorbed facts as a sponge absorbs water, and with a little pressure he would exude information. At the age of 14 he established a school record which attracted attention not only in Dubbo, but far beyond its confines. In his first year of technical instruction in chemistry, under the tutelage of Mr, E. Campling, now. Inspector of Schools at Wellington, he won the scholarship for the State, an exceptionally fine record for a boy of that tender age. He was Dux of the school for two successive years, and his name occupies a conspicuous place on the Honor Board at the Dubbo Mechanics Institute. Thoroughness characterised his school career in his native town, and with that watchword on his lips he entered the Senior examination for, matriculation before entering the Sydney University. In that stiff examination be received honors in his two Maths., and in his Classics (English, Latin and French). For five years he toiled, like a galley slave at his studies as a resident student at St. Andrew's College, and in 1917 he passed his "finals," and secured his medical degrees with brilliant passes. During his University career he secured the Horn Scholarships Nos. 1 and 2 at St. Andrew's College and was also elected Senior Student Of the College in 1917. When war broke out he wanted to interrupt his studies and leave for the front, at once with his two brothers, Jack and Ralph, but medical students are exempted, and perforce of this regulation he remained behind. As soon as he was free he lost no time with in linking up with the Amy Medical Corps, and sailing where duty called, and he felt he must go. And then the end as recounted above. He was a fine young man, honest, sterling, and true as steel. A true and worthy friend, a good and dutiful son, and as proud of his parents as they were of him. His is a dreadfully sad thing and the "Liberal" cannot find words to express to Mr. and Mrs. Sillar and the family its deep sense of the loss, they have suffered. The death of such a promising native of the town is a general loss and the grief felt is universal and sincere.

References at St. Andrew's.

Mr. McCallum, at all services on Sunday, made feeling reference to the death of Captain Roy Sillar. Speaking with deep emotion he said:

As a church and a community we have received a great loss through the tragic death of Dr. Roy Sillar. On that account we meet to-day under distressing circumstances. Owing to the lack of particulars, one cannot speak of the last scene in that useful and honorable life. Still,we have his splendid record to go by, which in every way enhances his value. Had he been privileged to reach his objective—the theatre of war—in a way the stroke would not have been so hard to bear; but to think he was suddenly cut off after travelling so far, and not permitted to yet to the storm centre, come with a pang of bitter disappointment to his many friends and particularly his parents. To have been killed in pursuance of his duties was some thing to be looked for, and needless to say his father and mother duly considered that side of the cast, but to fall as he has done is beyond our comprehension. That was entirely out of all reckoning. Notwithstanding his failure to reach France and minister to his stricken countrymen, in other sense he has attained his object, for he has given his life for humanity. He was fully identified with the righteous cause; in fact, all other things were subordinated to that end. Emoluments, love of ease, advancement in his noble profession, were not allowed to sway him, but head erect, breast forward, he went with a soul fired with a passion for men and the moral ideal, eager in every way to help his beloved land in her hour of need. His death has led him into union with the Great Sacrifice, and in measure helped to redeem mankind from the hand of the oppressor. We look through death to a great conclusion this life does not end all greater service in a higher sphere that awaits the brave and the good in the Land of Compensation. Having known him personally (many times he befriended me), one realises full well such is the position of the young doctor. His motive were pure, his service disinterested secures for him and all such a glorious reward. Humanly speaking, the whole affair, in its mysterious suddenness, is beyond our grasp, yet who knows best, and has called him into the Nearer Presence. With cheerful steps the path of duty run.

God never does nor suffers to be done, But what you would yourself, could you but see. The end of all events as well as He.

The brevity of life does not detract from its worth; it is the quality alone that tells. That counts here and here after. As a church we are proud and privileged to have had such a fine speci- men of manhood worship with us; any church might well envy us. As for the deceased doctor, his actions spoke eloquently for his parents. One only needs to enter such company to find that all that constitutes true life is to be found in such a home. The Sillar family, however sad, must have an inward satisfaction for that deep joy which comes from that actions, and is in accord with higher things is bound to be theirs to-day and for the remainder of their life. On behalf of the church and community I here convey to Mr. and Mrs. Sillar and family our sincere heartfelt sympathy, praying that. God may comfort and bless them all.

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Citation details

'Sillar, Roy Allen (1894–1918)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/sillar-roy-allen-19742/text31044, accessed 27 June 2019.

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