THE Mt Evelyn RSL will publish the poignant memoirs of a courageous horseman who served during the First World War.
Joe Clark was the last surviving WWI third light horseman in Australia when he died in 1999. He was 102 years old.
Although he rarely spoke of the war, he penned his deeply personal memoirs with Mt Evelyn RSL secretary Anthony McAleer before his death.
Mr McAleer contacted the Weekly earlier this year, hoping to track down Mr Clark's family.
After a notice was published in the Weekly, Mr McAleer made contact with the soldier's daughter Joan Knight, 86, and granddaughter Tina, 61.
Tina said her grandfather had left South Australia to serve in the Middle East in 1918.
"For him it was like his first big adventure out into the world," she said.
"He forged his father's signature to leave for the war when he was 18 years old. It was against his father's wishes because his only brother James had died after being severely wounded in Gallipoli during the Battle of Lone Pine."
She said her grandfather's experience of war shaped his respect for life and affirmed his faith in God.
He often spoke of his trip to Jerusalem and of climbing the Pyramids of Giza - but rarely about patrolling the shores of the west bank of the Jordan River, capturing stray war prisoners, or the filthy conditions soldiers were forced to bunk in.
Mr Clark returned from war with malaria and a hearing impairment from living in a war zone.
"Pa believed in living your life while you're here," Tina said. "He was a very gentle, religious man who was always kind to his family and everybody he met. Even as he aged, he remained such a big strong man, who walked with his chest out and head held high."
Every year until his death, the family attended the Anzac Day march.
Mr McAleer said he hoped Mr Clark's experiences in the war would resonate with others in the community.
"Reading something that is as personalised as his memories really brings it home how much our war veterans went through."
The Mt Evelyn RSL hopes to publish Mr Clark's memoirs, The Last Light Horseman, before the end of the year.
As part of Fairfax Media's Anzac Project, readers can pay tribute to our Diggers by sending us images of family members who served during the wars. Visit