News

Lino reveals treasure

OLD NEWS: Ballina’s John Leckenby with the original November 16, 1918, Australasian edition of The Illustrated London News which was found under lino.
OLD NEWS: Ballina’s John Leckenby with the original November 16, 1918, Australasian edition of The Illustrated London News which was found under lino. DOUG EATON

JOHN Leckenby, of Ballina, has a little more insight than most about the feeling in England when the First World War ended, all because of something he has which was found under lino.

The armistice to end The Great War was signed at 11am on November 11, 1918 - a day which is commemorated each year as Remembrance Day. A memorial service will be held on November 11 at the Ballina cenotaph from 10.45am.

John has an original November 16, 1918, Australasian edition of The Illustrated London News, which was given to him by a mate 25 years ago which celebrates the armistice.

The paper, in surprisingly good condition, has photographs of the Versailles conference, the celebrations on the streets of London and outside Buckingham Palace at the end of the war, as well as photographs of community and military leaders of the day.

"A mate of mine was renovating a house at Moruya (on the South Coast) and pulled up the lino," John said.

"There were lots of newspapers under the lino."

John said his mate had no hesitation in offering the historic newspaper to him.

"I just love history," he said.

He has no idea how long the paper - which cost two shillings - was under the lino for, or who was the original owner.

He keeps the paper in a plastic cover now to preserve it, but John, at 66, is also thinking of the future of the historic document.

He would like to sell it, but isn't sure of the market for it.

The back page of the paper has a tear.


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