Special Event to Welcome Martial and Catherine Delabarre to Sydney


2008 Photo: Martial Delebarre (President Association Fromelles-Weppes-Terre de Memoire 14-18 (F.W.T.M. 14-18 ), Hubert Huchette (Mayor of Fromelles) and Francis Delattre (President de Union des Anciens Combattants – de l’UNC)

The Fromelles Association and the Australian Branch of the Western Front Association and FFFAIF are pleased to host a joint meeting to welcome Martial Delabarre to Sydney on 8 September. Martial has played a key role in the investigations that resulted in the rediscovery and exhumation of deceased Australian and British soldiers who died in the 1916 Fromelles battle in northern France.

2008: Martial Delebarre OAM, President of the Fromelles Weppes Territoriale Memoriale, The Honourable John Brumby, Premier of Victoria Monsieur,  Hubert Hutchette, Mayor of Fromelles and Peter Corlett, sculptor [Chris Munro]

He and his wife, Catherine, are visiting Australia in September as the guests of their friends Jim Munday and Tony May. Martial and Catherine are also visiting Mudgee, Wellington, Bodangara (16th) and Canberra (17th).

 1 Fromelles 7 Museum and flag sml

2010 Photo: David Marshall, Jean Marie Bailleul, Vice Président de FWTM 14-18 and Martial Delbarre AM with the Australian flag presented to the Fromelles Museum by Mike Rimmer [Mike Rimmer]

Martial Delabarre, OAM is a foundation member and President of the Souvenir de la Battaille de Fromelles 19/20 Julliet 1916. This involved the establishment of the first battlefield museum at Fromelles in 1990. Opened in the Town Hall, it remained a special place of pilgrimage until a new and publically funded museum opened nearby in 2014.


John Fielding & Martial Delebarre at Fromelles Museum

2008 Photo -John Fielding & Martial Delebarre at Fromelles Museum

Martial has been an officer of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for many years. During this time, he formed a close association and friendship with Victorian school teacher and historian Lambis Englezos. This co-operation materially assisted Lambis, amongst others, to finally rediscover and then support the exhumation of the remains of many of the Australian and British soldiers who died in July 1916 in the Pheasant Wood area.

l to r: Neville Kidd, Martial Delebarre, John Laffin. June 1990 June 1990: l to r: Neville Kidd, Martial Delebarre, John Laffin.

Martial has devoted a large part of his life to the study and archaeological investigation of the Australian role in the Fromelles battle of the 19th and 20th July 1916. In 2006, Martial Delabarre was awarded an honorary Medal in the Order of Australia “for service to Australia-France relations, particularly the preservation and promotion of Australian military history in Fromelles”.


2008 Photo: Mayor Hubert Huchette and Martial Delabarre at Australian Memorial Park, Fromelles. [Carole Laignel, Secretary Fromelles Museum]


Martial will present an illustrated talk on his role in the investigation of the Battle of Fromelles and its importance to him and to Australian military history.


It is with great pleasure that we invite you to attend this event and hear Martial’s story.


Thursday 8th September 2016 6pm to 8pm., The Bowling Club, 99 York St, Sydney

$12 cash subscription payable on the night to cover costs and light refreshments.

The venue is close to Town Hall station and to several CBD public car-park stations.


RSVP to: wfaaustraliabranch@gmail.com or to the Fromelles Association (for members of the latter group)


Paul Simadas


Australian Branch, Western Front Association

(0418) 461 956

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Commemorations of the Battle of Pozieres, 23 July 1916

The centenary of the Battle of Pozieres is to be commemorated by services in Pozieres as well as in Australia.


The commemoration service at Pozieres will be shown on ABC TV at midnight (AET) on 23 July, as part of its Australia Remembers: WW1 Centenary Services series and will be available in ABC iview as Australia Remembers: Pozieres Centenary Commemoration.


The First Battalion Association is hosting the Pozieres Day Commemoration Service at Saint Columba Uniting Church, on the corner of Ocean and Forth Street, Woollahra on Sunday 24 July, 2016 commencing at 9:30.

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The Pipes and Drums of the Scots College Band will arrive at 9:30 and the Guest of Honour will take the salute.

2013-07-21 Pozieres Service Sydney 004a web

At 10am the service will commence with the parade of the Colours of the 1st Battalion AIF carried by the 1/19 Royal New South Wales Regiment.

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The original 1st Battalion Colours and Union Jack have been restored and will be dedicated on either side of the Pozieres Cross.

Contact: Michael Lane
Hon. Secretary,
The First Battalion Association
02 9580 1383


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Commemorations of the Battle of Fromelles 19-20 July 1916


6 headstones were dedicated at the commemoration service at the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery. Now 150 of the 250 headstones indicate the identity of the soldier whose grave it marks. The identities of a further 78 of the 100 soldiers buried in the cemetery with full military honours in 2010 are known, but not yet matched to the headstone marking their grave.

More than 2,500 people attended the service on a day when the temperature rose above 35C, similar to when the cemetery was dedicated in 2010. The commemoration service was shown live on ABC TV, as was the commemorative service at VC Corner and both are available in ABC iview as Australia Remembers: WW1 Centenary Services

Pheasant Wood Commemorative Service and Headstone Dedication or
http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/australia-remembers-wwi-centenary-services/FA158; and
VC Corner Commemorative Service or


Sydney Procession from the Archibald Fountain to the ANZAC Memorial Commemorative Service

The Families and Friends of the First AIF hosted the 100th Anniversary Commemoration of The Battle of Fromelles at The ANZAC Memorial Hyde Park, Sydney on Tuesday 19 July 2016. On a warm sunny morning, the Commemoration was preceded by a commemorative walk from the Archibald Fountain to the ANZAC Memorial celebrating the bond between Australia and France in The Great War.  The procession was led by Professor the Hon. Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO and the President of FFFAIF, Jim Munro and FFFAIF member Jill Hayes, M. Nicolas Croizer, Consul-General for the Republic of France, The Hon Luke Foley MP, Leader of the Opposition, The Hon David Elliott MP, Minister for Veteran’s Affairs, Mr. John Haines AM, Acting President, NSW RSL and Mr Peter Poulet, NSW Government Architect and Mr Ken Corke, Director, Office of Australian War Graves and Mr Hadyn White of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.  . They were supported by M Jean Louis Worobec and members of the French North African Veterans’ Association and members of FFFAIF and the public.
2016 07 19 Fromelles Day Sydney_0086 Solemn procession small cropped 2016 07 19 Fromelles Day Sydney_0647 French veterans in procession small

The procession travelled the distance of “400 yards”, equivalent to the widest part of “No-man’s land” on the Fromelles battlefield, and paid homage to the 5th Division veterans marching to the ANZAC Memorial for the 50th anniversary commemoration in 1966. The participants in the procession were greeted by FFFAIF Commemorations Officer Margaret Snodgrass and joined those gathered at the ANZAC Memorial including ANZAC Centenary Ambassadors and the Trustees of the ANZAC Memorial as well as Deputy Commissioner David Hudson APM of the NSW Police Force, representatives of the Armed Forces, Ex-Service organisations, War Widows and descendants.  The Holy Family Choir Menai sang some Gathering songs and led more than 200 attendees in singing the Recessional: O Valiant Hearts, after which Master of Ceremonies, Darren Mitchell commenced the Commemoration with a period of silence for the Bastille Day victims in Nice, and their grieving families.
A message from the Patron of the FFAIF, and Governor General of Australia His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) was read before the Prologue was delivered by the Hon. Mike Baird MP, Premier of New South Wales who emphasised the strength of the bond between France and Australia a century ago and today.
Pastor Bob Durbin led a prayer, followed by Major-General Gus Gilmore, AO, DSC of The Australian Army delivering the Commemorative Address.

Major-General Gus Gilmore, AO, DSC of The Australian Army delivering the Commemorative Address

Major-General Gus Gilmore, AO, DSC of The Australian Army delivering the Commemorative Address

The Consul-General for the Republic of France, M. Nicolas Croizer, delivered a Message from France, expressing appreciation for Australian support since The Great War and continuing today. A Family Reflection was delivered by FFFAIF member, Mrs Margaret Darling, conveying the impact on their family of the search for the “missing” soldiers Fromelles and the re-discovery of their graves, exhumation, identification and re-interment with full military honours. Wreaths were laid while Piper Jim Braid played the Lament.

2016 07 19 Fromelles Day Sydney_0321 wreath laying small cropped 2016 07 19 Fromelles Day Sydney_0341 wreath laying small

Wreath laying supported by the RSL Corps of Guards (L to R), Hon. Mike Baird MP, Premier of New South Wales, M. Nicolas Croizer, Consul-General for the Republic of France,  Major-General Gus Gilmore, AO, DSC of The Australian Army,  Mrs Rhondda Vanzella OAM, State President War Widows Guild,  The Hon David Elliott MP, Minister for Veteran’s Affairs on behalf of the Trustees of the ANZAC Memorial and Mr. John Haines AM, Acting President, NSW RSL for the Fifth Division of the AIF.

2016 07 19 Fromelles Day Sydney_0373 wreath laying small cropped2016 07 19 Fromelles Day Sydney_0394 wreath laying small 

Laying wreaths were Mr. John Haines AM, Acting President, NSW RSL for the Fifth Division of the AIF, Professor The Hon Dame Marie Bashir AD, CVO and
Mr Jean-Louis Worobec, President of the French Veterans’ Association.

Also laying wreaths were:
The Hon Luke Foley MP, Leader of the Opposition,
Wing Commander Kylie Cimen, representing the Air Commander Australia on behalf of the Royal Australian Air Force.
Deputy Commissioner David Hudson representing the NSW Police Commissioner, on behalf of the NSW Police Force, together with
Mr Ken Corke, Director, Office of Australian War Graves, and
Mr Hadyn White on behalf of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Mrs Margaret Darling, Mr John Darling and Mr Harrison Tebb in memory of Ernest Jentsch and
Mr Royce Lockhart, Vice President,  Australian World War One Descendants,
Mr Roger Selby, Secretary, NSW Association of Jewish Ex-Service Men and Women
President Mr Mark McIntyre and Mr Malcolm Little OAM CStJ representing Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL Sub-branch,
President Mr Ron Brown OAM and Mr George Sachse, Representing The National Servicemen’s Association NSW.

The Last Post was played by Terry McCleary of the Fire and Rescue NSW Band before FFFAIF member and grandson of Margaret Darling, Harrison Tebb recited The Ode followed by silence and The Rouse. After a closing prayer and blessing, the Epilogue was delivered by President of FFFAIF, Jim Munro and the National Anthems of France and Australia were sung to close the commemoration.

After the commemorations, refreshments of ANZAC biscuits and warm beverages encouraged social interactions while special guests were farewelled by Mr Jim Munro, Ms Jill Hayes and Mrs Margaret Snodgrass.

Special thanks go the Trustees of the ANZAC Memorial, their staff, and contractors for providing the marquees, sound system and to the caterers Fit for a King. The presence of the Holy Family Choir of Menai and the RSL Corps of Guards and the Australian Army Flag Party along with the French Veterans contributed significantly to the solemnity and formality of the commemoration as did Master of Ceremonies, Darren Mitchell and Protocol Manager, Alexander Weilsmann and FFFAIF member Jill Hayes. Photographer Rob Tuckwell has provided a good photographic record of the occasion.

Special thanks go to the Organising Committee of Margaret Snodgrass, Darren Mitchell, Belinda Mitrovich, Michael Trenear, Alexander Weilsmann, Franziska Zuercher Mindrup,  Nick Young, Jeff O’Brien, Douglas James, Rosie Patrielli, and Program designer Anneke Jasinski.

Jim Munro, President of FFFAIF


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Commemoration of the Battle of Fromelles 19-20 July 1916

Sydney: 10:15 at the Archibald Fountain, Hyde Park for 10:30 Solemn Procession to the ANZAC Memorial for 11:00 Commemorative Service
Tuesday 19 July 2016

The Families and Friends of the First AIF invite you to attend the 100th Anniversary Commemoration of The Battle of Fromelles at The ANZAC Memorial Hyde Park, Sydney on Tuesday 19 July 2016 10:30am for 10:45am

The Commemoration will be preceded by a commemorative walk from the Archibald Fountain to the ANZAC Memorial celebrating the bond between Australia and France in The Great War. Assemble at the Archibald Fountain at 10:15 for 10:30 departure.

 Lounge suit, Day wear, Decorations /Medals, Poppy umbrellas

Please RSVP to FFFAIF Commemorations Officer, Mrs Margaret Snodgrass OAM at margaret@forsyth.com.au, or phone: (02) 9419 7411 or mail to:  4 Clanwilliam Street, Willoughby NSW 2068

ANZAC Memorial Fromelles Day Russell Curley

Melbourne: 1:30pm Fromelles Service and Wreath Laying at the Cobbers Statue, Tuesday, 19 July

This is a joint service hosted by The Shrine of Remembrance and the Friends of the 15th Brigade to remember the 5533 Australians killed, wounded or captured during this disastrous 24-hour battle. 1:30 p.m. at the “Cobbers” statue.

July 2008 037_frev_sml


Shrine of Remembrance: Reception <reception@shrine.org.au>

Friends of the 15th Brigade: Graham Williams 0417 360 097 graham.williams4@bigpond.com

Newcastle: 10am Honouring Private Harry Cressy at Sandgate Cemetery, Tuesday 19 July

A Memorial Service will be held to honour the supreme sacrifice of Pte Harry Cressy, 54th Battalion, 1st A.I.F. who fell on the 19th July 1916 by placing a memorial cross at his parents unmarked grave at Sandgate Cemetery with the participation of Cardiff and Boolaroo-Speers Point RSL Sub branch members. Harry’s elder brother Pte Edward Cressy was also wounded in the battle and was wound on two other occasions before returning to Australia in December 1918. There are at least 22 soldiers who fell during the Battle of Fromelles that are memorialised, or should be memorialised, scattered throughout Sandgate Cemetery who will be honoured during this service.

CRESSY_Henry_Pte_rtn_smlFromelles II.C.11 CRESSY Priv H A #4179 54 Bn 2010.07.30 P1070880 reduced

In 2008 FFFAIF member Ross St.Claire came across a portrait of Private Harry Cressy during his research on the 54th Bn and wanted to pass it on to a family member. At a presentation at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne by FFFAIF member Ross McMullin, Lambis Englezos met relative David Meale and arrangements were made for the photo to be presented to David by the then FFFAIF President Russell Curley. 

Largely as a result of the research and advocacy of Lambis Englezos supported by FFFAIF members, the site at Pheasant Wood was investigated and the remains of 250 soldiers buried by the Germans were recovered, and reinterred with full military honours. Private Cressy was identified in 2010.

When his parents died, Harry’s grave was unknown, and now he has his own headstone in the Fromelles (Pheasant Woods) Military Cemetery. How appropriate that his parents unmarked grave might now have some form of recognition for both them and their sons Harry and Edward.

Contact: Gary Mitchell, Sandgate Cemetery WW1 Researcher, garwood@live.com.au

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Message of support to Belgium and French members

Polygon Wood Dawn Service 2011_websiteIeper ANZAC Day 2009 Last Post DSCN2527_sml
ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Polygon Wood & Buglers at Menin Gate
Following the terrorist bombings in Brussels, FFFAIF President, Jim Munro has sent the following message of support on behalf of the FFFAIF Committee of Management and Members.
Dear FFFAIF Colleagues
Once again, Belgium is in the Australian and international news as enduring attacks on its sovereignty and peaceful lifestyle.
The terrorist attacks in Brussels and the recent attacks in Paris make us think of our FFFAIF members in Belgium and France and we send our warm thoughts and support.
We know that our FFFAIF members in Belgium and France are outside the Brussels area and not directly impacted by the terrorist attacks but it will be impacting on many aspects of your daily life.
Just over a century ago, “Little Belgium” was the focus of much support throughout Australia and there are many places, streets and houses and memorials that carry Belgium place names of significance to Australians. There are also many French place names throughout Australia, ensuring that Australians will not forget the importance of Belgium and France in Australian history and the importance of the freedoms and bonds we share with the people of Belgium and France.
Those who have gone before us and stood together in comradeship with courage to build the life we have, inspire us for a better future. Let us remember them and emulate the strength and resilience that is their legacy.
Be assured that your FFFAIF colleagues will be thinking of you as we Keep The Memory Alive.
Jim Munro
Families and Friends of the First AIF
PO Box 4028, Oatley West NSW 2223


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VALE – Claude Durand, OAM

WF Tour Day 8_MattSmith - 080WF Tour Day 8 HF 1143 - Maurie presents Dunny teatowel to Yves small

Claude Durand and his wife Colette welcoming the 2012 FFFAIF Tour Group to the Bullecourt luncheon. Claude observing Maurice Campbell presenting a Gilgandra tea-towel to Yves Fohlen.

It was with great sadness that news has been received of the sudden death of Claude Durand, OAM, former Mayor of Hendicourt on Tuesday, 1 March 2016.

It is thanks to Claude, his wife Colette and Jean Letaille that Anzacs who fought at Bullecourt have not been forgotten. Claude has welcomed many Australian visitors to the battlefield and was Vice President of the Association of the Museum of Jean and Denise Letaille formed to facilitate the upgrading of the Museum in Bullecourt.

Claude’s contribution to the commemoration of the victims of war was  enormous. In 1994 Claude was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to Australian / French relations.

In addition to the battlefield memorials of “The Digger” and “The Little Cross”, the upgrade to the Museum provided improved facilities for battlefield visitors and the annual ANZAC Day services at Bullecourt has now become an important part of the ANZAC Trail on the Western Front. In addition, Claude and his wife Colette have made FFFAIF Tours participants feel very welcome and helped make their visit more memorable.

On behalf of the Committee of Management and Members of Families and Friends of the First AIF, I express condolences to the family and friends of Claude Durand.

If you wish to express your sympathy to Colette and her family, her address is:

Mme Colette Durand
31 Grand’rue
62182 Hendecourt-les-Cagnicourt

Jim Munro, President


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Dr Brendan Nelson honoured with an Officer of the Order of Australia (OA)


At the conclusion of the 2010 ANZAC Day service at Menin Gate,  Dr Brendan Nelson as Australian Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and Luxemburg, met Ivan Sinnaeve.

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Dr Brendan Nelson at Menin Gate with the crew of  the Training Ship Black Swan after receiving bound copies of DIGGER from the FFFAIF 2012 Tour Group.

Australian War Memorial Director and FFFAIF member Brendan Nelson, has been honoured in the Australia Day Honours with an Officer of the Order of Australia (OA) for distinguished service to the Parliament of Australia, the community, the advancement of Australia’s international relations, and to major cultural institutions.

Dr Nelson came to prominence as national head of the Australian Medical Association, before entering Parliament. After serving as Minister for Education Science and Training, Dr Nelson became Minister for Defence in 2006.  During this time he became familiar with FFFAIF through its DIGGER magazine and after he retired from politics, while serving as Australian Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium and Luxemburg, Dr Nelson had greater opportunity to appreciate the Australian contribution in the Great War. In 2010 he became a member of FFFAIF and was able to meet a significant number of FFFAIF members on tours and pilgrimages to the Western Front battlefields.

In 2012, Dr Nelson was appointed Director of the Australian War Memorial, a role that has been particularly meaningful for him. He continues to value his FFFAIF membership and enjoys reading his copies of DIGGER.


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Three WWI Diggers identified in Belgium

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Ministerial Media Release VA103


Three First World War graves in the Birr Cross Roads Cemetery in Belgium will be rededicated today, finally commemorating by name three Australian soldiers who died in the First World War.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson said he was honoured to announce the rededication of the graves of Private Charles Eacott and Private Harry Huntsman of the 7th Battalion Australian Imperial Force (AIF), and Private John (Jock) Neilson of the 8th Battalion AIF.

“These men died in some of the worst fighting of the First World War. In just eight weeks, Australia suffered 38,000 casualties near Ypres,” Senator Ronaldson said.

The remains of these men were unable to be identified after the war. Their graves were marked as ‘Known Unto God’ and their names engraved on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing at Ieper (Ypres). The Menin Gate records the names of more than 54,000 Commonwealth troops, including more than 6,000 Australians who died near Ypres and who have no known grave.

Before the war, Privates Eacott and Huntsman, both 24 years of age, were farmers in Daylesford and Coburg, Victoria, respectively. They died together at the Battle of Polygon Wood on 20 September 1917. Private Neilsen was a 26-year-old engine driver from West Wallsend, NSW. He died at the Battle of Passchendaele on 10 October 1917.

“Thanks to the extraordinary research of Andrew Pittaway of Fremantle and Dennis Frank of Melbourne, the graves of these three Australian soldiers have been identified,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“Mr Pittaway and Mr Frank compared Commonwealth War Grave Commission burial records, service records held by the National Archives of Australia, Red Cross files and battalion war diaries in the Australian War Memorial collection. These on-line resources have not been compared before. It is hoped this new avenue of research will allow the identification of more graves of ‘the missing’ in the future.”

Images are available on the DVA Flickr page as follows:

Henry Huntsman 1917 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/dvaaus/21480302176/

Jock Neilson – https://www.flickr.com/photos/dvaaus/21506540525/

Jock Neilson’s Grave – https://www.flickr.com/photos/dvaaus/21318706588/

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Wednesday, 26 August 2015  Sen Ronaldson Media Release VA087

A new Anzac Memorial was unveiled at Deception Bay today by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson and Member for Petrie Luke Howarth MP.

The memorial, situated on the Deception Bay foreshore, features a commemorative walk, with elements that provide a direct connection to First World War events that had an impact on the local community.

“I am proud to see the Moreton Bay community take such an interest in commemorating and remembering its local servicemen and women.”

“The First World War helped define us as people and as a nation, and the Australian Government is proud to stand together with the Returned and Services League (RSL) in honouring the brave Australians who sacrificed so much for our country,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Mr Howarth said the Australian Government provided funding of $30,208 through its Anzac Centenary Local Grants Programme (ACGLP) to help the Deception Bay RSL Sub-Branch to create the memorial, which sits adjacent to the Second World War memorial in the community’s commemorative precinct.

“This new memorial is a fitting focal point for our community to commemorate the service and sacrifice of those who have defended our nation and protected our way of life.”

“I would like to acknowledge the Deception Bay RSL sub-branch and the Moreton Bay Regional Council for partnering with the Australian Government in delivering this fantastic project,” Mr Howarth said.

The ACGLP provides up to $125,000 for each federal electorate to support community-based commemoration of the First World War. More than 1,640 grants across 150 Federal electorates have been awarded funding to the value of $16.72 million (ex GST).

“The Centenary of Anzac will be the most significant period of commemoration in our nation’s history and the Government is committed to providing opportunities for all Australians to participate.”

“During the Centenary we not only remember the ANZACS who served in the First World War, but also commemorate a century of service in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australia has been involved,” Senator Ronaldson said.

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Desert Mounted Corps Memorial Albany – a military memorial of National Significance


Friday, 3 July 2015                                                                                     Media Release VA072

The Desert Mounted Corps Memorial in Albany, Western Australia, was today declared a Military Memorial of National Significance by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson.

Senator Ronaldson joined the Federal Member for O’Connor, Mr Rick Wilson MP, and the Mayor of the City of Albany, Cr Dennis Wellington, to make the announcement at the Memorial.

The memorial commemorates the men of the Australian Light Horse, as well as the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, the Imperial Camel Corps and the Australian Flying Corps who served in Egypt, Palestine and Syria during the First World War between 1916 and 1918.

“Australia has a proud wartime history and it is important that those who served are remembered now and into the future,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“It is an honour to officially declare the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial in Albany a Military Memorial of National Significance. It is fitting that this memorial receives this recognition during the Centenary of Anzac period – the most important period of commemoration in our nation’s history.”

To be declared a Military Memorial of National Significance, the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial has satisfied the 10 criteria for listing as set out in the legislation. These include a requirement for the Memorial to be appropriately dignified and symbolic, be of sufficient scale and be of commemorative importance to the community and the nation.

“The Desert Mounted Corps Memorial is one of only two Military Memorials of National Significance in Western Australia, joining the HMAS Sydney II Memorial in Geraldton. This special status is awarded to memorials of national importance that are not located in the nation’s capital,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said the memorial’s bronze cast statue was a copy of the original, which was erected at Port Said in Egypt, and unveiled on 23 November 1932.

“The Port Said memorial was irreparably damaged during the Suez crisis in 1956, however, the masonry was salvaged and brought to Australia for re-erection at the Albany site before being unveiled by former Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Menzies on 11 October 1964,” Mr Wilson said.

“The Desert Mounted Corps Memorial has always been a focal point for our community and it is a great honour that we have now received this level of recognition.

“I encourage all visitors to Albany to make sure they visit this important Memorial, and pause to acknowledge the sacrifice of Australians who died for their nation in the Middle East during the First World War,” Mr Wilson said.

Senator Ronaldson noted the support of the people of Albany for the Memorial and for the wider programme of commemoration associated with the Centenary of Anzac.

“The people of Albany played an important role in the commemoration of the Centenary of Anzac, hosting a series of significant events here in October and November 2014. The opening of the National Anzac Centre, and the better than expected visitor numbers over the first six months of operation, attest to the community’s deep engagement with our nation’s military history,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“It is an honour and privilege to again visit Albany and to bestow this honour on the Memorial and, by extension, the people of the community who have cared for it for so many years.”


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