2015 John Laffin Memorial Lecture

John Laffin 1922-2000

Members and their guests are invited to attend

 The John Laffin Memorial Lecture

 Sunday, 5 July 2015

                  10 AM for 10:15 start at The BAE Systems Theatre

          Australian War Memorial

           Treloar Crescent, Campbell ACT

          On-site car parking is available

                       Entry: $20 per head for morning tea & a light lunch

               RSVP by Friday, 26 June to secretary@fffaif.org.au or phone 0401 467 819 

Payment preferred by EFT to:

BSB                 012-402

Account #         110142368

Acc name         Families and Friends of the First AIF

Reference         ‘(your name) JLML’

SORRY: No membership renewals or cash payments can be accepted at the Australian War Memorial.

 Speakers:

 Tony Cunneen       The Home Front 1914-1918

 Robyn Van Dyk      The Australian War Memorial’s Key Centenary Projects and 100                                              years of Australian military mapping

FFFAIF is pleased to announce two lectures for the John Laffin Memorial Lecture series for 2015. The Lectures commemorate the contribution of the founder of the FFFAIF, Australian military historian and author John Laffin.

 FFFAIF member Tony Cunneen is a Sydney school teacher and a regular contributor to DIGGER.

Tony has had articles published on members of the legal profession who served in WWI, and the Home Front during the war years. Members will recall his extensively researched article on Sydney at the outbreak of the war as an example of his interest in the impact of the war on Australian politics and society.

Robyn Van Dyk is the head of the AWM Research Centre and will talk on the Memorial’s key centenary projects with a strong focus on WW1 stories from the archive – Anzac Connections.

The first of July represents 100 years of the Australian Army Survey Corps and this year represents 100 years of Australian military mapping. Robyn will provide a behind the scenes tour of the research centre with a focus on some of the iconic maps along with their very human stories from the last 100 years – Gallipoli to Afghanistan.

This also coincides with an exhibition that Robyn has been working on with the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation that is running until 31 July.

 Lucky door prizes will include books related to World War One

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Remains of First World War soldiers recovered in Bullecourt

The remains of two soldiers, likely to be Australians who fought in the First World War, were located at Bullecourt in France on Saturday, 23 May 2015.

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, said the remains had been discovered by a French fossicker in an area known to locals as the ‘Australian line’ and then recovered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC).

“After efforts to identify the soldiers, the remains will be interred in a nearby war cemetery with full military honours,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“During initial examination of the remains, CWGC personnel discovered a button with a map of Australia on it, supporting the likelihood that they are Australian soldiers.

“The First and Second battles at Bullecourt saw some of the most intense trench fighting of the First World War. Australians achieved amazing feats and sadly also suffered significant losses. General Haig described Second Bullecourt as ‘among the great deeds of the war’.

“Australia owes a debt of gratitude to these men, and all those who served our nation on foreign soil. It is our responsibility to ensure that their service and sacrifice is respectfully honoured,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Australian and British troops fought two bloody battles at Bullecourt in April and in May 1917, with the Australian Imperial Force sustaining approximately 10,000 casualties. Hundreds of Australians who died at Bullecourt remain missing.

Courtesy: Sen Ronaldson Media release VA051,  29 May 2015

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Poppies, Propaganda and Passchendaele: Australia, Belgium and the Great War

On 23 July 2015 the State Library of New South Wales will host a symposium exploring Australia’s complex and little-known relationship with Belgium during the Great War. It’s a free event and bookings are filling fast.

Details here: Poppies Propaganda and Passchendaele

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FROMELLES to KRITHIA – The Journey continues

fromelles_lambis-in-field-prior-to-dig

 (photo: C. Munro)

FFFAIF member, Lambis Englezos AM, whose team found the lost Diggers of Fromelles in a mass grave alongside Pheasant Wood in 2008, has turned his attention to what he believes is another mass grave of at least 143 missing Australian Diggers on Gallipoli.

Together with John Basarin, a Turkish Australian volunteer at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, their story was told by 60 Minutes on Sunday night (5 April).                           

They first put their proposal to the Australian Government in November 2011, but were ignored until December 2014 when they received an email reply stating: “We will not consider any ground search unless we are certain of finding remains.”

Deja-vous? Lambis met with similar resistance for years in his search at Fromelles, but wasn’t put off then. He and John will not be put off now.

We do have that moral obligation. If you can find your war dead, you gotta do it,” Lambis said.

To view the 60 Minutes story go here

http://www.9jumpin.com.au/show/60minutes/stories/2015/march/finding-cobber/

An abridged version of the proposal sent to the Australian Government available here

 THE SEARCH ALSO GOES ON IN BELGIUM

An Australian businessman, Len Kelly, leads a team of British and Belgian partners as they continue their search for 83 missing Diggers from the 45th AIF Battalion, lost since the Battle of Messines in 1917.

They’ve pinpointed a field near the cross-roads as the resting place of the 83 men.

Mark Donaldson VC, narrates the story of the search so far, and his report, shown on Channel 7’s  6 o’clock News Sunday (5 April)  is available at

https://au.news.yahoo.com/video/watch/26944045/search-for-anzacs-grave/?cmp=twitter

 

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Penrith Poppy Park Open

poppy field YF IMGP0960

[A poppy field nearby Le Hamel Memorial: courtesy Yves Fohlen, France.]

SENATOR THE HON. MICHAEL RONALDSON MINISTER FOR VETERANS’ AFFAIRS MINISTER ASSISTING THE PRIME MINISTER FOR THE CENTENARY OF ANZAC SPECIAL MINISTER OF STATE

Saturday, 21 March 2015 VA18

MINISTER OPENS PENRITH’S COMMEMORATIVE POPPY PARK

Penrith’s Judges Park has been transformed by 102,804 commemorative poppies, arranged in the formation of a single large poppy, to honour every single Australian soldier who has given their life for our country.

The Minister for Veterans Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson joined the Federal Member for Lindsay, Fiona Scott MP, in Penrith today to pay tribute at the commemorative field of poppies.

“This excellent local initiative demonstrates how communities can creatively and thoughtfully acknowledge those Australian men and women who have died in the service of our nation,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“This is a powerful representation of the loss incurred during war and conflict. Seeing more than 102,000 poppies laid over two thousand square metres, gives you some perspective of the sheer enormity of the sacrifice our servicemen and servicewomen have made for our nation.

“During the Centenary of Anzac, we mark a hundred years of service and sacrifice, encompassing all wars, conflicts and peace operations in which Australia has been involved. The Centenary will be the most significant period of commemoration in our nation’s history.

“I would like to congratulate all of those involved for encapsulating this spirit of commemoration for all Australian service in such an unique and moving way,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Fiona Scott added, “I can’t speak highly enough of Owen and Martin Rogers’ – the fantastic and inspirational brothers behind this most honourable event whereby our community will remember every single one of the 102,804 brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country and the pursuit of our freedom.”

“This event has been a huge community effort from the team at Thorndale, who have made the poppies, as well as St Dominic’s College student Connor Jurkovic who designed the “Poppy Park” and the hundreds of residents, families of service personnel and school children who have donated their time to planting the poppies in Poppy Park,” Fiona Scott MP said.

Attached to each poppy in Poppy Park is a card bearing the name of a fallen soldier. At the conclusion of the commemorative event, the poppies will be collected, packed and posted to people who have purchased them as mementos.

All funds raised from the sale of the poppies will be donated to the City of Penrith RSL sub-Branch and Nepean Legacy.

More information at:

http://www.poppypark.org.au/

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GALLIPOLI 2015 — PASSES ISSUED

SENATOR THE HON. MICHAEL RONALDSON MINISTER FOR VETERANS’ AFFAIRS MINISTER ASSISTING THE PRIME MINISTER FOR THE CENTENARY OF ANZAC SPECIAL MINISTER OF STATE


 GALLIPOLI 2015 — PASSES IN THE MAIL

 13 March 2015 VA015

The wait is over for Australians attending Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli this year, with attendance passes to begin arriving in the mail from today.

Prime Minister the Hon. Tony Abbott MP, yesterday joined the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, and Member for Deakin Michael Sukkar in visiting ballot recipient Mr Kimberley Cornish of Blackburn North to present him with the very first double attendance pass.

Mr Cornish is the son of First World War veteran Albert Edwin Spencer Cornish who fought and was wounded at Gallipoli in 1915.

Mr Cornish will take his son Dominic to the service at Anzac Cove where he will also be met by his brother Christopher, who was also successful in the ballot.

“I am pleased to be here with the Prime Minister and the Minister to mark the beginning of the Anzac Day Dawn Service mailout by personally delivering the first double attendance pass to a local direct descendant of one of our Gallipoli veterans,” Mr Sukkar said.

“Kimberley’s father Albert Cornish was 37 years old when he left his job as a station and stock hand in Western Australia to volunteer for the Australian Imperial Forces in February 1915.

“He trained in Egypt before joining the 10th Light Horse at Gallipoli, suffering a gunshot wound to the head in October that year before being evacuated and ultimately discharged and returned to Australia in 1916.

“Albert’s story is one of 420,000 similarly brave examples of those who volunteered to serve our country in the First World War and I wish Kimberley, Christopher and Dominic all the best at Gallipoli for the Centenary of Anzac next month,” Mr Sukkar said.

Senator Ronaldson said the Centenary of Anzac would be our nation’s most significant period of commemoration and encouraged all Australian’s to participate on one of the many services that will take place on Anzac Day.

“For those who have received passes to the Gallipoli Dawn Service, they will be sent to the primary pass holder’s nominated address via express post over the coming weeks,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“Those without attendance passes to the Anzac Day commemorations may consider visiting Gallipoli on 6 August 2015 for the Battle of Lone Pine Centenary commemoration service. The Battle of Lone Pine saw some of the fiercest fighting of the Gallipoli campaign.

“Australians may also consider attending another Dawn Service in Australia or overseas or watch the television broadcast of the Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux services on the ABC,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Australian passport holders travelling to Gallipoli must obtain a Turkish entry visa before leaving home. The application is available online at www.evisa.gov.tr and costs US$60 per visa. Australians are also encouraged to register their travel on the Smartraveller website at www.smartraveller.gov.au

Gallipoli Dawn Service attendees who depart Australia before receiving their passes can collect them from a Ticketek pop-up office in Eceabat, Turkey from 20 to 23 April. Information on location and opening times can be found at www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au.

Gallipoli Dawn Service attendees who have not received their passes by the beginning of April should contact Ticketek on 1300 364 002 or email gallipoli2015@dva.gov.au.

 

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GALLIPOLI CENTENARY ATTENDANCE PASSES RELEASED

The Australian Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, has announced round 7 of the Gallipoli waitlist

 16 Feb 2015

More Australians will be offered the chance to attend the Anzac Day Dawn Service at Gallipoli as the next call on the ballot’s waitlist has been activated.

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson, said 304 double passes have been released to the next Australians on the Gallipoli waitlist.

Round seven of the waitlist will allow individuals offered a double pass 14 days to accept it. Those who no longer wish to attend are encouraged to decline the offer as soon as possible so it can be released to the next person on the waitlist.

In accepting a double pass, the ticket holder is required to provide confirmation of their travel arrangements. Applicants should speak to their travel agent as soon as possible to ensure they can access suitable tour bookings and flights to and from Turkey in time for the events on Anzac Day.

The Anzac Centenary is this nation’s most significant period of commemoration and the Government is committed to ensuring all Australians have the opportunity to participate.

Those without attendance passes to the commemorations may consider visiting Gallipoli on 6 August 2015 for the Battle of Lone Pine Centenary commemoration service. The Battle at Lone Pine saw some of the fiercest fighting of the Gallipoli campaign.

Australians may also consider attending another Dawn Service in Australia or overseas or watch the television broadcast of the Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux services on the ABC. Another option is to visit Gallipoli at another time during the Centenary year.

For more information on Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli visit www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au

Media inquiries: Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381 Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

 

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Special flight to Turkey for ANZAC Centenary

Tuesday, 27 January 2015 VA002

 

The Australian Government and Qantas today announced a collaboration to support ANZAC Centenary activities marking the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.

 

 Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson made the announcement alongside Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce at the airline’s Sydney Jetbase.

“The Anzac Centenary is a milestone of special significance to all Australians as the First World War played such an important role in defining us as a nation and as a people” Senator Ronaldson said.

The Government appreciates the generous contribution of Qantas in supporting this significant period of commemoration and ensuring that more Australians can travel to Turkey for the services.

Qantas has added a special flight for Australians travelling to Turkey for Anzac Day – the Boeing 747 seats 364 people and will depart Sydney for Istanbul on 21 April, via Perth.

“This additional flight is a great initiative by Qantas, and will provide the opportunity for many Australians who received a ticket in the ballot to travel to this historic Anzac Day commemoration,” Senator Ronaldson said.

Qantas has a strong connection to Gallipoli where two of its founders served, Sir William Hudson Fysh KBE DFC (1894 – 1974) and Paul McGinness DFC DCM (1896-1952).

Qantas has agreed to provide return flights for the widows of Australian First World War veterans travelling to Turkey for Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli. The widows, aged in their seventies to early nineties, will attend the commemorations as official guests of the Australian Government and will travel as part of an official mission party.

The widows will each be accompanied by a carer and support staff from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), including nurses and an Australian Defence Force doctor.

Following an expression of interest process undertaken last year, DVA is continuing to work with the widows and their carers to ensure their fitness for international travel in April.

“Qantas is proud to be working with the Australian Government and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to support the Centenary of ANZAC events,” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

“We are honoured to be carrying war widows and their carers to Turkey so they can attend commemorative services at Gallipoli.

“Two of Qantas’ founders, Paul McGinness and Hudson Fysh both served with distinction in the First World War and today, their legacies remain strong as do our ties with the services of the Australian Defence Forces.”

Senator Ronaldson said that while Anzac Day 2015 in Gallipoli will be a key commemorative event in the Anzac Centenary Programme, the programme will extend until November 2018 when the 100th anniversary of the armistice will be observed.

“Those without attendance passes for Anzac Day 2015 may consider visiting Gallipoli on 6 August 2015 for the Battle of Lone Pine commemoration service.  Australians can also attend a Dawn Service in Australia or watch the television broadcast of the Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux services on the ABC” he said.

The ballot for attendance at Anzac Centenary commemorations at Gallipoli is now complete. A waitlist, for those who were unsuccessful in previous allocations, is open until 31 March 2015 to reallocate places that become available. Only those with a ballot attendance pass can attend the official Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015.

For more information on Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015 visit www.gallipoli2015.dva.gov.au or visit www.anzaccentenary.gov.au for information on the Anzac Centenary Programme.

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Season’s Greetings

Season’s Greetings

WW1 postcard 5 JD

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

WW1 Christmas truce 1914

From the 2014/15 FFFAIF Management Committee.
Peace on earth and goodwill to all men
Lest We Forget
*****
The office of the FFFAIF will be taking a break over the Festive Season and will re-open on

Tuesday 27th January, 2015.

The secretary will be checking emails, occasionally, throughout this period so there may be a delay in responses to secretary@fffaif.org.au

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Oxford Archaeology Report now available

remember me to all -cover

‘Remember Me To All’: The archaeological recovery and identification of soldiers who fought and died in the battle of Fromelles 1916. Hardcover– July 16, 2014

by Louise Loe, Caroline Baker, Kate Brady, Margaret Cox and Helen Webb (authors) with significant contributions to the Anthropological and Identification chapters by FFFAIF member Professor Richard Wright AM.

This work is a comprehensive report on the Pheasant Wood Archaeological recovery and identification of soldiers who fought and died during the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.

Now available at:

http://www.amazon.com/Remember-All-archaeological-identification-Fromelles/dp/0904220753/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1417323763&sr=8-2&keywords=remember+me+to+all

 

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