A copy of this Fromelles Day Sydney 2020 Commemorative Procession and Commemoration report is available on request from email@example.com
(At 10MB the PDF version is too large to upload to this website).
Commemorative Procession from the Archibald Fountain to the Anzac Memorial
The Commemorative Procession leaving the Archibald Fountain.
All Images by Michael Mannington for Community Photography
The Families and Friends of the First AIF in conjunction with the Trustees of the Anzac Memorial, hosted the Commemoration of the 104th anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles at The Anzac Memorial Hyde Park, Sydney on Monday 20 July 2020. It was the first Fromelles Day Commemoration during the era of the COVID19 pandemic. The Commemoration was a “closed event” with limited numbers of invitations and attendance capped at 35 attendees, which is the capacity limit for the Anzac Memorial Auditorium complying with the NSW Government COVID19 Safety Plan Guidelines for Museums and Galleries. This meant that is was not possible to invite The Holy Family Choir Menai, who have supported the Fromelles Day Commemoration for the past decade, or the NSW Police Band, descendants and members of the public. In previous years, relatives of soldiers who participated in the Battle were among those attending, however this year they were invited to send the names of the soldiers they are commemorating for placement on a Commemorative Star to be cast into the Well of Contemplation following the laying of wreaths.
The Battle of Fromelles in northern France on 19-20 July 2016 was the first battle involving Australian troops on the Western Front following the withdrawal from Gallipoli. It was and remains the largest loss of Australian life in a 24-hour period with 1,917 killed or died of wounds, 3,416 wounded and 496 taken prisoner totalling 5,533 casualties. While the Battle started on the 19 July, the Commemoration was held on Monday 20th as the Anzac Memorial was currently not open on weekends. This meant that the Commemoration was at the time when 104 years ago the 5th Division troops who had broken through the German lines were desperately fighting a German counter attack and were being surrounded and at risk of being cut off and many were killed. These included the 250 men buried by the Germans after the battle whose graves were located in 2008 and were exhumed and in 2010 were reinterred in the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery. 166 of these soldiers have now been identified by archaeological and anthropological analysis as well as DNA matching with relatives and now have their named headstone.
Also available for downloading:
Fromelles Day 2020 Background to the Battle of Fromelles
Fromelles Day 2020 Background briefing on the Battle of Fromelles 19-20 July 1916
Fromelles Day 2020 Background and Update on identification of the Diggers from Pheasant Wood
List of soldiers known to be buried at Pheasant Wood, Fromelles at March 2019
The Commemoration was preceded by a Commemorative Procession of about 30 people on a sunny, mild winter morning from the Archibald Fountain that commemorates the association of Australia and France in The Great War to the Anzac Memorial. The procession symbolically represents the “400 yards”, 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.
Permission was obtained from the City of Sydney and NSW Police for the Commemorative Procession with compliance with physical distancing requirements and NSW Health Guidelines. All participants went through temperature checking and hand sanitising and were offered face masks at the Archibald Fountain before forming 2 columns in physical distancing formation. The Procession was then escorted by NSW Police Officers as a COVID19 Safe “bubble” to the Anzac Memorial.
COVID 19 Precautions: FFFAIF Parade Marshall Lt. Col. Paul Simadas RFD and
FFFAIF President Jim Munro undertaking temperature checks for
the Minister for Veterans The Hon Geoff Lee MP and
DVA Deputy Commissioner NSW/ACT Victoria Benz.
[Click on images to enlarge]
The Commemorative Procession re-enacted the final Parade of the veterans of the 5th Division on the 50th anniversary of the Battle marching to the ANZAC Memorial to request that the Trustees of the Anzac Memorial always remember their service and the sacrifice of their comrades on 19 July. Click on this link to see Fromelles 50th Anniversary – A record of the Parade and Ceremony held in Hyde Park on 19 July 1966
The Commemorative Procession was led a Flag Party. The Australian National Flag Ensign was Warrant Officer Class 2 Nathan Grumley, of 1 Health Support Company (1HSC), Randwick Barracks, whose great grandfather Pte William Grumley, 30Bn, was wounded in the Battle of Fromelles, and is thought to have been one of the veterans who participated in the 1966 Parade from the Archibald Fountain to the Anzac Memorial. M. Jean-Louis Worobec, Past Président Association des Anciens Combatants Francais de Nouvelle Galles du Sud (French War Veterans of NSW) carried the French Tricolour.
Flag Ensign WO2 Nathan Grumley with M. Jean-Louis Worobec, French War Veterans of NSW at the head of the Commemorative Procession
The Hon Margaret Beazley, AC QC, Governor of New South Wales with Mr Dennis Wilson led the Commemorative Procession, accompanied by Dignitaries and representatives of the Australian Defence Forces, ex-service and descendant organisations.
The Commemorative Procession at Park Street
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The Commemorative Procession at Hyde Park South and approaching the Pool of Reflection
Accompanying the Procession from Park Street to the Anzac Memorial was Piper Jim Braid, NSW Scottish Regimental Association Pipes and Drums.
Fromelles Commemorative Procession passing the Pool of Reflection and
Flag Party of WO2 Nathan Grumley and French Veteran Jean-Louis Worobec
at the Northern Forecourt of the Anzac Memorial
[Click on images to enlarge]
The Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC with Mr Dennis Wilson and Aide-de-Camp SQNLDR Greg Baker-Moss;
Acting Minister for Veterans The Hon Geoff Lee MP representing
The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales and
The Anzac Memorial Trustees with Nicolle Nasr, Ministerial Adviser;
Board Director, Mr John Hutcheson for Mr Ray James, Acting President, The Returned and Services League of Australia NSW Branch;
Consul-General of United Kingdom Mr. Michael Ward;
Consul-General of New Zealand Mr. Bill Dobbie;
Consul-General Republic of France Mrs Anne Boillon;
Dep. Head of Mission Belgium M. Arnaud Dusaucy;
Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Commissioner NSW/ACT, Ms Victoria Benz;
Australian Army representative, Brigadier Brendan Casey, Commander 8th Brigade (8th Bde fought at Fromelles and now includes the University Regiments);
The Hon Brendan Nelson AO Families and Friends of the First AIF Honorary Member;
Professor Richard Wright AM Families and Friends of the First AIF Honorary Member;
FFFAIF President Jim Munro;
FFFAIF Committee Member Jill Hayes;
Australian World War One Descendants (AWWOD) Arline Ronsisvale;
Fromelles Association of Australia, Secretary Geoffrey Benn;
War Widows’ Guild of Australia, National President Mrs Meg Green AM;
Sydney Legacy President, Mr Greg Wrate; and
NSW Association of Jewish Service and Ex-Service Men & Women (NAJEX) President Roger Selby.
They were supported by:
FFFAIF Marshall Lt. Col. Paul Simadas RFD (also Australian Branch of the Western Front Association);
WO1 David McGarry, Regimental Sergeant Major, Joint Ceremonial NSW of the Australian Army;
WO2 Nathan Grumley as National Flag Party;
French Veterans’ Past President Jean-Louis Worobec;
Michael Mannington, Community Photography; and
Videographer Adrian of Vagrant Films.
Special thanks go to the Procession Marshall, Lt. Col. Paul Simadas RFD, Vice President Families and Friends of the First AIF and Chairman, Australian Branch, Western Front Association who co-ordinated many of the arrangements for the Procession including liaising with the NSW Police and City of Sydney Events Team to ensure the security for the Procession and safe passage across Park Street and establishing the Order of Procession.
You can view and download video of the Commemorative Procession recorded by Vagrant Films on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/.
Commemorative Wreath laying on the steps of the Anzac Memorial
When the Commemorative Procession arrived at the Anzac Memorial Forecourt, the participants transitioned into Wreath laying order efficiently while keeping physical distancing and staying within the COVID19-Safe “bubble”.
Maintaining physical separation in preparation for Fromelles Wreath laying
Their Excellencies Hon Margaret Beazley and Mr Wilson and Dignitaries
Piper Jim Braid, supported by Bugler, Terry McCleary took up his position to be able to play a Lament during the wreath-laying.
The Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC supported by Mr Dennis Wilson laid a wreath on behalf of the People of NSW.
Master of Ceremonies Darren Mitchell called forward the following dignitaries to lay their wreaths together (shown left to right below):
Brigadier Brendan Casey, Commander 8th Brigade, Representing the Australian Army Commander Forces Command, Major General Matt Pearse AM, and Commander Second Division, Major General Kathryn Campbell, AO, CSC and members of 8th Brigade, laying a wreath on behalf of The Australian Defence Forces for those who have served and currently serve.
Mr Arnaud Dusaucy Deputy Head of Mission, Royal Embassy of Belgium, laying a wreath on behalf of the Citizens of Belgium.
Mr. Bill Dobbie, Consul-General of New Zealand laying a wreath on behalf of the Citizens of New Zealand.
Acting Minister for Veterans The Hon Geoff Lee MP representing The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales and The Government of New South Wales laying a wreath on behalf of the NSW Premier and Government of NSW.
Mr Michael Ward, British Consul-General and Director General of Trade & Investment laying a wreath on behalf of the Citizens of United Kingdom.
Mrs Anne Boillon, Consul-General for the Republic of France, laying a wreath on behalf of the Citizens of France.
Master of Ceremonies Darren Mitchell then called forward the following dignitaries to lay their wreaths together (shown left to right below):
Mr. Gregory Wrate, President of Sydney Legacy laying a wreath on behalf of Legatees;
Arline Ronsisvalle, representing Australian World War One Descendants (AWWOD) laying a wreath on behalf of World War One descendants;
Geoffrey Benn, Secretary Fromelles Association of Australia supported by Professor Richard Wright AM, Honorary Member, Families and Friends of the First AIF laying a wreath on behalf of Fromelles descendants for the Missing of Fromelles;
The Hon Brendan Nelson AO Honorary Member, Families and Friends of the First AIF supported by Jim Munro, President laying a wreath for the Fallen at Fromelles;
Meg Green, National President, War Widows’ Guild of Australia, laying a wreath for War Widows of Australia;
Mr John Hutcheson Board Director, The Returned and Services League of Australia NSW Branch, representing Mr Ray James, Acting President, laying a wreath for those who served; and
Ms Victoria Benz, Deputy Commissioner NSW & ACT, representing the Department of Veterans’ Affairs laying a wreath for War Veterans.
Their Excellencies The Honourable Margaret Beazley and Mr Wilson observe
the wreaths laid in tribute.
Wreaths: Republic of France, United Kingdom, RSL NSW
Wreaths: DVA and (left to right) DVA, France, RSL NSW, UK, Governor of NSW, War Widows, NSW Government
Wreaths: New Zealand, For the Missing, Belgium, and Australian Army and For the Fallen
You can view and download video of the Commemorative Wreath-laying recorded by Vagrant Films on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/.
Commemorative Service for the 104th Anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles
Following the wreath laying on the Memorial steps, the participants led by FFFAIF President Jim Munro followed the Flag Party of WO2 Nathan Grumley as Australian National Flag carrier and French Tricolour Flag carrier Jean-Louis Worobec to the Reception door of the Memorial and they stood-to until all participants moved in an orderly way to the Auditorium in single file with physical distancing maintained. The Auditorium seating had been arranged to facilitate the Commemorative Service while keeping physical distancing.
The Flag party followed the guests to the Auditorium and formed up outside the Auditorium to await the arrival of the Vice-Regal couple who had proceeded from the northern Forecourt with MC Darren Mitchell and Pastor Bob Durbin to make a formal entry. The Flag party then entered the Auditorium and placed their flags in a flag stand and the Commemoration Service commenced. Click on this link to see the Fromelles Day 2020 Order of Service.
Fromelles Commemoration attendees
Master of Ceremonies, and FFFAIF Member, Darren Mitchell welcomed guests and read a Vice Regal Fromelles Day Message on 104th anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles from His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. You can hear Darren’s Welcome and reading of the Vice-Regal Fromelles Day Message on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/.
Harry Allie BEM, Chair of the NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Veterans Commemoration Service Committee and a former member of the NSW Centenary of Anzac Advisory Council led an Acknowledgement of Country on behalf of Aboriginal elders. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flags were also flown at the Yininmadyemi Bullet sculpture for Indigenous Diggers to demonstrate respect for the custodians of this land, both past and present and their contribution to this country and its heritage and values.
You can hear Harry’s Acknowledgement of Country on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/.
The Prologue was delivered by The Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC. She noted that while the Battle of Fromelles was of strategic importance aiming to prevent the transfer of German troops to the Battle of the Somme, it had huge human cost with 1,299 names of soldiers with no known grave listed at VC Corner of 1,917 killed. Her Excellency called on those present to leave behind what poet Wilfred Owen described as the “art of hurting” and peacefully and with dignity commemorate the brave soldiers who committed themselves in the Battle of Fromelles.
You can hear Her Excellency’s Prologue on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/.
Pastor Bob Durbin, Chaplain with RSL LifeCare led a prayer, followed by the NSW Police Band Vocalist Belinda Parsons singing Abide with Me.
You can hear Pastor Bob’s Prayer and Belinda’s rendition of Abide with Me on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/.
BRIG Brendan Casey, Commander 8th Brigade delivered the Commemorative Address observing that the purpose of the battle was as a feint to prevent the Germans moving troops to the Somme, but it was hastily and poorly planned. The Germans had been there for a year and a half, the Australians for a week. The 15th Bde on the right attacked the strongly defended Sugarloaf and was virtually wiped out in the first 20 minutes. BRIG Casey noted that at precisely this time it was 3:25am on 20 July in France and 104 years ago the 14th Bde and 8th Bde were desperately holding on against counter-attacks and artillery strikes, but the positions could not be held and later in the morning the call came to get back if you can. The Cobber statue is tribute to the bravery of those men, in Australia’s bloodiest day in battle.
You can hear Brigadier Casey delivering the Commemorative Address on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/.
In the Family Reflection, Geoffrey Benn shared the story of 20 year-old Acting Sergeant William Polding Ryan, 31 Bn who was Killed in Action at Fromelles. William, from near Murwillumbah, was buried by the Germans after the battle and identified through DNA matching. Geoffrey also reflected on the Family’s journey of “discovering” a relative of whom he had not known of for most of his life and the emotional impact of the identification of William’s remains and of the 2016 dedication at the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery of his named headstone with the inscription “LOST SO FAR FROM HOME, AND FOUND SO CLOSE TO OUR HEARTS”.
Geoffrey also shared how he has come to know previously unknown relatives who also were connected to Fromelles. One is Dr. Stuart Quarmby, the Headmaster of Wollondilly Anglican College at Tahmoor who is related to William through his grandmother. He is also related to Corporal Alfred Tuck through his father’s family. Both William and Alfred are buried at the new cemetery in Fromelles, and both were identified by matching with a family member’s DNA.
Dr. Quarmby invited Geoffrey to unveil a life-size statue of William, at the opening of the College’s new Anzac Memorial Shelter on 18 July, 2018. William is depicted holding the hand of a five year old girl, modelled on Hannah, Dr. Quarmby’s grand daughter and a great, great, great, great niece of William Polding Ryan. The statue of the soldier represents all of the diggers who fought and died in the Battle at Fromelles. Dr. Quarmby said “When looking at the statue, imagine every student saying:
‘Thank you for paying such a price’, and imagine him saying ‘Thanks for finding me’.”
Pastor Bob Durbin led a Prayer and Blessing. You can hear Pastor Bob’s Prayer and Blessing on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/.
The Consul-General for the Republic of France, Mrs. Anne Boillon, delivered a Message from France, expressing appreciation for Australian support since The Great War and continuing today, especially in the face of the COVID19 pandemic. As democracies, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Belgium and France have many shared values, as was the case during the Great War. It was when she visited Fromelles that she learned the meaning of “Cobber” and what it says about Australian spirits and values and that these are universal values of humanity and friendship. She shared that she had recently visited St Clare’s College, Waverly and saw the strength of the bond between Australia and France today.
Consul-General for the Republic of France, Mrs. Anne Boillon, delivering a Message from France
You can hear Anne Boillon delivering her Message from France on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/
The Epilogue was delivered by Acting Minister for Veterans The Hon Geoff Lee MP representing The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales and The Government of New South Wales. Mr Lee quoted from a letter from Pte Roderick Samuel 54Bn to the mother of one of his mates to advise not only of her son’s death in the battle, but also of his own brother’s. He noted that there were many stories like this and that of A/Sg William Ryan told in the Family Reflection that demonstrate the impact of the Battle on many Australian Families. Mr Lee, acknowledged the presence of the defence personnel and on behalf of the New South Wales Government thanked all those who have been involved in organising the Commemoration for helping to ensure that the Battle of Fromelles is never forgotten.
You can hear Minister Lee delivering his Epilogue on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/
The National Anthems of France, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and Australia were sung by NSW Police Band Vocalist Belinda Parsons.
NSW Police Band Vocalist Belinda Parsons singing the National Anthems of France, New Zealand and The United Kingdom and RSM WO1 David McGarry
Belinda sang The Recessional to close the Service in the Auditorium as participants, maintaining physical distancing, passed beneath the Ocular as they moved through the Hall of Service, to the northern stairs where the wreaths were arranged and into the Hall of Memory.
You can hear Belinda Parsons renditions of the National Anthems and The Recessional on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/
The Commemorative Star Ceremony
French Veterans’ Past President Jean-Louis Worobec casts Commemorative Stars
Descendants and the general public who were not able to be invited to physically attend due to the capacity limits applying at the Anzac Memorials during the pandemic were invited to send the names of soldier they wished to commemorate. About 400 soldiers were nominated for commemoration and their names were added to Commemorative Stars, the same shape and colour as the 120,000 stars fixed in the Dome of Star above the Hall of Memory and symbolically representing the 130,000 men and women from New South Wales who embarked for overseas service during the Great War. Soldiers commemorated included those men of the 53Bn who originally served in the 1st Bn, those soldiers known to be buried in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, 52 Railway and Tramways employees and 11 Jewish soldiers killed in the Battle of Fromelles as well as other soldiers nominated by descendants. Participants attending the Commemoration were invited to cast the Commemorative Stars with soldiers’ names into the Well of Contemplation at the Anzac Memorial. The Commemorative stars were then collected for cremation at Rookwood and the ashes will be taken by the Premier’s Anzac Scholars to the WW1 battlefields.
Minister for Veterans The Hon Geoff Lee MP and DVA Deputy Commissioner NSW/ACT, Victoria Benz cast Commemorative Stars
Their Excellencies, the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales and Mr Dennis Wilson cast Commemorative Stars
You can view the Commemorative Star Ceremony and Last Post Ceremony on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/
Laying the wreath for the 5th Division
In acknowledgement of the commitment made by the Trustees of the Anzac Memorial to honour the Battle of Fromelles and the men of the Fifth Division AIF, WO2 Nathan Grumley, 1 Health Support Company (1HSC), Randwick Barracks was invited to lay the wreath for the 5th Division in the France-Belgium Niche. WO2 Grumley’s great grandfather Pte William Grumley56Bn, fought in the Battle of Fromelles and was wounded in November 1916 when the 56Bn transferred to the Somme.
William Grumley is thought to have been one of the veterans who participated in the 1966 Parade from the Archibald Fountain to the Anzac Memorial which asked the Trustees to place the 5th Division AIF Wreath Stand at the France and Belgium niche on the anniversary of the action at Fromelles, the 19th July each year. The Trustees readily agreed to this request and since 1966 the Trustees have honoured the veterans request with the laying of a wreath on 19 July each year on the 5th Division AIF wreath-stand used in the 1966 Ceremony. See Fromelles 50th Anniversary – A record of the Parade and Ceremony held in Hyde Park on 19 July 1966.
WO2 Nathan Grumley about to place a wreath in tribute to the 5th Division AIF, in the presence of Her Excellency, the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, Governor of New South Wales
The Last Post Ceremony
The Ode was recited by Brigadier Brendan Casey, Commander 8th Brigade before the Last Post was sounded by Terry McCleary of the Fire and Rescue NSW Band followed by 1 minute of silence and The Rouse. Terry’s wife Leonie is a relative of Captain Archibald Gunter MC, 54th Bn, Wounded at Fromelles.
The Last Post was sounded by Bugler Terry McCleary of the Fire and Rescue NSW Band.
NSW Police Band Vocalist Belinda Parsons led the singing of the Australian National Anthem to conclude the Commemorative Service.
NSW Police Band Vocalist Belinda Parsons, WO2 Nathan Grumley and
SQNLDR Greg Baker-Moss, Her Excellency’s Aide-de-Camp
You can view the Commemorative Star Ceremony and Last Post Ceremony on the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/
The Anzac Memorial Eternal flame
Special thanks go to the Trustees of the Anzac Memorial, their staff, and volunteers for facilitating and assisting in the Commemorative Service. The assistance of NSW Police Band in the provision of pre-recorded music and along with the renditions by Vocalist Belinda Parsons significantly contributed important components to the Commemorations that would have otherwise been diminished by the pandemic restrictions. Similarly, the presence of the Pastor Bob Durbin, WO2 Nathan Grumley as the Australian Flag Ensign, who along with the French War Veterans’ Past President Jean-Louis Worobec, Piper Jim Braid and Bugler Terry McCleary contributed significantly to the formality and dignity of the commemoration. Special Guests, The Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC with Mr Dennis Wilson, the Diplomatic representatives, Harry Allie BEM, Minister Geoff Lee MP, Geoffrey Benn and Brigadier Brendan Casey all enriched the Commemoration.
Procession Marshall Paul Simadas, Master of Ceremonies Darren Mitchell and FFFAIF Committee Member Jill Hayes helped the Commemoration run smoothly. Michael Mannington for Community Photography has created a good photographic and Vagrant Films has created a video record and some of the video has been posted to the FFFAIF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FromellesDaySydney2020/ which is now available for viewing. Thanks also to the 7 Network News team whose 6pm Bulletin report has enabled the Commemoration to be shared with a larger number of people.
Special thanks also to the Organising Committee of FFFAIF Members Margaret Snodgrass OAM, Darren Mitchell, Jill Hayes, Paul Simadas, Chris Bryett and Geoffrey Benn, Anzac Memorial Operations Manager Belinda Mitrovich and Visitor Services Coordinator Jim Grey and Warrant Officer Class One David McGarry, Regimental Sergeant Major, Joint Ceremonial NSW of the Australian Army.
A special thanks to Pastor Bob Durbin who arranged for the wreaths to be relocated following the Commemoration from the Anzac Memorial to the RSL Life Care ANZAC Village at Narrabeen to be distributed throughout the Village for the benefit of residents and staff.
Due to the pandemic, we missed the company of many of our regular participants including Past President Russell Curley and FFFAIF Committee Member Margaret Snodgrass OAM. Professor The Hon Dame Marie Bashir, AD CVO, former Governor of New South Wales and Honorary Member FFFAIF has participated each year since 2010 (except in 2014 when she was overseas) and the Holy Family Choir of Menai who have led the singing for a decade. The NSW Police Band, the Flag Orderlies, and representatives of ex-service and descendants’ organisation as well as descendants of the soldiers of the First AIF. We know that some held personal commemorations and we hope that they will be able to participate in future commemoration to honour the service and sacrifice of the soldiers of the First AIF and their families.
Lest We Forget
President of FFFAIF
Gallery of Thanks
The Governor of New South Wales, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC with Mr Dennis Wilson
NSW Minister for Veterans The Hon Geoff Lee MP representing
The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier of New South Wales
Minister for Veterans, The Hon Geoff Lee MP and Consul-General of France, Anne Boillon
Consul-General of New Zealand Mr. Bill Dobbie, Consul-General of United Kingdom Mr. Michael Ward, Commander 8th Brigade Australian Army BRIG Brendan Casey, Deputy Head of Mission, Belgium Embassy M. Arnaud Dusaucy
Sydney Legacy President, Mr Greg Wrate, AWWOD Secretary, Arline Ronsisvale, RSLNSW John Hutcheson, DVA Deputy Commissioner NSW/ACT, Victoria Benz
FFFAIF Honorary Member The Hon Brendan Nelson AO and
FFFAIF President Jim Munro
Fromelles Association Secretary Geoffrey Benn, FFFAIF Honorary Member Prof Richard Wright AM, Chief Operations Officer, Transport for NSW, Howard Collins OBE
Harry Allie BEM and Pastor Bob Durbin
Brigadier Brendan Casey (with Prof Richard Wright in the background) and
WO2 Nathan Grumley, Australian Army
Also participating NAJEX President Roger Selby, (just out of photo), ARHS Member Bill Phippen OAM (far left) and FFFAIF Committee Member Jill Hayes (centre)
NSW Police Security Team
WO1 David ‘Paddy” McGarry, Regimental Sergeant Major, Joint Ceremonial NSW and
M. Jean-Louis Worobec Past President French War Veterans of NSW;
Piper Jim Braid with Bugler Terry McCleary; and
NSW Police Band Vocalist Belinda Parsons backed by Director of Music John Saunders and the Band
Procession Marshall Lt. Col. Paul Simadas RFD and
Master of Ceremonies Darren Mitchell