Remembering Fromelles in Sydney
A Commemoration Service on the 93rd anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles was held at the ANZAC Memorial at Hyde Park in Sydney on Sunday 19 July 2009.
On a bright sunny and warm day more than 60 people attended the Commemoration Service including the Premier of New South Wales, the Honourable Nathan Rees; the Minister Assisting the Premier on Veterans’ Affairs, the Honorable Graham West MP; Mr. John Haynes AM, Vice President – Metropolitan, The Returned and Services League of Australia (New South Wales Branch); along with many members of the Families and Friends of the First AIF, RSL members, Korean War veterans, and members of the public.
Mr. Greg Read SC, Manager of the ANZAC Memorial, welcomed attendees on behalf of the Trustees of the ANZAC Memorial Building. The service was held outside the Memorial due to renovations currently being completed. After the Prologue by Mr. John Haynes AM, Chaplain Bob Durbin read poem written for the occasion followed by a prayer.
Wreath laying followed with a wreath being laid on behalf of the Trustees of the ANZAC Memorial Building for the former 5th Division Association by the Premier of New South Wales, the Honourable Nathan Rees and Mr. John Haynes AM, Vice President – Metropolitan, The Returned and Services League of Australia (New South Wales Branch).
Photo: The Honourable Nathan Rees and Mr. John Haynes AM
Mr. Russell Curley and Mr. Neville Kidd laid a wreath on behalf of the Families and Friends of the First AIF.
Mr Alan Kitchen and Mr Geoff Gunter laid a wreath for the fallen at Fromelles. Mrs Chris Munro and Ms Helen Carey laid a wreath for the missing of Fromelles; Lieutenant-Colonel Michael Abrahams laid a wreath for the 8th Brigade; and Korean veterans laid a wreath.
Following the wreath laying, those in attendance were invited to lay poppies in front of the wreaths.
Bugler Sgt Stephen Johnson of The University of New South Wales Regiment (UNSWR) sounded The Last Post and this was followed by Mr. John Haynes AM who recited The Ode. After one minute of silence, Bugler Sgt Stephen Johnson sounded Rouse.
The singing of the national anthem was led by Dion Condack from Newtown Performing Arts High School followed by a prayer by Chaplain Bob Durbin. In his closing remarks, Mr Greg Read invited attendees to next year’s service which should be in the refurbished Anzac Memorial Building and invited participants to partake of light refreshments.
[The photos in this report were taken by FFFAIF Secretary Chris Munro.]
Photo: Geoff Gunter, Neville Kidd, Russell Curley and Theo Arfaras
(l to r)
Photo: FFFAIF member Stuart Curry
Lest We Forget
The Families and Friends of the First AIF thanks the Australian, UK and French governments for affording Australian and British soldiers buried in mass graves at Pheasant Wood by German soldiers following the Battle of Fromelles on 19/20 July 1916 dignified individual reburials in a new CWGC cemetery at Fromelles, and applauds the joint decision to DNA test the remains at exhumation and use every reasonable method to attempt identification of each soldier.