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“If only I could see your grave” – Remembering the Western Front
November 4 @ 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM AEST$20.00 – $30.00
In Australia Anzac Day has become THE day for remembrance, remembrance of those who fought, and perhaps more significantly, of those who died in Australia’s wars and conflicts since Federation in 1901. However, it is the old ‘Western Front’ in northern France and Belgium that still represents Australia’s greatest location of loss in war … some 46,000 dead out of the 103,000 on the Australian War Memorial’s Roll of Honour, fully 46 per cent. Perhaps it was no surprise therefore, that when the Australian War Memorial in 1993 decided to bring home an unknown Australian Soldier from overseas for re-entombment at the Memorial the institution turned to the Western Front to find that soldier. His remains were brought from France, from the Western Front, and placed in his tomb at the Memorial on Remembrance Day 1993. This Remembrance Day 2022 presentation focuses on aspects of the story of how Australian government authorities, and individual families, sought to mark and remember that huge loss of Australian lives in France and Belgium between 1916 and 1918.
Dr Richard Reid was once fairly well known to SAG members for his work on the story of the Irish in Australia. What put bread on the Reid family table, however, was his position at the Australian War Memorial as a Secondary Education Officer then Historian, and subsequently as the Senior Historian for the Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Affairs Commemorations Branch. In 1993 he was the Memorial’s Executive Officer for the return of the Unknown Australian Soldier and he went to France with the Memorial’s Director to bring the soldier home. During the Australia Remembers Year, 1995, he was the official historian for the government’s pilgrimage of 119 veterans to Papua New Guinea and from 2000 to 2016 he was the historian on numerous tours to the Western Front and Gallipoli. Apart from Richard’s time at the National Museum of Australia (2008-2011) as Senior Curator for the Museum’s large exhibition in 2011 on the Irish in Australia (‘Not Just Ned’), he finished his career with DVA between 2009-2015 as the Australian historian on JHAS, the Joint Historical-Archaeological Survey of the Anzac battlefield in Turkey.
Tickets will close at 3pm Friday 3rd Nov 2023
Link will be sent out after 4pm Friday 3rd Nov 2023
This event will be recorded and made available for those that have purchased tickets for the following month to view.