Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Australian Veterans to attend memorial dedication in London.

Download PDFDownload PDF

Minister for Veterans' Affairs

Press Release

VA106 22 October 2003


A group of 28 Australian veterans and war widows will travel to London next month to officially represent Australia at the dedication of the Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner, the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Danna Vale, announced today.

Mrs Vale will lead the mission party, which will also visit sites of wartime significance and attend ceremonies to commemorate the service and sacrifice of Australians in two world wars.

"Since the end of Word War I there have been calls for a memorial in London commemorating the service of some 1.5 million Australians who served alongside Britain, in particular the more than 101,000 who gave their lives. This Government has acted to turn this dream into a reality and create an inspirational tribute to our servicemen and women.

"It is fitting that a representative group of World War II veterans and war widows will be present to witness the dedication of the memorial by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister John Howard," Mrs Vale said.

The dedication will take place on Remembrance Day, the 85th anniversary of the end of World War I, in the presence of dignitaries including the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, the Australian Opposition Leader, Simon Crean, and senior Australian Defence representatives.

The Minister said the mission party would take part in commemorative ceremonies at the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede and the Tower Hill Memorial in London, that honours merchant seamen lost in war.

"The mission party includes members of the Australian veteran community from throughout the country, including Navy, Army and Air Force representatives, a Service nurse, merchant seaman and two war widows," Mrs Vale said.

"I have also invited the National President of the RSL, Major General Bill Crews, and the National President of the Australian Veterans and Defence Services Council, Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths, himself a veteran of World War II, to take part in this historic mission.

"These 30 men and women will represent and honour all Australians who served in two world wars, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice."

The mission party will depart for London following an official farewell by the Governor_General at Government House, Canberra, on Monday 3 November.

Media Contact: Rachael Thompson (Mrs Vale's office) (02) 6277 7820 or 0417 265 289

Editors Note: List of veteran representatives followsVETERAN REPRESENTATIVES

Name Service State

Alan Birchley Navy Qld Carmel Bland Navy (Widow) SA

Kenneth Briggs Navy Qld

Keith Campbell RAAF NSW Herbert Copeman RAAF Tas Robert Cowper RAAF SA

Nemo Dorph Army NSW Jack Doyle RAAF Qld Edith Eadie Army SA

Joyce Edgerley RAAF (Widow) ACT

Allan Ferrari Navy Vic Ronald Frasa Navy Qld

Ernest Frost RAAF SA Clarence Gardner RAAF Vic John Gow Army Vic

Francis Hall Army Vic David Hopkins Navy NSW Douglas Kemp RAAF SA

Alexander Kerr RAAF WA

Rollo Kingsford-Smith RAAF NSW Ronald Matthews Army SA Geoffrey Michael RAAF NSW

Frank Milner Navy Vic Clarence Singe RAAF WA Ian Speirs RAAF Vic

Ronald Ware Merchant Navy NSW James Watt Army Qld Donald Wilson Navy NSW

INVITED GUESTS Major General Bill Crews National President, Returned & Services League of Australia Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths National President, Australian Veterans and Defence Services Council

Media Contacts (to arrange interviews with veterans):

Cindy West (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (02) 6289 6203 or 0413 994 704 Karen Jones (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (02) 6289 6578 or 0411 107 261