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Search for WW1 veterans for pilgrimage to Gallipoli

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Ben H umphreys M inister for V eterans' A ffairs

Embargoed until midnight this date COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY M IC A H


A nationwide search is now underway to find World War 1 veterans to go on a pilgrimage to Gallipoli.

Prime Minister Hawke initiated the trip by offering an RAAF Boeing 707 aircraft to a group of veterans who wanted to return to the scene of the famous campaign on ANZAC Day next year.

"I can't think of a better way to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the day which is so important to our national identity," the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Ben Humphreys, said today. ' .

"A Department of Veterans' Affairs task force has been set up to organise the trip, and it is eager to hear from any veteran who wants to be considered.

"Press ads. have been placed and letters have been written to ex­ service organisations to ensure as many people as possible know about the trip," Mr Humphreys said. .

"Eligibility is limited to veterans who served in the Australian Defence Forces, although other factors such as an individual's health and aircraft seat availability will also determine how many can go."

Most costs associated with the 10 day trip will be met by the Federal Government, and accomodation and medical needs in Turkey are also being assessed by the task force.

The Minister says the exercise's success will depend on good publicity, and that even though the trip is some way off, the vast amount of organisation it requires means there was no time to w aste.

"Application forms, which can be be filled in either by or on behalf of a veteran, are available, but these must be lodged by the end of August." *

He says there are about 150 Gallipoli veterans among the 3,000 WW1 veterans sill alive.

Other nations, such as New Zealand and the United Kingdom, have expressed interest in the event.

Application forms and other information on the project can be obtained by telephoning Barry Saxby, at the Department of Veterans' Affairs, on (062) 89 6033.


FURTHER INFORMATION: Barry Saxby (062) 89 6033.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: John Bright (062) 89 6033.

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