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... as we that are left grow old [Queensland]



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Media Release The Hon Bruce Scott MP Minister for Veterans' Affairs Federal Member for Maranoa

145/98

6 November 1998

... As We That Are Left Grow Old [Queensland]

As Queensland’s 13 surviving World War I veterans remember their fallen comrades on Remembrance Day, all Queenslanders are encouraged to take a minute to honour the sacrifice of Australians who have died while serving their country.

This Remembrance Day - Wednesday 11 November - marks the 80th anniversary of the end of World War I, a conflict which saw 416,000 Australians volunteer for service. Of these 324,000 served overseas. Two-thirds suffered casualties and more than 60,000 Australians never came home.

Australia’s surviving veterans remember the horror of war all too vividly. Queenslander Eric Abraham, now 101 years old, served in the 5th Division Signals, Australian Imperial Force. He was on the Western Front from September 1916 to June 1919 and was involved in major campaigns at Passchendaele and leper and twice on the Somme in 1916 and 1918. It was during fighting near Villers-Bretonneux that he was caught in a mustard gas attack.

"I was walking around between Amiens and Villers-Bretonneux and there was a line of Red Cross wagons with these poor bastards, casualties from the gas attack, coming down the road towards Amiens Hospital. They were the walking wounded, those who were not too bad.

"Those creatures, I’ll never forget it, were throwing up green bile. They could hardly stagger along the road, yet they had to go, there was no room in the wagons for them. Pitiful to see it. Those fellows like that would die - they couldn’t get over that," Mr Abraham recalled.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Bruce Scott, is urging all Australians on this Remembrance Day to remember the price of war - the sacrifice of 102,807 Australians who have died fighting for their country during the past century.

"Their courage and sacrifice is part of our heritage. The simple gesture of observing a minute’s silence at 11 a.m. on 11 November will ensure that heritage continues to be treasured," Mr Scott said.

Ends

Attention News Editor :

Queensland’s World War I Diggers are Eric Abraham, Cyril Baldwin, August Band, Henry Guinn, William Holmes, Jack Mayne, Ted Smout and Thomas Talty. Allied veterans living in Queensland are Horace Bishop, Carl Howard, Alfred Mansfield, John Ross and Frederick Strutt.

The national Remembrance Day Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial Canberra will be broadcast on ABC Television and Radio.

Media Contact:

Gary Kent (Ministerial): 02 6277 7820 or 0419 854 211

http://minister.dva.gov.au/media/media/nov98/qld_remembrance.htm 09/11/1998

... As we that are left grow old Page 2 o f 2

Phil Diak (Departmental): 02 6289 6578 or 0411 107 261

http://minister.dva.gov.au/media/media/nov98/qld_remembrance.htm 09/11/1998