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



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Media Release The Hon Bruce Scott IMP Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Federal Member tor Maranoa

140/98

6 November 1998

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

As Tasmania’s five surviving World War I Diggers remember their fallen comrades on Remembrance Day, all Tasmanians 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. Tasmanian Frank McDonald joined the 40th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force. He served in France and Belgium, receiving the Military Medal in 1917 for bravery in Belgium. With the 40th Battalion, Mr McDonald took part in many significant operations between 1917 and 1918, of which the most notable was the battalion attack at Morlancourt on 28 March 1918. Remarkably, he was never wounded.

"I was fortunate that I got into the only complete battalion that Tasmania sent away in the First War. The battalion was formed in Hobart and we went away complete," Mr McDonald recalled.

"My old battalion was a good one. There were tough boys in it, lots of farmers and that kind of thing, used to guns. Well of course we were 16 or 17 and our main sport was shooting. We were more or less experts with guns and we liked to see dead Germans," Mr McDonald said.

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 the 11 November will ensure that heritage continues to be treasured," Mr Scott said.

Ends

Attention News Editor: Tasmania’s World War I Diggers are: Alec Campbell, Bertram Dalwood, Mervyn Lewis, Frank McDonald and Reginald Southam.

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

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

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