War Cemetery service

May 01, 2018

Kelsie Buchanan with daughter Phoenix after placing a poppy on a war grave.

About 50 people attended the War Cemetery Anzac Day service in Deniliquin on Wednesday morning.

At 9am, Deniliquin RSL Sub-branch members, Deniliquin Amy Cadets, descendants of local war heroes and other interested people gathered to pay tribute to those who had paid the ultimate sacrifice in war.

Deniliquin RSL Sub-branch committee member John Harris acted the MC for the service, starting with an address about the history of the No 7 Service Flying Training School in Deniliquin.

‘‘There are 29 graves at the War Cemetery and 26 of those men died while in training at the No 7 SFTS in Deniliquin while the other three men died training in areas near Deniliquin. There are also eight graves in the general cemetery from the flying school,’’ Mr Harris said.

‘‘There were also 14 that have been repatriated from Deniliquin to their families who died training in Deniliquin.

‘‘We need to look at the sacrifice these men made and respect them just as much as we do the men that went off to the war,’’ he said.

After the address, Greg Harris played the Last Post and Marlene Grant handed out rosemary and a poppy to those who attended to place on the war graves.

Deniliquin’s John and Denise Thomas also placed poppies on the war graves featured in the general cemetery when the service had finished.

For 13 years the Buchanan family has been attending the War Cemetery service as well as all other Anzac Day events.

Keith and Christine and their children Ella, Kelsie, Leith and Xander and grandchildren Triah and Phoenix were at the cemetery to pay their respects. Family members also attended the Anzac Day Dawn Service and mid-morning service.

‘‘We don’t have any relations buried at the War Cemetery but my father was a prisoner of war in Germany during World War Two, serving in the Army,’’ Mrs Buchanan said.

‘‘From the time we all started going to the service at the War Cemetery we met a man called Jack McCann, who’s brother, William McCann, died at Barnes Crossing just outside of Mathoura during World War Two. Jack hasn’t been going for a couple of years, but now when we go we make sure that one of us is standing in front of William’s grave.’’

Mrs Buchanan said Anzac Day is a special day for the family to spend time together.

‘‘When my children were younger they would all come along, but now being older I have two that live outside of Deniliquin, so they can’t come (to the local service). Now the grandchildren are joining in which is very nice.

‘‘They all want to be involved so I let the children take it in turns each year for who gets to wear my father’s service medals,’’ she said.

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