Locals encouraged to research ANZAC Day connections
20 April 2015
Residents across the Euroa electorate are being encouraged to research their connections with World War I in tribute to past and present servicemen and women this ANZAC Day.
Member for Euroa Steph Ryan said 2014-18 marked the ANZAC Centenary; 100 years since Australia’s involvement in World War I.
“A century ago, men and women from all over Australia were called upon to leave behind their family and friends and all that was familiar, and cross the sea to serve their country,” Ms Ryan said.
“From a population of less than five million, more than 400,000 enlisted.
“Of these men and women, more than 60,000 were killed and more than 156,000 were wounded, gassed or taken prisoner.
“The records now held on the ANZACs are truly amazing. Even if you don’t have a relative who served, you may discover that the house or the street you live in was once owned by an ANZAC,” Ms Ryan said.
Searching the database of the first convoy shows 16 young men from Benalla, including five in the Light Horse, were among the first to sign up. Eleven from Seymour, seven from Heathcote and two from Kilmore also left on the first ships departing Australia.
“On 25 April every year, we pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in the tragedy of war and remember the ANZAC legacy of courage, mateship and sacrifice.
“It is also a time to remember the deep emotional scars that many carried silently following this terrible time in our history and the impact of war on families spanning generations.”
Ms Ryan said ANZAC Day was an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices made by Australian servicemen and women not only during World War I but also to recognise all members of the Australian Defence Force who continue to serve around the world.
Ms Ryan will commemorate ANZAC Day in Benalla, Merrigum and Seymour on Saturday and in Stanhope on Sunday.
To research your connection to World War I, visit http://anzaccentenary.vic.gov.au/get-involved/research-wwi-connection.