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WHO WE ARE
We want to ensure that all our World War 1 veterans have their last resting place marked so that their service is remembered forever.
In 2010, John Trethewey, a Tasmanian historian researching World War 1 veterans, discovered that some were in unmarked graves. That led to the Families and Friends of the First AIF in Tasmania starting The Headstone Project.
John Brownlie and Neil Rossiter, on their own, brought the concept to South Australia and, from 2016 to 2018, set about paving the way. They enlisted sponsors and the first headstone was unveiled in 2017. In 2019, as The Headstone Project South Australia Inc., with many more members, we entered an exciting phase with a stream of research to enable dedications of more graves.
Information about our corporate status (ABN and charitable registration etc.) is here.
Like-minded groups are in other states. Please get check here to find out more.
WHY WE ARE
The exhortation "Lest we forget" is well known and, especially after recent remembrances during the centenary of World War 1, most people would think that as a nation we had in fact remembered everyone who had served in that monstrous war.
But Australians have forgotten people who served, were lucky not to have been among more than 60,000 who were killed, and in various states of mental and physical health faced the years that followed. In The Headstone Project we don't believe the forgetting has been wilful, or careless — just the result of not realising. That's invariably the reaction of people who hear about what we are doing, and why we are immensely gratified that so many Australians immediately want to support us.
These two short videos show what combatants went through during one battle — the Battle of the Somme — and the reflections of some of the men who served and survived what is almost beyond our imagination.