Per­ma­nent record of dearly de­parted

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Fremantle -

FAMILIES of the 849 sol­diers who de­parted from Fre­man­tle in World War I – and never re­turned – have been asked to take part in a project to pre­serve their mem­o­ries.

Ar­chiv­ist An­drew Pit­t­away’s de­sire to tell the sto­ries of the en­tire 3000 who left from the Port City was orig­i­nally in­spired by a trip to Gal­lipoli.

As part of the City of Fre­man­tle’s com­mem­o­ra­tion of the 100th an­niver­sary of WWI, the families of those 849 sol­diers who did not re­turn have been asked to come for­ward with sto­ries, pho­tos, medals and any­thing else that would pre­serve their mem­o­ries.

Mr Pit­t­away said names of the 849 will be etched in steel as part of the City’s 849 Project.

The 849 Project will cul­mi­nate in the names of all 849 sol­diers be­ing put on per­ma­nent dis­play at the Fre­man­tle War Me­mo­rial on spe­cial com­mem­o­ra­tive plaques. The un­veil­ing will take place af­ter Fre­man­tle’s an­nual dawn ser­vice on April 25, 2015.

Fre­man­tle Mayor Brad Pet­titt said the project needed the help of the en­tire com­mu­nity to “com­plete the jig­saw by send­ing us images, letters and any­thing else that can help”.

The City also wants to make sure sur­viv­ing rel­a­tives of the 849 can be at the cer­e­mony. As a pre­cur­sor, 849 crosses will be laid at this year’s Re­mem­brance Day ser­vice by lo­cal schools.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

An­drew Pit­t­away with a pic­ture of Benno Lehmann, from East Fre­man­tle, taken 1916/17.

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