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