Hon­our­ing the 849 sol­diers from Freo

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Fremantle -

EX­ACTLY 100 years ago on Septem­ber 23, 1914, 21-year-old John Al­bert Woods walked into his lo­cal reg­is­tra­tion of­fice and signed him­self up for war.

By April 25, 1915, he was dead.

Pri­vate Woods is just one of 849 men who left Fre­man­tle for World War I, leav­ing his South Fre­man­tle home for the uncer­tain­ties of the front line

mem­ber of the 16th In­fantry Bat­tal­ion, Pte Woods was killed in ac­tion in Gal­lipoli, a mem­ber of that now renowned bat­tle where thou­sands fell and which sparked the Anzac legend that is so strong 100 years later.

As part of the cen­te­nary, the City of Fre­man­tle is aim­ing to col­lect the sto­ries of all 849 Fre­man­tle men who signed up for World War I, hon­our­ing them for their sacrifice and en­sur­ing their names and sto­ries are never for­got­ten.

Fre­man­tle events man­age­ment co-or­di­na­tor Marie La Fre­nais said the names of the men would also be added to the main ceno­taph of Fre­man­tle’s War Memo­rial in April.

“It’s im­por­tant to un­der­stand the sac­ri­fices made and to com­mem­o­rate and pay re­spect,” she said.

“A ma­jor project will be the lay­ing of 849 wooden crosses on Re­mem­ber­ance Day this year, with each cross bear­ing the name of one of Fre­man­tle’s fallen sol­diers and laid by lo­cal school chil­dren.

“The peo­ple of Fre­man­tle are proud to be part of the Anzac cen­te­nary com­mem­ora- tions and to have the op­por­tu­nity to hon­our and pay re­spect to those who have and are still serv­ing our na­tion as part of the armed forces.”

The City has col­lected 20 sto­ries to date, sub­mit­ted by fam­ily mem­bers such as Pte Woods’ great nephew Brad Col­ley.

Visit an­za­cfre­man­tle.com.au to see a list of Fre­man­tle’s 849 sol­diers, or to read or sub­mit a story.

Pri­vate John Al­bert Woods of South Fre­man­tle was a mem­ber of the 16th In­fantry Bat­tal­ion.

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