Honouring the 849 soldiers from Freo
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.