Paying tribute to local Anzacs at cemetery
A SHARP chill in the air heralded the start of the Anzac Day commemorative service at Roma Cemetery on Wednesday morning.
About 60 people attended the service that marked the fourth time the Roma and District Family History Society had hosted the day of remembrance at the cemetery.
This year, Anzac Day marked the centenary of the World War I battle at Villers-Bretonneux on the western front near Amiens, 135km north of Paris.
“Australian and New Zealand troops fought with extreme courage and determination in VillersBretonneux, where they helped stop the German offensive on April 25, 1918, three years to the day after Gallipoli,” the history society’s David Cooper said.
“It is recorded that Australian troops displayed great bravery but also suffered a terrible loss – some 2400 Australians died in this particular battle,” he said.
“So this day, 100 years to the day, we remember them.”
St John’s school captain Katie Barsby commemorated the men and women from the region who served our country and are buried in Roma.
“As a Year 12 student at St John’s, it is hard for me to contemplate how it felt for those – some not much older than me – to leave this small community and their loved ones behind to travel to the other side of the world.
“We could only imagine the fortitude and resolve it took for them to cope with what lay ahead.
“To get through such a horrendous time they would have to develop strong bonds with each other, where they showed courage, bravery, endurance, mateship, determination and sacrifice.
“Today we call this the Anzac spirit and know that the values shown so strongly by these soldiers defines Australia as a nation.”
Wreaths were also laid at the cemetery’s cenotaph, Dennis Giles sang
Eileen Hann read on behalf of the Roma Cross, and Salvation Army’s Ken Harvey read a passage from the Bible.
LEST WE FORGET: St John’s school captain Katie Barsby gives the commemorative address at the Roma Cemetery Anzac service on Wednesday morning.