Pay­ing trib­ute to lo­cal An­zacs at ceme­tery

The Western Star - - NEWS -

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.

PHOTO: MAR­GUERITE CUDDIHY

LEST WE FOR­GET: St John’s school cap­tain Katie Barsby gives the com­mem­o­ra­tive ad­dress at the Roma Ceme­tery An­zac ser­vice on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

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