Commemorating Our Post-war Dead

War has been the ultimate cause of many more deaths than those that occur during the conflict itself. Veterans who die after a war or conflict may be officially commemorated, just as their mates who died during a war or conflict are commemorated, as long as they meet certain criteria.

Official post-war commemorations It has been Australian policy since 1922 to extend official commemoration to eligible post-war deaths. Which type of memorial to choose is a question for the family or other interested person arranging the commemoration.
Eligibility for post-war commemoration Eligible proven war, conflict or operational service is essential; a cause of death related to that service ensures eligibility. Certain veterans, such as TPIs, EDAs and multiple amputees, are automatically eligible if they have war or operational service histories.
Commemoration in cemeteries or crematoria Commemoration at the final resting place of the veteran allows the family to choose where the official commemoration will be. These, as with all official memorials, are uniform in style, in line with the principles of official commemoration.
Commemoration in a OAWG Garden of Remembrance Eligible veterans and some war dead are commemorated at the immaculate OAWG Gardens of Remembrance around Australia. They are now the most popular choice of official commemoration.
Additional burials in an official grave Official post-war graves at civil cemeteries may be re-opened later to allow for a further burial and second plaque, depending upon the particular cemetery's regulations. OAWG has no objection provided the official plaque and memorial are not altered.
Maintenance All post-war commemorations are regularly maintained by OAWG and will be so in perpetuity.
Veterans at the opening of the ACT Garden of Remembrance in 2005

Veterans at the opening of the ACT Garden of Remembrance in 2005

Men of 2/14th Battalion, AIF sharpening their bayonets during the Kokoda Campaign, August 1942

Men of 2/14th Battalion, AIF sharpening their bayonets during the Kokoda Campaign, August 1942 [1]
[ AWM 026261]

Veterans visit the Queensland Garden of Remembrance

Veterans visit the Queensland Garden of Remembrance

Footnotes

  1. On 18 August 1942, men of the 2/14th Bn, AIF, sharpening their bayonets. Sergeant John Manol of the 39th Bn remembered his first encounter with a veteran of the 2/14th: "I thought Christ had come down again! We all did. We thought of them as Gods, these blokes. They were tall and they were trained."
    [Manol quoted in Brune, Those Ragged Bloody Heroes, p. 98 Reproduced in Kokoda 1942. [AWM 026261]