After the First World War, many veterans came back to Australia seeking a quiet life in the country. Thousands took up a Soldier Settler farm, where they often found themselves separated from family. When these veterans passed away, some may have been buried without a funeral or a permanent headstone and were not provided with an official commemoration.
The Australian Government’s Unmarked Graves of First World War Veterans Pilot Program provides funding to individuals, non-commercial organisations or community groups towards the cost of a grave marker on those currently unmarked graves.
The Pilot Program, which is administered by the Office of Australian War Graves offers, offers up to $450 to assist with the cost of a grave marker or as a contribution towards a larger cost. This has resulted in the graves of around 150 First World War veterans being identified and appropriately commemorated.
To ensure that as many unmarked graves are discovered and are appropriately commemorated, the Pilot Program has been extended for a further six months, until 30 June 2021. We encourage you to research your family history. Maybe you will discover an ancestor who is resting in an unmarked grave.
Although we can never fully repay the debt we owe to those who have served their country, one way we can demonstrate our gratitude is to honour them in our cemeteries across Australia and overseas.
For more information on the eligibility requirements, visit the DVA website or email wargraves [at] dva.gov.au (subject: Unmarked%20Graves%20program) .
Corporal Francis Alan Roddy with his parents at the family farm at Lacmalac near Tumut, NSW. The farm was built on a soldier settlement block allocated to Edward Roddy, a soldier with the 1st AIF. Australian War Memorial, P07129.002.