Take the lead in Anzac Centenary*

One of Australia’s leading military historians and authors is urging local government to take the lead in getting the community engaged in the ANZAC Centenary.

Graham Wilson, an ex intelligence Warrant Officer and passionate historian, says he is concerned that the full story of Australia in the war years, and the effects it had on every Australian community, is being engulfed by a singular focus on Anzac Day, at the sacrifice of other key campaigns and events during the war.

“Gallipoli is definitely a defining moment, if not campaign, and Anzac Day is a proud part of our national identify.

“But we must also mark the times and pay respect to the tens of thousands who fought in the desert campaigns or on the Western Front or at sea.”

Mr Wilson says local government is well placed to look across the whole of the Great War and identify when men and women left, where they served; their triumphs and their losses; and then share these with the community.

“From 1914 till the final year of war young men, and women, marched out of every town, in dribs and drabs but also in great blocks, and thus changed the social and economic fabric of their community to this day.

“Theirs is the story and the anniversaries local government can and should share.

“Each year we Australians vow to remember them, but let us remember them as part of the community they chose to defend and let us recognise the other campaigns that forged the Anzac Spirit .”

Graham Wilson is the consulting historian for Australia in the Great War.

*Copy supplied by Brandnet