The Benalla RSL has installed a memorial in the cemetery to remember those who fought for our freedoms.By Angela Townsend
Benalla RSL has unveiled a new plaque marking the final resting place of Australian Defence Force ex-servicemen and women.
A dedication service was held last Friday at the Benalla Cemetery site under a darkened sky, with the opening and closing prayers led by Reverend Ken Martin of St Andrew’s Church.
RSL president Jeff Lewis introduced World War II veteran Alan Ould for the formal address, who explained the reasons for the plaque.
‘‘We were concerned at the many ex-service people — both men and women — in the cemetery, some with little or no identification (that) they served the country during difficult times,’’ he said.
‘‘We had to get approval for the site from the Cemetery Trust, rock left over from the Hec Waller memorial was made available to us, and we got a grant.’’
Mr Ould said more than 2500 men and women from Benalla and surrounding districts served during World War II — an enormous number considering the population in those days.
The playing of The Last Post was followed by a minute’s silence and the playing of the Reveille.
Mr Ould gave credit to the Benalla Cemetery Trust and staff, and acknowledged the efforts of absent RSL member David Cornish, who ‘‘helped get it through’’. He also thanked the Rau family for their input.
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