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Poppy tiles for Rochester veterans

World War I centenary poppy tiles will be placed on the graves of veterans in the Rochester cemetery.

IVY WISE July 15, 2014 3:11am

Rochester RSL Sub-branch members (from left) president Greg Walkley, secretary Clive Usher and centenary project officer John Glover with the World War I centenary poppy tiles to be placed on the graves of veterans. The pictured grave is that of Private Charles Adams, who died of cerebral meningitis at the age of 19 while training in Seymour.

District World War I veterans will be honoured with centenary poppy tiles on their graves at Rochester cemetery.

Rochester RSL Sub-branch is sponsoring 100 World War I centenary poppy tiles.

President Greg Walkley said August 4 marked the centenary of the start of World War I, so he hoped to have the tiles fixed in place by then.

‘‘Many men and some women volunteered for service and it is fitting that their service should be commemorated at their final resting place here in Rochester cemetery,’’ he said.

‘‘Any service, not only on the front line, was significant and the members of the RSL want to honour every veteran from World War I.’’

The RSL, which has compiled a list of World War I veterans from Rochester and former Rochester Shire, will work with the Rochester Cemetery Trust to identify all known veterans buried in the cemetery.

RSL centenary project officer John Glover said Rochester was a massive recruitment centre in the war.

‘‘There are 50 (graves) we know of, but many are unmarked,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re trying to identify them, so we can honour them.

‘‘It’s important veterans’ families contact us to ensure the names of their relatives are not overlooked.

‘‘It does not matter where they served or with which service or even which Commonwealth nation.

‘‘We will recognise their contribution with this memorial.

‘‘It is our way of acknowledging today what they did under horrendous circumstances a century ago.’’

People who know of a World War I veteran buried in Rochester cemetery, should contact Mr Glover on 54806783.

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