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Memorial service at Tatura war cemetery

Many gathered at the Tatura German War Cemetery to remember the men, women and children who died during the two World Wars.

November 29, 2012 4:22am

Tatura RSL president Robert Mathieson, Dr Christoph Mueller (Federal Republic of Germany Ambassador), Brigadier Chris Appleton (Office of Australian War Graves director) and Bernd Pfaffenbach (Defence Attache) at the Tatura War Memorial.


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A memorial service was conducted at the Tatura German War Cemetery on Sunday, November 18, with many people attending to remember their dead.

The service was conducted by Temple Society regional head Mark Herman, who introduced the Ambassador, Dr Christoph Mueller from the German Embassy in Canberra, Brigadier Chris Appleton director of Australian War Graves Commission Canberra, Hans Schroeder from the Lutheran Trinity Church Melbourne, Greater Shepparton City Council Mayor Jenny Houlihan and Councillor Kevin ‘Gunna’ Ryan, Tatura RSL representatives and members of the Tatura and District Historical Society.

Mr Herman welcomed those who had gathered to remember the men, women and children who died during the two 20th Century Great World Wars.

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Flowers were laid at the grave of Theodor Ritcher.

The Temple Society Choir, many of them interned from Palestine as children in WWII, sang hymns accompanied by a brass band.

Each of the speakers remembered those who had died fighting for their country, and also the thousands of civilians throughout the world whose lives were changed forever when they were interned as ‘‘security risks’’ in time of war. Dr Mueller spoke freely of the innocent victims of war, two children who had died in internment camp accidents, two boys who had attempted to escape from a train en route to South Australia and died, all buried in the cemetery, their lives cut short.

Wreaths were laid at the front of the Memorial Cross before the Ambassador, Brigadier Appleton and others left to lay wreaths on the memorial at the Robert Mactier Memorial Gardens in Hogan St.

After lunch at Hill Top, the visitors adjourned to Tatura Museum, where former internees and their children reminisced about their experiences in the German Family Camp 3. Ambassador Mueller, his wife and daughter, and Defence Attache Lieutenant Colonel Bernd Pfaffenbach and his wife, marvelled at the museum donations by former internees and prisoners of war.

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Brigadier Chris Appleton and his wife at Tatura's German War Cemetery.

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