The graves of 44 First World War veterans are set to receive headstones as part of a Federal Government program to formally recognise veterans who lie in unmarked graves.
This year, community groups, ex-service organisations and individuals were invited to apply for assistance of up to $450 to mark the graves of WWI veterans whose deaths were unrelated to their wartime service.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Matt Keogh (pictured) says the program was developed to ensure First World War veterans, many of whom lie in unmarked graves, receive the respect and recognition that they deserve.
“This program sought to establish appropriate graveside commemoration, such as a headstone or appropriate marking, for those veterans who returned home and passed away of causes unrelated to their war service,” said Minister Keogh.
As part of this grant process, the Repatriation Commission assessed all applications and also determined that 44 veterans who had been identified through this program were in fact eligible for official War Grave status and commemoration.
“This means that their service will be recognised with a Commonwealth War Grave headstone installed at the site of interment. This will be arranged by, paid for and maintained in perpetuity by Government,” the Minister said.
Forty-two applications have been approved for funding under the first round of the Marking (First World War) Private Graves Grants Program.