The names of 845 soldiers killed in WWI will be added to the Monument Hill war memorial, nearly a century to the day of the Gallipoli landing.
The names will be inscribed on 12 bronze plaques, to be unveiled after the dawn service on April 25, 2015.
Former memorial warden Chris Grisewood got the ball rolling on the project two years ago: He says it redresses the lack of recognition of Freo’s war dead at the site, which overlooks the port the men, some of them teenagers, left for the last time nearly a century ago.
“The loss of these men affected many people in Fremantle,” he says. “Almost every street in the city suffered a loss.”
Mayor Brad Pettitt says the project—one of many planned for the centenary—captures for the first time a largely forgotten chapter in Freo’s military history.
“It’s extraordinary when you learn how many people in this area got on ships and went to war,” he says. “That was a fundamental change in our community.”
Mr Grisewood says the names of soldiers from Fremantle and surrounding districts could not be added before, as the memorial was shrunk before its completion in 1928. The 14m monument is a scaled down version of the original version. Names were to have been recorded on marble tablets inside.
“It has taken a long time to bring this to fruition, since 1928 in fact, during the depression when money was short,” Mr Grisewood says.
“So in a way you could say we are bringing the men home at last to the city where they enlisted.”
The council has posted the names on its website so members of the public, whose loved ones fought in WWI, can check them. A hard copy is available at the front counter.
by CARMELO AMALFI