Standing up for Canberra

The Chronicle: Remembering our ANZACs

Sergeant Christopher Ernest Uhlmann was killed in action in Belgium on 21 July 1917.

That day this “splendid stamp of a man” was wounded by a shell in the trenches near Zillebeke Lake in Belgium. The Brigade Doctor Captain Aspinall, Bomber Barrs and Private Salisbury went to his assistance, but another shell fell “almost in the same spot and killed the four”.

He was just 26 and married to Florence May Uhlmann.

After attending the Dawn Service, the mass at St Christopher’s and the National ANZAC Day Ceremony, Chris and I will honour “Ernie” by placing a poppy against his name on panel 11 in the Australian War Memorial. And we will join with thousands of other Australians and Canberrans in paying tribute to the memories and legacy of lost loved ones.

The First World War helped define us as a people and as a nation. The ANZAC Centenary allows us to honour those who made the ultimate sacrifice – and the broken hearted they left behind – those who served and those who returned physically and emotionally wounded.

On ANZAC Day, Canberrans will remember them through a range of commemorations, many of them community-based.

The Australian Garden Historical Society will erect a monument in Weston Park to the young men of early Canberra who served in the First World War. Their service is personified by Private Malcolm McIntosh Southwell, who was a forester based at what is now the Yarralumla Nursery and was killed in action near Flers in France on 5 November 1916.

At Fetherston Gardens in Weston, volunteers will construct a memorial garden using plants of significance such as the Gallipoli Rose, poppies, cornflowers and a Lone Pine.

In Chisholm, the existing memorial on Simpson’s Hill will be lovingly upgraded by the local community, so it can become the centre of local commemorations. A new flag pole, garden beds and memorial plaques designed by local school children will bring the memorial to life.

These are just some of the many local commemorations that will ensure ANZAC Day continues to have meaning and relevance to our community for the next hundred years.

Lest We Forget.