A MARCH down Tarwin Street marked the beginning of Morwell’s Anzac Day service, with a record crowd gathering at the cenotaph, like the dawn service earlier on Saturday.
For the first time, members of the Morwell RSL Women’s Auxiliary Mary Gwynne, Debbie Lougheed and Sheila Vickers dressed in honour of World War I nurses, and joined the march.
The tribute had a personal significance for Ms Lougheed, whose husband Bruce’s grandfather Joseph Carlile was shot in the leg at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915.
“Nursing care got him back (to health),” Ms Lougheed said.
A centenary plaque honouring all WWI service people was unveiled, as the community stood in solemn remembrance.
Morwell RSL senior vice president Les Maher said the centenary of Anzac had stirred in people the memories of their own family who had served in WWI and other wars.
“People are searching the web to see whether they did have relatives in these wars and we’ve had many requests this year to help people trace their ancestry,” Mr Maher said.
The names of the 112 soldiers associated with the Morwell Shire who served at Gallipoli were listed in a special pamphlet distributed with the service program.
They were also part of a banner carried during the march, which included the design from a poster used on the first Anzac Day service in 1916.
It was the culmination of three months of research by Vietnam veteran Graham Burgess.
Mr Burgess not only listed the names from local cenotaphs and memorials, but various honour boards at schools, churches and halls, cross-referencing them with national records.
“I felt these guys needed recognition,” Mr Burgess said.
“You just can’t comprehend the hardship they went through.
“I know what I feel. I’m just… I’m paying a debt.”
Mr Burgess was unable to find the service records for five of the names on the Morwell cenotaph and one on the Yinnar war memorial
Those names are: E.C. Davey, R Little, F. Miller, C. Rowe and C. Smith for Morwell and A. Lowe for Yinnar.
Mr Burgess said it was possible the men enlisted under a different name and asked any residents who might have a connection to these men to contact the Morwell RSL.
“After 100 years, we should know who those men are,” Mr Burgess said.