New name plaques revealed at Wagga's Roll of Honour and Eternal Flame Memorial

Holding the flame: Wagga RSL Sub Branch treasurer Brian Watts with Connor McComas on Jasmine at Victory Memorial Gardens, where the dedication will be held.

Holding the flame: Wagga RSL Sub Branch treasurer Brian Watts with Connor McComas on Jasmine at Victory Memorial Gardens, where the dedication will be held.

As the day approaches to commemorate those who died serving Australia, a special unveiling will recognise those from Wagga returned or still serving. 

New names of Wagga-enrolled servicemen and women will join the Roll of Honour at the Victory Memorial Gardens next week. 

Wagga RSL Sub Branch Honour Roll coordinator David Gardiner said defence members had served the nation as well as everyone else – from the Boer War to today, earning equal recognition. 

“They have a rightful place there, alongside everyone else,” Mr Gardiner said. “It’s going to be a special day.”

Mr Gardiner the entire Wagga community was invited to attend the ceremony on Monday April 24. 

He said the 10.30am ceremony would include a short welcome from mayor Greg Conkey, an RSL Commemorative Youth Choir performance and a prayer, spoken by the Kapooka chaplain.  

Sub Branch treasurer Brian Watts said the bugle would sound The Last Post for the big event, with 53 name plaques added to the wall of the internal flame memorial area.

They served the nation as well as everyone else ... they have a rightful place on the honour wall. - David Gardiner

Mr Watts said conflicts and operations included those in the Solomon islands, Sinai, East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Gulf.

“We needed to update the honour roll,” Mr Watts said. “We do so to mark and honour those who have served in this area.”

Mr Watts said the initial dedication would commemorate those post-Vietnam War who had returned or were still serving. He said the unveiling would be followed by a presentation of the French Legion of Honour medal to World War II veteran Bernie Thomas. 

Now 94-years-young, Mr Thomas will be recognised for his service in the Bomber Command, flying 29 successful missions over Germany. He will be joined by his wife and family. 

Mr Watts said there would also be a special welcoming of the HMAS Wagga crew for Tuesday’s Anzac Day services, before a final Sub Branch hosted afternoon tea.

“They are part of the original ship,” Mr Watts said. “They all come from outside Wagga, some with their carers and partners.” 

Wagga’s ANZAC Day services will commence at 5.30am 6.45am and 10am on Tuesday, April 25.

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