WORLD War I servicemen from the south-west will be honoured as part of the state government’s commemoration of the forthcoming Anzac centenary.
To mark the countdown to the centenary in 1915, the state government has released a website based on the embarkation list of the HMAT Orvieto, which left Port Melbourne bound for the Middle East and Gallipoli in 1914 with 1457 servicemen and women.
The embarkation list provides a snapshot of the state’s involvement in the campaign and includes the names of eight men who enrolled in the south-west to serve.
They were Reginald Abraham from Mepunga East, Rothe Burtchaell and Samuel Speed of Port Fairy, Framlingham’s George Dixon, Phibbs Lougheed from Allansford and Percy Watson, Stephen Healand and William Doidge, all of Warrnambool.
Premier and member for South West Coast Denis Napthine said it was important to acknowledge the south-west’s service history and commemorate those locals who fought for their country in the First World War.
“These local men who proudly wore the Australian uniform came from all walks of life; there was a farmer, station hand, a couple of labourers, a draper, butcher, bank clerk and miner.
“We encourage members of the south-west community to visit our new website and share their own personal links to the Orvieto.
“I am sure there are still relatives of these men in the district today.”
Dr Napthine said the website allowed those who have a direct connection to the Orvieto to upload their stories and photographs online.
“These shared stories are an important reminder to our community of the legacy of the Anzacs and the impact the war has had on so many lives,” Dr Napthine said. He said the website, prepared by Monash University, provided details such as name, age, rank, service number and place of birth of the 1457 on board.
Dr Napthine said the commemoration of the Orvieto departure was one of many initiatives planned to commemorate the broader First World War centenary, which will include the Anzac centenary in 2015, the centenary of the war’s end in November 2018 and many other significant dates in between.
Information about HMAT Orvieto embarkation list can be found at www.anzaccentenary.vic.gov.au