A new memorial will be built to pay tribute to the 78 Dennington soldiers who fought on the battlefields during World War II.
While dozens enlisted, just one of Dennington's sons paid the ultimate sacrifice but little is known about him. Two community stalwarts want to change that.
John Harris and David Kelson are researching all the soldiers so they can produce a booklet to go along with the unveiling of a dedicated WWII memorial next Anzac Day.
The war memorial in Dennington honours its World War I veterans by listing each one by name.
Although a plaque attached pays tribute to those who served in WWII, it doesn't list any names.
But that is about to change with a $9600 grant from the Department of Veteran Affairs, along with $19,000 the community organisation has raised, will help pay for a new stand-alone memorial.
Mr Kelson and Mr Harris only have information on about half the soldiers, and are keen to find out more.
They are holding an open day on December 11 from 2pm to 5pm at the Dennington hall so families of those who served can drop by and help them fill the gaps.
"We've got 78 names who actually went, only one was killed in action," Mr Kelson said.
Private Martin William Byrne was just 25 when he died of his wounds in Egypt two days before Christmas in 1941.
He had enlisted the year before and served in the 2/31 Australian Infantry Battalion.
Private Byrne is listed on the Warrnambool memorial, but the pair want to honour him and the 78 others in Dennington.
Mr Kelson said information about WWII soldiers was still to be digitised in Canberra.
"When they were coming up to the centenary of WWI, for four years the government paid millions for people to scan all that material and digitise it," Mr Kelson said.
"WWII hasn't been done. They've only done about five per cent of them."
So instead of paying $40 per soldier to get information out of Canberra on the soldiers, the duo are keen to hear from families first.
"We are trying to get as much information as we can before we have to spend the money," Mr Kelson said.
He said he knew many of the names that would be listed on the memorial having worked alongside them at the Nestle factory over the years.
"As time goes on, we like to remember people who served our country," Mr Kelson said. "If we don't do it now, it will never be done," he said.
Anyone with information can turn up on December 11 or contact Mr Harris or Mr Kelson on: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
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