We had expected the remaining crosses to be put in the ground over two days, however we were thrilled with the many helpers that came to lend a hand. So many Aussies got out in the hot and steamy field to finish the job. The Barossa Valley troop of the Lighthorse lent us a hand for most of the morning and we loved their humour and they kept thanking us for the opportunity to be a part of such a tribute. The infantry re-enactment team from the 9th Battalion Rockhampton and 18th Battalion Sydney also lent a hand in their full kit. Some of the men found shrapnel and even part of an arming band from an artillery shell its rifling still visible. For many of the men it has been a long and emotional journey and they took their time to pay their respects as they remembered the fallen.
We also had a local, Karim who proudly wore his poppy in his hat and helped out alongside all the Aussies. The town of Pozieres has been amazing and we had Marie-Genevieve and husband Joel come and inspect the progress and they described it as “magnifico” as they touched their hearts. You can see how much this project has impacted on the people involved and those seeing it for the first time and the sincerest appreciation of the locals.
The final cross was placed by Michael and Robert Lee who were instrumental in the organisation and making of the white crosses along with many mens sheds in Queensland and northern New South Wales. There was a resounding applause upon completion of getting the crosses into the ground well ahead of schedule. The finishing touches with the white felt wording will be finalised in the cool of the evening and preparations are now underway for the ceremony on the 23 July. Von and Barry are so thrilled to see this first major milestone achieved in time for the 100 year commemoration, the first of many plans in the stages to come.
This has only been possible with the help of all our many volunteers and the donations from so many Australians.
We thank you, everyone should be so proud.