Suzuki Australia is providing the drive for a unique Memorial Park in France to commemorate Australia’s costliest battle.
The Pozieres Remembrance Association has just taken delivery of a new Suzuki Grand Vitara, wrapped in a distinctive commemorative design to promote the cause.
It will be driven around the country by association president Barry Gracey, as he chases donations for a Memorial Park to be built at the site of the siege.
“The association, and indeed the town of Pozieres, is indebted to the generosity of Suzuki,” said Mr Gracey.
“Suzuki was the first company that came to our aid when we started and their ongoing support is now starting to bear real fruit”.
“We are about to launch a campaign to build a Memorial Park at the site of the battle, and offering all Australians the chance to be immortalised with a unique donation program.”
The Battle of Pozieres was a struggle for the French Village of Pozieres and the ridge on which it stands, during the middle stages of the 1916 Battle of the Somme.
Fought predominantly by Australian Soldiers, the cost of the battle was enormous. In six weeks more than 23,000 casualties were suffered by Australians, with 7000 dead.
Those six weeks were – in human terms – the costliest ever in Australia’s history. They total almost a many as the entire Gallipoli campaign and account for more than 12 per cent of the total deaths suffered by Australia in World War 1.
In the words of Australian official historian Charles Bean, the Pozieres ridge “is more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth.”
In Australia, the majority of citizens are totally unaware of Pozieres and what happened there, so Australian History has condemned them to the status of generic War Dead.
Fortunately, the sacrifices of these men are still commemorated every year by the people of the Village of Pozieres France.
The people of Pozieres remember their Sacrifice in the first two weekends of July each year with 5 days of celebration followed by a “Son et Lumiere” (Sound and Light) Show to honour their memory, all conducted at their own expense.
Now the Pozieres Remembrance Association – with the support of Suzuki – is giving all Australians the opportunity to buy a brick that will carry their name on it, and that brick will be used to help build the Memorial Park.
“This is a unique program that means all Australians can honour the sacrifice made by our Soldiers in World War 1 and support the unpaid work done by the citizens of Pozieres who keep their memory alive,” said Suzuki Australia Automobiles General Manager Tony Devers.
“Each brick costs just $50, which represents a small price to pay in comparison to the price paid by our forefathers.
“We are very proud to be associated with such a mighty project and ask all Australians to get on board.”
Any person interested in buying a brick should go to the Pozieres Memorial Park tab above for details on how you can purchase a brick.