FEDERAL member for New England Barnaby Joyce said Anzac Day celebrations around the electorate will have an increased level of significance with the centenary of World War One’s beginning later this year.
Mr Joyce has close family links with WWI as one of his grandfathers – who served as an artillery sergeant in the NZ Army Corps landed on the Gallipoli peninsula on April 25, 1915 and was among the last to be transported off the beachhead when the allied troops were evacuated on December 19 and 20 later that year.
His other grandfather was a signaller on the Western Front but was evacuated after being diagnosed with double pneumonia.
“The Anzac landings are an event that is fundamentally etched into the national psyche,” Mr Joyce said.
He said there were more and more Australians who could look to a forebear who served in the military in either WWI or WW2 or any of the other conflicts the country had been involved with.
“The connection to this event is becoming more pronounced rather than less,” Mr Joyce said.
“Therefore it has a deep commemorative and in some instances almost spiritual connection for so many people as a reflection of who they are.
“We shouldn’t forget these people for once we forget them we forget who we are.
Mr Joyce will attend the Tamworth Dawn Service at Anzac Park and then take part in services being held in Guyra tomorrow morning.
Details of Northern New England Electorate Anzac Day services
Details of Southern New England Electorate Anzac Day services