Yesterday I published the third installment of the story of Tom Godfrey MC, one of our family members who served in World War One and who never returned home.
He lies somewhere in an unmarked grave near a small Belgian town called Broodseinde. The 100th anniversary of his death on the morning of one the largest battles ever fought by Australian soldiers has just passed.
The three part series authored by my father and with minor additions from myself has received little attention from this website’s readership; I knew this would be the case. It is a personal story of our family history and I published it for personal reasons.
Those personal details mean a great deal to our family, not so much to others.
However, the overall story of the campaigns in France and Belgium a century ago have a great meaning to all Australians.
That is why I was shocked yesterday. The first thing I did after hitting publish on the final piece on Tom Godfrey was check the news. And I read this in an article written by Paul Murray for The Australian:
A French company’s plans to build a wind farm on Australian war graves is the ultimate test of our national commitment to ‘‘Lest We Forget’’.
Maia Eolis wants to build its wind farm in the fields of Bullecourt in the north of France. Bullecourt was the site of two mighty and bloody battles in 1917. Australia paid a terrible price, with 10,000 casualties.
This is personal for me. Tom Godfrey fought at Bullecourt in May 1917 where he won his Military Cross.
But it should be personal for Australia too.
The 24th Battalion, of which Tom was part, lost 85% of its men in one day’s fighting in early May 1917 to liberate Bullecourt. All up, more than 13,000 Diggers were killed or wounded in the intense combat to free this small French village from German hands.
Possibly up to 2,500 of those men lie in the surrounding fields in unmarked graves.
It is an absolute insult that a century after they gave their lives for freedom, their bones will be used as the foundation for a monstrous monument to the politically-correct folly of our times.
Lest we forget indeed.
It is extremely heartening to hear that the current Mayor of Bullecourt is completely opposed to this insult. I have visited these small French villages; they have great respect for our fallen Diggers.
I also want to thank Campbell Newman for taking this issue up so strongly as well.
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) November 7, 2017
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) November 7, 2017
I ask you to sign the petition below to the Minister for Veterans Affairs, Dan Tehan, calling on him to raise this issue with the Prime Minister and to urge him to protest this plan with the French President. I did hope to have this petition go to the Prime Minister too but his email system has been set up to prevent these petitions.
So I urge you to copy the petition text and paste it into Malcolm Turnbull’s web-based contact form here and let him know your concern as well.
And if Paris is going to dump on our fallen to meet some climate change requirement, we should dump Paris and its insane climate change accord too.
As Paul Murray said so well, this is the ultimate test of our national commitment to “Lest We Forget”.
Let’s make sure we pass it. We owe it to those who gave everything for us.
Save Australian war graves from a French wind farm
This petition is now closed.
End date: Nov 20, 2017
Signatures collected: 185
Please note that due to setting I cannot change, you will need to type in the state.
|185||Joy D.||St Ives||2075||Nov 19, 2017|
|184||Colleen T.||Townsville||4810||Nov 19, 2017|
|183||Christopher K.||George Town||7253||Nov 18, 2017|
|182||Adrian B.||QLD||Nov 18, 2017|
|181||John S.||2567||Nov 18, 2017|
|180||James M.||Perth||6025||Nov 17, 2017|
|179||Nola W.||Glenorchy||7010||Nov 17, 2017|
|178||john M.||2540||Nov 17, 2017|
|177||Craig L.||Corio||3214||Nov 15, 2017|
|176||Ken B.||Nov 15, 2017|
|175||Bernie G.||Park Ridge||4125||Nov 15, 2017|
|174||Monica H.||4650||Nov 15, 2017|
|173||Peter B.||Nov 15, 2017|
|172||Ian R.||Glen Iris||3164||Nov 14, 2017|
|171||David O.||Wendouree||3355||Nov 14, 2017|
|170||Michael C.||Nov 14, 2017|
|169||David B.||Kardinya||6163||Nov 13, 2017|
|168||Edward K.||Nov 13, 2017|
|167||Jeff F.||Nov 13, 2017|
|166||John R.||Buderim||4556||Nov 13, 2017|
|165||Allan E.||Johnsonville||3902||Nov 13, 2017|
|164||James M.||Oyster Bay||2225||Nov 13, 2017|
|163||Ron J.||Brisbane||4053||Nov 12, 2017|
|162||Bob P.||Darlington||3271||Nov 12, 2017|
|161||Francis W.||Sydney||2760||Nov 12, 2017|
|160||Hermini M.||Nov 12, 2017|
|159||Ashley F.||Salisbury Downs||5108||Nov 12, 2017|
|158||Tania C.||Winmalee||2777||Nov 11, 2017|
|157||Rose M.||Glen Osmond||5064||Nov 11, 2017|
|156||Gale M.||Woodhill||4285||Nov 11, 2017|
|155||Leisa F.||Tamworth||2340||Nov 11, 2017|
|154||Tim H.||3810||Nov 11, 2017|
|153||Geoffrey B.||Nathalia||3638||Nov 11, 2017|
|152||Don F.||Nov 11, 2017|
|151||Peter H.||Perth||6100||Nov 11, 2017|
|150||Irene Z.||Bonbeach||3196||Nov 11, 2017|
|149||Janine W.||2428||Nov 11, 2017|
|148||Jill M.||Margate||4019||Nov 11, 2017|
|147||Chris P.||Wangaratta||3677||Nov 11, 2017|
|146||Amanda G.||Melbourne||3030||Nov 11, 2017|
|145||Rebecca B.||Nov 11, 2017|
|144||Pat S.||Ramsgate||2217||Nov 11, 2017|
|143||Daniel J.||Nov 11, 2017|
|142||Henry W.||Nov 11, 2017|
|141||John G.||6004||Nov 11, 2017|
|140||Margaret W.||Nov 11, 2017|
|139||Kevin J.||3810||Nov 11, 2017|
|138||Jaysen A.||Point vernon||4655||Nov 11, 2017|
|137||Irene L.||2750||Nov 11, 2017|
|136||Alan O.||Bossley Park||2176||Nov 11, 2017|