Daley, Paul: Australia’s forgotten soldiers

Daley, Paul

In the Anzac centenary, it’s time to honour Australia’s forgotten soldiers‘, Guardian Australia, 15 March 2014

The author notes the centenary expenditure of $8 million on refurbishing war graves and memorials in Australia and overseas. He refers to suicide, alcoholism, addiction, family violence, mental illness and other results of war service. The men who suffered these effects of war are not in official war graves but former Australian War Memorial director, Brendon Kelson, believes their deaths should be recognised as war-related. The Commonwealth rejected Kelson’s proposal as it rejected a similar one from a Vietnam War veteran, Jim Robertson.

The author believes we should use the term ‘died’ rather than ‘fallen’ or ‘sacrificed’ and quotes Robertson:

[T]ry to avoid the utterly demeaning term “fallen” when speaking of war dead – they did not trip over a stick or a garden hose, they were drowned, burned, shot, gassed and eviscerated to lie face down in mud or sand or at the bottom of the ocean.

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