Field of Remembrance – we are all part of the story

The ANZAC Field of Remembrance began in 1952 when Mrs C J Pope, widow of Rear-Admiral C J Pope, RAN, assisted by the War Widows’ Guild, organised the first Field in the grounds of St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney.

Mrs Pope conceived the idea of establishing a Field of Remembrance in Sydney after seeing a similar ceremony held in the old churchyard of St Margaret’s in London, alongside Westminster Abbey.

The ANZAC Field of Remembrance is a story of tradition and legacy. It is a story of sadness, but also a story of great love. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the lives of those who are no longer with us – however, it’s also an opportunity to recognise and honour our loss, and the sacrifices made by the widows of war.

“This is our story, a story of love for our husbands, our love for brothers and sisters, love for our families and love for our country.” Rhondda Vanzella OAM

For the last 69 years, we have come together to commemorate the service of our loved ones through the Field of Remembrance. The only time the Field of Remembrance has not occurred was in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A NEW WAY TO REMEMBER

This year, due to the ongoing risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian War Widows NSW will host the Field of Remembrance service differently. For the first time in its history, the Field of Remembrance will feature as part of an official ANZAC Day Service.

This year we are very privileged to combine our Field of Remembrance ceremony with the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway’s ANZAC service on Saturday 24 April 2021 at Concord. Being outdoors, we can adapt and hold our ceremony in line with public health guidelines and share our stories with a much larger audience.

ABOUT THE SERVICE

During the service, we will recognise the sacrifices made by widows, women and families connected to Defence service.

Our National and NSW President, Rhondda Vanzella OAM will lead the Field of Remembrance ceremony and invite representatives from AWW NSW to lay crosses on behalf of all members.

Transport assistance is available for NSW members who wish to attend either the ANZAC Field of Remembrance service at Concord or their local event – please contact us to discuss suitable arrangements.

After the service, a light morning tea will be served. It would be appreciated if you could RSVP your attendance at the service at Concord on (02) 9267 6577 or guild@warwidowsnsw.com.au by 15 April 2021.

We want all our members to be involved in the Field of Remembrance this year and have worked with the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway to develop options for you.

At home: every AWW NSW member will receive a memorial cross in the mail a week before ANZAC Day. You can write your loved one’s name on the cross and lay your very own cross at home, your local cenotaph, or anywhere that has meaning for you. You might like to take a photo of your own personal tribute and send it through to us. We look forward to featuring many of the moving tributes in our newsletters, digests and online.

In person: you can attend the service in person if you like. To do so, you will need to pre-register your attendance with us, by no later than 15 April 2021. We will cover the costs of transport to and from the service for those Sydney based members that require it. To register please call us on (02) 9267 6577 or email guild@warwidowsnsw.com.au.

Online: this year we’ll also be live streaming the service at the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway, so you can view it from the comfort of your home or share it with friends and family.

At 10.30am on Saturday 24 April 2021, simply view the service on our Facebook page or YouTube channel.

Answers to frequently asked questions can be found here. For more information, please contact us on (02) 9267 6577, 1800 451 615 or guild@warwidowsnsw.com.au.

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