The war graves at Cootamundra cemetery have been recently updated, just prior to ANZAC Day, to recognise and thank the contributions made by soldiers in the First and Second World War.

Jacqui Vincent, Secretary Treasurer at the Cootamundra RSL Sub-Branch told The Times of the process required to get the war graves upgraded. “After ANZAC Day last year, I approached Commonwealth War Graves in Canberra on behalf of the Cootamundra RSL Sub-Branch.

I sent an email asking if they would possibly look at rejuvenating the war graves at Cootamundra, because they were just surrounded by dirt previously and wasn’t a very nice surrounding,” Vincent said.

“I called at the end of last year and they said they were looking at the site and getting quotes done. Two weeks before ANZAC Day this year, they contacted me and said they were refurbishing them.

“The stonemason was there and did some impressive work.

They’ve rendered the grave itself, they’ve also washed the headstones, as well as completely tiled around the area. It looks really good.” A plaque at the Cootamundra war graves reads:

“During the Second World War, 1939-45, the No. 1 Air Observers’ School of the Royal Australian Air Force was based at Cootamundra.

Some of those buried here died in air training accidents.

“The Cootamundra War Cemetery contains 6 burials, comprising 3 Australian Army and 3 RAAF Airmen.

“Cootamundra General Cemetery contains 11 burials, 1 Australian Army and 10 RAAF Airmen.

“There are also 14 First World War Australian Graves.” The Commonwealth War Graves look after war graves all throughout the country and don’t charge costs to local councils.

The six war graves included Army and Airforce soldiers.

Construction work for the upgraded war graves took 2-3 weeks and was finalised on the 21st of April, prior to ANZAC Day, with Jacqui making an official announcement at the ANZAC breakfast at the Ex-Services Club last month.

 

Tim Warren