WONDERFUL NEWS: Tracey and Zoe Anderson received the news on eve of Anzac Day their ancestor Walter Richardson would no longer lie in unmarked grave as he would be receiving an official war grave.
WONDERFUL NEWS: Tracey and Zoe Anderson received the news on eve of Anzac Day their ancestor Walter Richardson would no longer lie in unmarked grave as he would be receiving an official war grave. Dominic Elsome

Family receive news of ancestor's war grave for Anzac Day

AS THE dawn crept in over Lowood, a community came together to remember the fallen as has happened for decades now.

But this Anzac Day is extra special for Tracey and Zoe Anderson, after they discovered just yesterday Zoe's great-great-grandfather would longer lie in an unmarked grave.

The late sergeant Walter Richardson served in both the Boer War and World War I, and since he passed away in 1934, has laid in an unmarked grave in Sydney.

Zoe and Tracey only learned of this recently from Walter's son, Norm Richardson.

Knowing they had to do something, the pair with the help of the Lowood RSL Sub-Branch's veterans centre submitted an application for Walter to receive an official war grave.

Tracey described receiving the news yesterday the application had been successful as 'very emotional'.

"It was literally yesterday afternoon, Zoe rang me on the way home and we were overwhelmed," Tracey said.

Zoe said the result meant so much to the family, especially Walter's son Norm.

"Because Pa's still alive and he's such a big part of our lives - just to have that happen is really awesome to find out," Zoe said.

Norm Richardson followed in his father footsteps and served in the Middle East and New Guinea during World War II.

At almost 99-years-old, Norm no longer attends Anzac Day services, but Zoe told the gathered crowd at the Lowood dawn service the news his father would be receiving an official war grave would make his Anzac Day reflections this year "all the more poignant".

"This now means that Norm and his brother Ossie will have an opportunity to attend an official graveside poppy service," she said.

"He will no longer lie in an unmarked grave, a fitting headstone tribute will now be placed on his burial plot which will be maintained for all eternity by the Australian Office of War Graves."

Lowood veterans centre chairman Peter Ryan said the Zoe and here family's story was "fantastic".

He hoped the speech would mark the start a tradition at the dawn service of members of the community sharing their family's story.

"It keeps their memories alive," Mr Ryan said.

"It makes the dawn service alive, everyone talks about death - this brings them back to life and tell their story, even though they've gone now."

Take a look at some photos from the Lowood Anzac Day dawn service at Clock Park below:

 


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