MEMORIAL: Members of the Jones and Clark families had a reunion at the Dalby Lawn Cemetery, remembering loved ones who were in conflict.
MEMORIAL: Members of the Jones and Clark families had a reunion at the Dalby Lawn Cemetery, remembering loved ones who were in conflict. Contributed

Family returns to Dalby to remember loved ones

ANZAC Day holds a special place in the heart of every Australian.

It is a time when we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, in the name of protecting our country and way of life.

But Anzac Day has a different meaning depending on who you ask.

For many Australian's Anzac Day is a time to remember loved ones that fought in war, and that is what members of the Clark and Jones families did last weekend.

The families applied for a plaque to be erected at the Memorial Wall at the Dalby Lawn Cemetery, which was done in November.

On Saturday, 25 descendants, relatives and friends of the two families came from as far as Yeppoon to hold their own service to remember five members of the family that fought in the Second World War.

Cathy Dempsey, (whose maiden name is Clark) was one of the family members at the reunion and said it was an emotional day.

"We wanted to honour my father and our uncles for the sacrifices that they made for our family,” Mrs Dempsey said.

The family reunion commemorated William Clark, Herbert Jones, Stanley Jones, Keith Jones and Kevin Jones.

The ceremony summarised their service in the war and also had a letter written from Kevin Jones, who was killed in action at the age of 21.

"We read out a letter that was sent by Kevin to his parents when he was fighting, and what we now know is that by the time the letter reached Dalby he had died,” Mrs Dempsey said.

"It was emotional and humbling to read out the summary of their service history.”

This was the first time the two families had ever held a ceremony to remember their loved ones, and waited for five months since the plaque was completed to have it near Anzac Day.

"We could have done this earlier but we thought it would be more special if we could do it as close to Anzac Day as possible,” she said.

"We all were really happy with the day, and how beautifully maintained the Western Downs council keeps the cemetery.

"It was decided that we will make this an annual tradition.”

The Memorial Wall at the Dalby Lawn Cemetery was erected with the support of the Department of Veteran Affairs to remember residents of the Western Downs that were involved in a conflict war.

Applications can be made via the council website, for anyone wishing to commemorate a family member or friend who was in conflict.


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