Families Of Veterans Guild

Pictures of the 2024 ANZAC Field of Remembrance

The ANZAC Field of Remembrance honours and pays tribute to those who have served and gave their lives in service to our nation. It is a symbol of self-sacrifice.

The ANZAC Field of Remembrance is the only commemoration where veterans’ families, in particular war widows, are at the centre of the service, laying their own personal tributes to their loved ones. This service is unique, and we will continue to honour its 72 years legacy for years to come.

In 1952 Mrs C J Pope, widow of Rear-Admiral C J Pope, RAN, assisted by War Widows NSW, organised the first Field in the grounds of St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney, after seeing a similar ceremony held in the old churchyard of St Margaret’s in London, alongside Westminster Abbey. Mrs Pope’s daughter, Mrs Lesley Hazlitt, presented the Guild with her mother’s brochure on the Story of the Field of Remembrance obtained when she went to London in 1951 after discovering it among her mother’s memorabilia. 

Thanks to the generosity of St Andrew’s Cathedral, the ANZAC Field of Remembrance is held here at the Cathedral in Sydney prior to ANZAC Day. Since 1972, when the Attorney General granted the Guild permission to use the word ‘ANZAC’ in the title, it has been known as the ANZAC Field of Remembrance. For the last 72 years, we have come together to commemorate the service of our loved ones through the Field of Remembrance. 

This poignant annual event is appreciated by many war widows who travel to St Andrew’s Cathedral to commemorate and spend time together. Widows and families lay their tributes to their loved ones during this moving service. They write messages on wooden crosses, made by the Men’s Shed in Haberfield. They attach a spring of rosemary, a poppy or a wattle. 

Wattle is entwined with Australia’s military history. During the First World War sprigs of wattle were often sent with letters to soldiers on service abroad, as a reminder of home. Boxes filled with sprigs of pressed wattle were also sent to hospitals for distribution to wounded Anzacs in Egypt, France and England. The ANZAC Field of Remembrance is a tradition we must continue, to give the widows of war and their families the opportunity to personally commemorate their loved ones’ service and sacrifice, and to continue our 72 years history and the legacy set back in 1952 which is one of acknowledgement and respect for our service men and women across all conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

View our picture gallery. 

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