The German strongpoint at Pozieres, nicknamed Gibraltar Bunker by the Australians, was left in ruins after the village was captured.
The German strongpoint at Pozieres, nicknamed Gibraltar Bunker by the Australians, was left in ruins after the village was captured.

Dinner a 100-year event

THREE anthems and informative addresses will transport dinner guests to the fields of France at the Pozieres Centenary Memorial Dinner to be held at the Maryborough RSL on August 6.

French Wing Commander Guillaume Michel, on secondment to the RAAF, will represent the French Embassy at the dinner.

John Chapman, former Maryborough councillor and great-nephew of Duncan Chapman, will deliver an address on Pozieres from both an historical and personal perspective.

Colonel Chris Austin, former commanding officer of the 9th Battalion and president of the 9th Battalions Association, will speak on the military aspect of the battle described by historian Charles Bean as "more densely sown in Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth”.

Current 9RQR Commanding Officer Luke Hughes and Brigadier William Date will be among other military dignitaries in attendance.

The New Zealand and Australian anthems and the French La Marseilles will be sung at the dinner and at the service in Queen's Park which will begin at the Duncan Chapman statue at 4.30pm, commemorating the 100th anniversary of his death at Pozieres, and continue at the Cenotaph. Maryborough war historian John Meyers will give an address spanning the sacrifices of the First World War and focusing on the six weeks at Pozieres.

Tickets to the formal centenary dinner cost $75 and are available at the Maryborough RSL.

Maryborough RSL president Jukka Manttari said he hoped Fraser Coast citizens would attend the park services to pay tribute to the sacrifices made in the First World War.

"No family in Australia was unscarred by that time. This is a one-in-100-year event to show our respects. We cordially invite anyone who has any affinity with the Western Front to also join us at the dinner.”

Proceeds from the dinner will go to the Maryborough State High School 47th Battalion Bursary.