In 2011 the founding members of The Tasmanian Headstone Project became aware of the fact that there were a number of returned veterans from the First World War who were buried at Cornelian Bay Cemetery in Hobart but who had no marker or headstone on their plot. In many cases these were men who had seen action at Gallipoli, the Western Front and in the Middle East. Some had returned wounded as a result, possibly changed in many ways from what they had been part of and from what they had witnessed while there – the sights, sounds and smells of battle that would live with them for the rest of their lives. Starting with a list of about 20 or so names we then wondered and speculated about how many others there might be buried here. With the help of Millingtons Cemeteries who has supported this project since its inception, we started to work through the records section by section looking for any First World War veteran who was buried in an unmarked grave – to date, with this work still incomplete the number is well over 200 and could be as high as 250 by the time we finish.
In the mean time we have become aware of others buried in other cemeteries throughout the state – just how many then state wide is still a matter for further research and hopefully having other groups or organisations involved.