The Headstone Project in South Australia

We are a group of South Australians who were inspired by the efforts of people in Tasmania to locate the graves of soldiers and nurses who had served their country, returned to Australia and now lie in unmarked graves.

In 2010, John Trethewey, a Tasmanian historian researching World War 1 veterans, discovered that some were in unmarked graves. That led to the Families and Friends of the First AIF in Tasmania starting The Headstone Project.  After eight years of effort, led by Andrea and Ron Gerrard — researching, finding families, planning, fundraising and erecting headstones — the group dedicated the last of 316 previously unmarked veterans’ graves in Hobart’s Cornelian Bay cemetery in December 2018. 

John Brownlie and Neil Rossiter were the duo that developed The Headstone Project South Australia from 2016 to 2018. They set about engaging sponsors, and their first headstone was unveiled in 2017. Now, with 30 members, we are entering an exciting phase with a stream of research leading to regular dedications of graves.