From: Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Mailing List
Sent: Wed 7/03/2012 10:34 AM

UPDATE ON DAMAGE TO COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES, BENGHAZI, LIBYA

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon, said a preliminary assessment indicates damage to 50 Australian headstones in the Benghazi War Cemetery in Libya.

“Forty-five marked Australian headstones were damaged during the attack,” he said.

“Five headstones of unknown Australian soldiers were also damaged.

“The Commonwealth War Graves Commission will repair the headstones once the site has been secured. In the interim, identifying markers will be placed on graves.

“The Australian Government recognises there is a great deal of concern in the Australian community about this attack. This news will be distressing for Australians,” Mr Snowdon said.

There is no indication that Australian graves were targeted. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission estimates that 238 headstones of ten different nationalities have been damaged.

The Cross of Sacrifice, the central feature of the Benghazi War Cemetery, appears to have been the focus of the attack. The Cross has been damaged and will require replacement. Australian graves are located side-by-side in two rows close to the Cross of Sacrifice.

Attached is a list of the names of Australian soldiers whose headstones were damaged.

Relatives of those buried at Benghazi, wanting information or assistance should contact the Office of Australian War Graves on 02 6289 6474.

Media inquiries:
Minister Snowdon: Lidija Ivanovski 0407 108 935
Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203


BENGHAZI WAR CEMETERY - Australian Damaged Headstones

Lieutenant LEONARD CLAUDE ADAMS

Flight Sergeant ROBERT CHARLES ADDISON ASH

Lance Corporal LINDSAY RAYMOND ATKINS

Sergeant TOM ALLAN AULD

Sapper WALTER AYTON, MSM

Major ERIC BAILHACHE

Leading Aircraftman GEORGE MURRAY BARTSCH

Aircraftman 1st Class FRANCIS LEO BAXENDALE

Flight Sergeant HILARY ELDRED BIRK

Lance Corporal WILLIAM BLENCH

Private WILFRED HORACE BLOUNT

Private GORDON ALLAN BOYD

Private LLOYD CHARLES CALDWELL

Private THOMAS MINERS CLIFF

Corporal HENRY THOMAS COX

Private KELVIN CROKER

Lieutenant Colonel ARCHIBALD JAMES CUNNINGHAM

Sapper ARVON GRIFFITHS DENNEHY

Pilot Officer WILLIAM WALTER EVANS

Corporal HARRY FREEMAN

Leading Aircraftman BRIAN METCALFE GATES

Private JOHN LINDSAY GILMOUR

Sapper LAWRENCE WALTER HOPKINS

Leading Aircraftman LESLIE JOHN HORNE

Lance Corporal HUGH BENJAMIN INGLIS

Sergeant STANLEY NORMAN KEITH

Sergeant PATRICK FLEMING MATTHEWS

Private JUSTIN FRANCIS HUNTLY McCARTHY

Leading Aircraftman PERCIVAL ARNOLD ROY McFARLANE

Sergeant VINCENT DANIEL McQUILLAN, DCM

Gunner DAVID BURFORD MORGAN

Private SYDNEY ALBERT RICHARDSON

Corporal DONALD ARNOLD RILEY

Sergeant FREDERICK JOHN ALFRED SAUNDERS

Private ALBERT JOHN SCHORER

Sapper RONALD JAMES SPRAGUE

Private GEORGE ROBERT SUTHERLAND

Signalman JOHN RANDLE TAYLOR

Leading Aircraftman MAURICE BASIL THOMPSON

Private ROBERT THOMSON

Lance Corporal HUGH ALBERNEST TOUT

Private BERNARD ARTHUR TRIPTREE

Flying Officer RONALD HARVEY PEET TUCKER

Aircraftman 1st Class THOMAS FREDERICK WAUGH

Private JOSEPH WILLIAM WHEATON

Note: An additional 5 Australian graves were damaged. These Australian graves were engraved 'Known unto God'