The combined service of Karoonda East Murray district war veterans will be recognised at a special ceremony at Karoonda this weekend.
An honour roll inscribed with the names of 600 local veterans who served in conflicts spanning from World War I to Afghanistan will be unveiled at the memorial gates at Karoonda Oval this Sunday.
The event will be the culmination of four years of extensive research and planning by the chair of the district council’s WWI and World War II recognition advisory group, Margaret Size, assisted by historians Pat Button and Leanne Parker.
Mrs Size, who was named Karoonda’s citizen of the year in January, said the project was unique in that it sought to recognise the district’s war history over a century of conflicts.
“We discovered there was not a WWI honour roll for the old East Murray Council area and some of the rolls had been lost with the closure of community halls,” she said.
“Following the amalgamation of the Karoonda and East Murray councils in 1979, I thought it was important that there should be an honour roll that encompasses the whole district.”
Among the names featured on the roll are William George Inwood from Mantung-Mercunda, who was a trumpeter with the 3rd Light Horse Regiment in WWI, and Corporal Heather Rosenzwieg from Perponda, who served in Afghanistan with the Australian Defence Force.
The project received both federal and state government grant funding.
More than 170 photographs of the featured veterans will be on display at the Karoonda Institute after the ceremony, along with a hearty afternoon tea.
Mrs Size is hoping word of mouth will encourage the families of veterans to attend Sunday’s ceremony and said they are expecting people from as far as Kangaroo Island, Adelaide and the Yorke Peninsula.
“To me, it’s all about honouring and respecting these veterans who so generously gave their time for their country,” she said.
The director of Veterans South Australia, Rob Manton, will officially unveil the new memorial at 2pm.
Of the 417,000 Australian men who enlisted during the Great War, 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed or taken prisoner, according to the Australian War Memorial.
A century later it remains the costliest war, by deaths and casualties, in which our nation has ever participated.