News Parliament


I wish to draw to the attention of the House that Gulgong RSL Sub-Branch was recently honoured by a visit from Martial Delabarre OAM and his wife, Catherine, who travelled to Gulgong all the way from France. I had the pleasure of attending a dinner at Gulgong RSL Club to welcome the Delabarres and learn of Martial's invaluable work in preserving the memory of those Australians who served in World War I, in particular at Fromelles.

Martial has devoted a large part of his life to the study and archaeological investigation of the Australian role in the battle of Fromelles on 19 and 20 July 1916. He grew up near the former battlefields and, during his visits to the site, would find and collect numerous artefacts from the freshly ploughed soil. He played a key role in the location and discovery of missing Australians at Fromelles and Pheasant Wood, which saw him awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia. Martial has also since been involved in the building of a new larger museum at Pheasant Wood to house the myriad of artefacts he has discovered.

I congratulate members of the Gulgong RSL Sub-Branch who assisted in Martial's visit to the Central West, including president David Henderson, senior vice president Peter Leotta, junior vice president Les Monks, secretary Doug Marsh, treasurer Craig Holden and welfare/pension officer Ken Atkinson. I also commend the support of Gulgong RSL Club including president Des Campbell, vice president Alan Rickwood and secretary and manager John Dolbel.

Lastly, I thank Martial Delabarre for his dedication to looking after our Australians who lie in France but will never be forgotten.