ANZAC Field of Remembrance
This fitting tribute came from an
idea originated by the late Mrs C J Pope, widow of Rear
Admiral Pope. While visiting London she was impressed
by a Field of Remembrance Day held each year in the old
churchyard at St Margaret’s alongside Westminster
Abbey. The Royal British Legion Poppy Factory initiated
the Field of Remembrance – a day on which small wooden
crosses were planted in memory of the fallen.
her return to Australia Mrs Pope enlisted the NSW Guild
in assisting her to organise the first Field in the
grounds of St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney. She
continued with her work until her death in 1963 when the
War Widows’ Guild (NSW) took over.
The first ANZAC Field of Remembrance
was held in 1952, and has been held every year since to
commemorate those who gave their lives in the service of
their country. A non-denominational service is
held prior to ANZAC Day at St Andrew’s with the lesson
read by the Governor of New South Wales. After the
service and the reading of the ‘Ode to the Fallen’ by
the Guild’s President, the Governor plants the first
cross in the Field of Remembrance in memory of the
Unknown Warrior. The Governor is followed by
representatives of the City of Sydney, the New Zealand
Government and the three Services, who also plant
crosses, the RSL and the Guild State President.
The Field of Remembrance is open from
the service until the late afternoon on Anzac Day for
war widows and members of the public to place small
wooden crosses in personal remembrance of their
husbands, relatives and friends who died during or
following war service.