Migrant efforts remembered during Anzac Day parades

Anzac Day events across the country have highlighted the contribution migrants have made to more than a hundred years of Australian military history.


A family of Indian heritage has marched with the Anzac medals of their great-grandfather for the first time, after a chance discovery in their ancestral village.

Nechal Singh recalls playing with his great-grandfather’s Anzac World War I medals as a child.

But it took decades and a return to his Indian homeland, more than 10,000km away, to be finally reunited with them.

British Commonwealth Forces, from Gurkhas to Sikh regiments, at the #AnzacDay2016 March in Sydney @SBSNews pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/Gguesz3gbl

— Manny Tsigas (@mantsig) April 25, 2016

“I really don’t have any words to express how good I am feeling about it,”  he said.

The relics, which date back more than 100 years, were rediscovered only months ago after the death of his grandmother.

They had been stashed away in the family home.

The find has given the descendants of one of the few Indian Anzacs the chance to march in his memory.

Mr Singh migrated to Australia from India ten years ago.

“I have always loved this place loved this place and I have never felt like this was not my home but having these medals gives me a sense of ownership and you believe that you are really part of that fabric,” he said.

Onlookers of different nationalities marks #AnzacDay2016 in Sydney @SBSNews pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/MtEJB85CSs

— Manny Tsigas (@mantsig) April 25, 2016

His great-grandfather, Private Desanda Singh, was an immigrant South Australian farmer when he enlisted in the third lighthorse regiment before heading Egypt.

“It was considered to be one of the lead regiments and it’s incredible that he got into it,” his great grandson said.

Private Singh was one of only sixteen Indian-born recruits recorded to have served for Australia during World War I.

His story highlighted an enduring trait of our servicemen and women – that while united in a common cause, they came from diverse multicultural and social backgrounds.

The migrant contribution was commemorated across the country on Anzac Day.

In Perth, Gloria Taylor, 76, braved the weather to honour three great uncles, she said were finally being recognised for their Great War service.

“It makes me very proud,” she said.

“They were the only three Chinese that went to the first World War from Western Australia and one of them didn’t make it back.”

Charlie You was one of almost 7000 Australian casualties during the defence of the French village of Pozieres in 1916.