DEPUTATION TO MINISTER.
A SYMPATHETIC RESPONSE. The Commissioner of Public Works (Hon. G. Ritchie) was waited upon on Friday by Mjr. Stuart and Mr. Harper, deputy chairman and secretary respec- tively of the Soldiers' Welfare Combined Recommendation Committee. Mjr. Stuart said he desired to bring under the notice of the Minister a mat- ter with reference to soldiers with no relatives in this country who died and were buried at the West Terrace Ceme- tery with nothing to mark the spot where the brave hearts lay. The question had been brought before his committee, which was representative of every patriotic body in South Australia, by delegates from the League of Loyal Women, and instances had been quoted by delegates from the Cheer-up Society where in at least 12 cases the burials of these noble men had been undertaken by that society. A scheme was then discussed which it was thought would remedy that state of things, and a resolution was passed. The Governments in allied countries were paying great at- tention to the graves of Australia's heroes who had died there, and the com- mittee felt it would achieve sympathetic help at the hands of the South Australian Government. The object of the deputation, Mjr. Stuart continued, was to ask whether the Government would open and set aside a portion of the new part of West Ter- race for a Soldiers' Lot, and the societies which were represented would accept tie duty of raising funds for the erection of
a suitable general monument. The figure of a soldier with his arms reversed was one suggestion, and the care of the area I would be undertaken. With a total (membership of fully 100,000, 1/ a member would raise at once £5,000, and if the plot were granted visitors entering the gate way of the State would pass this coun- try's last tribute to the memory of her gallant sons who had died in her cause. The committee also asked that when the plot was ready the unmarked graves might be removed there. He wished to suggest that the plot should not only be reserved for soldiers without relatives, but be open to those with relatives who might desire to bury their soldier loved ones there. SOLDIERS' HALF-ACRE. The Minister made a sympathetic reply, and after the deputationists had visited the cemetery after the interview the fol- lowing letter was forwarded to the Com- missioner: — Sir — In accordance with your desire to be informed of the approximate area to be set aside for soldiers' graves, we have to inform you that the specific portion of the West Terrace' Cemetery we ask to be allotted is the Light Oval in the south- west part of the General Cemetery, com- prising approximately half an acre. For the sake of accuracy we repeat the con- ditions of our request: — For the interment free of cost of all soldiers whose estate or relatives are un- able to pay.
The right of soldiers' relatives able to pay to have soldiers interred there on payment of the usual fees. The removal at the cost of the Govern- ment of soldiers' buried who had no rela- tives, and whose graves are unnamed. The Soldiers' Welfare Committee to un- dertake to obtain funds for the erection of a suitable general monument, and to raise a fund the interest thereon to pro- vide for the permanent upkeep of the soldiers' half-acre. It is considered that the approximate cost of the removal of soldiers' graves mentioned in paragraph 1 hereof should not exceed £50.