The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has returned from fulfilling official duties on the battlefields of the Western Front to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.
Among his engagements, Mr Chester attended a burial service for two unidentified Australian soldiers and a British soldier at the Tyne Cot war cemetery near the Belgian town of Ypers (Ieper).
Also at the ceremony were Private Allen Mildren from Bairnsdale (left) and RAAF band piper Robert Scott (right), a former student from Lakes Entrance Secondary College.
Mr Chester scattered soil on the unknown soldiers’ coffins as they were buried with full military honours last week, and laid a wreath on behalf of the Australian people.
The soldiers’ remains were discovered two years ago and were laid to rest more than a century since they died together at Broodseinde Ridge during the Third Battle of Ypres in 1917.
On his return to Gippsland, Mr Chester said the ceremony would remain a precious memory.
“It was an honour and a privilege to represent Australia at this moving ceremony, as well as the other historic events to commemorate the Centenary of Anzac,” Mr Chester said.
“At the Tyne Cot cemetery, each of the many thousands of headstones represent a life lost and a family in mourning.
“It’s a stark reminder of the great sacrifice that was made for our nation so many years ago.”