Fischer salutes those of the Cross

Tim Fischer

Tim Fischer

FORMER deputy prime minister Tim Fischer yesterday saluted those who founded Red Cross branches in the Riverina a century ago as the Great War loomed.

He used a speech to a Red Cross regional conference at Ganmain to highlight the charity’s contribution to what became World War I.

“As the trains loaded large numbers of the young menfolk as voluntary enlistees in 1914, from towns around the Riverina, Red Cross branches were forming to help in many ways,” Mr Fischer said.

“Tumbarumba dispatched 255 of its best, mostly by train through to Tarcutta to Wagga, then to the AIF Convoy and the Great War. Sadly, 48 were never to return.

“Boree Creek dispatched 89, of which 20 were never to return.”

Mr Fischer plans to attend the 10am service at Jerilderie on Anzac Day and deliver an address tying World War I to Vietnam and Afghanistan.

He then will be at the Boree Creek service at 3pm.