|Press Release 4 April, 2012|
|Australia’s favourite beer, VB, today launched the 2012 Raise A Glass Appeal, and announced its search to reunite family members of the diggers who inspired the original campaign.|
Now in its fourth year, the Raise A Glass campaign is calling on Australians no matter who they are, where they are, and what they’re drinking, to Raise A Glass on Anzac Day and share the stories and experiences of diggers past and present with their mates.
This year VB is donating $1 million to campaign partners Legacy and the Returned and Services League (RSL). This commitment will see funds raised since 2009 reach in excess of $4.7 million, contributing to dozens of important projects. The ongoing support for these two organisations helps them continue to provide vital care to the service community.
The launch of the campaign is launched today with an emotive new television commercial featuring General Peter Cosgrove and Legacy widow, Bree Till. Bree, who was pregnant when she lost her husband Brett in Afghanistan in 2009, is taking part in the campaign to encourage all Australians to remember those left behind when our servicemen and woman die for their country and to remember the bravery and dedication of all our troops, past and present this Anzac Day.
The Raise a Glass TV commercial featuring Bree was shot at Cronulla beach, where Brett and Bree were married and where Brett’s remains now lie.
In 2012 the Raise A Glass campaign is focused on reuniting a group of families drawn together by a special piece of history, a photo taken in Egypt by a group of Australian diggers during WW2. The photo of the twelve troops has been the enduring image of the Raise A Glass campaign, and in honour of Anzac Day and the spirit of mateship, VB is attempting to bring together family members for a reunion.
|The idea for the reunion was prompted by two Australian families who have approached VB, believing they have identified their relatives in the photo:|
|Harold Gold, service number NX98719 – back row, 2nd on right. Awarded the African Star after serving in Egypt.|
Henry Rollinson, service number NX1139 – front row, 2nd on left. Signal operator in Tobruk, El-Alamein and Egypt.
|Chris Isles, granddaughter of Henry Rollinson says, “Seeing my grandfather’s face every year during the Raise A Glass campaign makes me remember what a proud Australian he was. He and his army mates would have got a real kick out of knowing their legacy lives on in this way”.|
Legatee and former Chief of the Defence Force, General Peter Cosgrove says, “Australians of all ages understand the importance of Anzac Day in recognising those who put everything on the line for their country. The Raise A Glass campaign is about telling their stories to ensure the commitment of our troops to Australia will never be forgotten. Like thousands of others the twelve men in this photo all made a profound commitment, and this year we want the public to help us tell their story of mateship and camaraderie.”
Working alongside the RSL and Legacy, VB will be working with Rollinson and Gold’s families to verify the identity of those in the photo and identify the other ten diggers who were stationed with the 13th Platoon, D Company in the 2nd/1st Machine Gun Battalion in Egypt in 1941, and bring their family members together for an Anzac Day reunion in Melbourne.
Here is some key information about the photo to help the public in their research:
• The diggers were part of the 13th Platoon, D Company in the 2nd/1st Machine Gun Battalion, Egypt 1941
• The 2/1st Australian Machine Gun Battalion was formed on 14 December 1939 as part of the 6th Division. In May 1940 the 2/1st sailed with the 18th Brigade to the Middle East but the convoy was diverted to Britain to help bolster defences.
• At the start of 1941 the battalion moved into camp at Ikingi Maryut and undertook desert training
• In February 1944 the battalion returned to Australia and spent 14 months in Tenterfield in Petrie near Brisbane, and Kiari near Tologa on the Atherton Tableland. During this time the 2/1st became associated with the 7th Division.
If members of the public believe one of their relatives is featured in the photo, they’re encouraged to make contact with VB by emailing email@example.com
|VB senior brand manager, Craig MacLean says, “As we do every year with Raise A Glass we’re encouraging people to think about one service person they would like to ‘raise a glass’ to on Anzac Day. This year, we’re also asking Australians to dig through their relatives’ service records to help us bring this special reunion together. It could be someone’s grandfather, father, brother or uncle in the photo, and this year we want the public to help us tell their stories to the nation.”|
To coincide with the Raise A Glass campaign VB has produced a special edition Raise A Glass stubby, featuring the emblems of the Returned and Services League (RSL) and Legacy Australia.
For further information about the Raise A Glass Appeal please visit www.raiseaglass.com.au
|For more information on the 2/1st Machine Gun Battalion click here.|
|For more information please contact Pulse Communications:|