WW2  1939 - 1945

Nearly a million Australians, both men and women, served in the Second World War. They fought in campaigns against Germany and Italy in Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa, as well as against Japan in south-east Asia and other parts of the Pacific. The Australian mainland came under direct attack for the first time.

Over 30,000 Australian servicemen were taken prisoner in the Second World War and 39,000 gave their lives. Two-thirds of those taken prisoner were captured by the Japanese during their advance through south-east Asia within the first weeks of 1942.  While those who became prisoners of the Germans had a strong chance of returning home at the end of the war, 36 per cent of prisoners of the Japanese died in captivity.

For most of this war, nurses were the only women to serve outside of Australia in any capacity, except for the Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS). Between 1939 and 1945, 71 Australian women lost their lives during active service overseas.  3,477 AANS nurses served, and 71 never returned.

70 year ago on the 8th May 1945 the Allied forces accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany, which ended the war in Europe.  WW2 finally ended when Japan surrendered 3 months later, which was formally signed on September 2, 1945.

'Can You Hear Australia's Heroes Marching?' is a national war memorial song and a tribute to the ANZAC spirit of mateship, courage and sacrifice.

The song was created from Peter's experience in visiting the Adelaide River War Cemetery (114 kms south of Darwin) in the Northern Territory and seeing the graves of Australians who gave their lives in the service and defence of their country.  Peter felt he should do something within his capabilities to honour the memory of such incredible sacrifice.

A total of 434 war graves marked by bronze plaques are contained in the Adelaide River War Cemetery. The burials are made up of 14 airmen of the RAF, 12 unidentified men of the British Merchant Navy; one soldier of the Canadian Army; 18 sailors, 181 soldiers and 201 airmen of the Australian Forces and seven men of the Australian Merchant Navy. The Northern Territory Memorial to the Missing honours a further 292 Servicemen and women lost to the north of Australia. The adjacent civil section contains the graves of the nine Post Office staff killed on 19 February 1942 during the bombing of Darwin, one of 63 separate occasions from that date. The civilian casualties of WW2 include those of 31 Indigenous Australians.

"To stand on my homeland, surrounded by our war dead, who fought heroically to defend Australia and their loved ones down the track, was a profound experience and initiated the creation of the song." - Peter Barnes

Over 100,000 Australians have lost their lives in the service and defence of our country.  Along with their mates, they're marching once again, in the towns and cities, across our great land.

The song is timeless
and honours the memory of those who have died in the service and defence of Australia in war.

The marching theme of the song is especially powerful and supports the spirit of ANZAC Day.  The song does not glorify war or endorse conflict of any kind. The song simply highlights the sacrifice of many Australians who died in the service and defence of our country in war.

The song has been used for commemorative purposes across Australia by schools, churches, choirs, bands, councils, retirement homes, military services, RSL branches and ANZAC tributes at NRL & AFL matches. 

Radio stations throughout Australia have broadcast the song leading up to ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day.

The song is also requested to be played at funerals (for veterans).

"Dale Lawther's father, Alan Dale Lawther, a WW2 veteran, passed away early in the morning on New Years Day this year.  Dale had asked if the song could be played at her Dad's funeral which I heartedly approved.  Dale was kind enough to send me photographs of her Dad and she said, 'Everyone has commented on your song, they all loved it and thought it very apt.'  Dale's email touched me deeply and I asked her if I could do a web page in memory of her Dad.  You can click here for the web page 'In memory of Alan Dale Lawther - An Australian hero'." Peter Barnes (Author)

The author of the song will create a web page with video, the same as for Alan Lawther, for other Australians who have served Australia in war and have passed away. This includes Australians who died in war service.  You can contact the author here for information to be sent to you if you have a loved one or family member that you want remembered in such a way.

ANZAC Centenary 2014 - 2018

Topics covered by this website include: ww2 war heroes - second world war - watch a video of the song for on youtube - remember the fallen - videos you can watch - lest we forget - ww2 - world war 2

Copyright 2015 - WW2

You can now download the Original Version (2001) of 'Can You Hear Australia's Heroes Marching?' FOR FREE at the song's official website download page HERE

As we are in the ANZAC Centenary 2014 - 2018, with the centenary of the landing at Gallipoli on April 25, 2015, the author of the song has made available  the original version of the song to be downloaded for free, as this is a very special time for Australia.

You can also download a longer 4 minute version of the song FOR FREE as well at the same download page.

You can download the lyrics to 'Can You Hear Australia's Heroes Marching?' HERE

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