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Historians talk of war during three-day event in M'boro

Members of the audience listen to Lt-Col Harry Smith deliver the keynote address on The Battle of Long Tan at the conference held for the first time in Queensland.
Members of the audience listen to Lt-Col Harry Smith deliver the keynote address on The Battle of Long Tan at the conference held for the first time in Queensland. Robyne Cuerel

MILITARY historians from around Australia converged on Maryborough on the weekend for a national conference held in Queensland for the first time in 57 years.

An estimated 80 volunteer historians listened to talks about every war Australian forces have been involved in across three days in the lead up to Anzac Day.

The conference is held every two years by the Military Historical Society of Australia.

MHSA Queensland president Anthony Staunton said members from every state in Australia attended.

Speakers included former Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Barry Gration and Victoria Cross recipient and Korean War veteran Keith Payne.

Aldridge State High School principal Ross Higgins also gave an address about his great, great uncle Charles "Digger" Brand - a veteran of both the Boer War and First World War who was appointed brigadier general and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.

During the First World War, Mr Brand served in command of the 4th Brigade in Gallipoli and the Western Front in France. He was educated around Maryborough and Bundaberg as a child and went on to become a senator for Victoria.

Mr Staunton said the conference put an emphasis on the First World War as this August marks 100 years since the war began.

People interested in finding out more about the organisation can head to the Maryborough Military Museum on Wharf St.

"It's a completely voluntary organisation," Mr Staunton said.

Military service will be commemorated in several ceremonies across the Fraser Coast on Anzac Day this Friday.

In Maryborough, a dawn service will be held at the Queens Park cenotaph about 5.45am, with marchers stepping off from the Maryborough RSL about 5.30am.

Hervey Bay's dawn ceremony will be held at 5:30am with the march leaving the Hervey Bay RSL about 5.15am.

The main Anzac Day march will be held in Maryborough at 9.30am, beginning at Adelaide St before the ceremony at the Cenotaph at 10am.

The main march in Hervey Bay will leave about 9.30am with the ceremony at Freedom Park to follow.



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