13 Apr 2015
Descendants of one of the 16th Battalion AIF watched on today as their forebear’s bravery at Gallipoli was highlighted in an emotive television commercial to launch the annual Raise A Glass appeal.
Raise A Glass is a partnership between Victoria Bitter, the RSL and Legacy and is one of the single biggest contributors to veteran welfare in Australia.
The TV commercial was filmed at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance and highlights the contribution the 16th Battalion AIF made at Gallipoli. The 16th Battalion suffered heavy losses during a hellish fire fight at Bloody Angle on the hills of Gallipoli.
First-hand accounts talked about the men singing as they went into battle despite the treacherous conditions. Of the 600 in the Battalion, 338 young men were killed in the Gallipoli campaign. A cast of 338 men were used – one representing each of those fallen men.
Watching the launch of the TV commercial, which will play on TVs and in cinemas across the country, was Bill and Jim Grayden from Western Australia, whose father and grandfather, Len Ives was injured during that fight at Bloody Angle. The pair will shortly head to Gallipoli for the centenary events.
Carlton & United Breweries’ Craig Maclean said it was a privilege to have Bill and Jim at the launch today to watch the TV commercial for the first time.
“To know that Bill’s father and Jim’s grandfather Len was part of the Gallipoli legend we’ve highlighted in this year’s appeal, and to have them here at the launch was a humbling experience,” he said.
“We felt the story represented the incredible bravery of our troops and the unique Australian spirit they took with them into battle.”
Bill Grayden later served in the second 16th Battalion in the Second World War.
The brewer will again donate $1 million dollars to be shared between both the RSL and Legacy; however, all Australians can join in recognising those that have given so much to our country.
“By stopping to remember those who have served in recent and past battles we commemorate the sacrifice that Australia’s servicemen and servicewomen have made for us – it doesn’t matter where you are or what you are drinking,” Maclean said.
“We’re incredibly proud to support both the RSL and Legacy Australia, and to help make people aware of the important work that both organisations do,” he said.
Also supporting today’s launch, the Australian Hotels Association (AHA), who talked about the importance of the Raise A Glass appeal.
Deputy CEO of the Victorian AHA Paddy O’Sullivan said pubs have always been a place where people come together, and raise a glass.
“So many people come to their local after the ceremonies of Anzac Day morning to remember and hear the stories of those who have fought for this country,” O’Sullivan said.
“Our pubs have always been big supporters of Anzac Day and publicans say that when punters do see a man or woman with medals come in, there’s no doubt there’s an added sense of respect and recognition,” he said.
Bob O’Kane publican at Richmond’s All Nations hotel said he is always proud to host a group of veterans at his pub every year.
“We have a regular group of veterans come in to catch up and exchange stories; but there’s many locals or those who may have been to the march who also want to stop and remember,” he said.
The Raise A Glass appeal was born out of a long, informal association between Victoria Bitter and the armed forces. A photo of soldiers in WWII taken in Egypt who had made the letters ‘VB’ out of Victoria Bitter bottles was the inspiration for the campaign.
People can add to the $1 million donated by CUB at raiseaglass.com.au.
The RSL uses the donation to support the welfare of both serving and ex-service men and women of the Australian Defence Force and their families, particularly those in need. Legacy cares for thousands of families of veterans who have served should they become incapacitated or worse, pass away as a result of their service.
For further information please call 0417 306 781
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