ANZAC Day tribute from Notre Dame medical student

Emily Neville. Photo was taken at Notre Dame University School of Medicine, Sydney.

20 April 2015

Following in the footsteps of her great-grandfather, medical student from The University Notre Dame Australia, Emily Neville, has left for Gallipoli ahead of next week's 100 year commemorative ANZAC services.

Emily, a first year student from Notre Dame's School of Medicine, Sydney, is travelling as part of a contingent of 60 Australian Conservation Volunteers who will provide logistical assistance and support at the ANZAC Day commemorative services on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Private Joe McCaffrey

Turning 24 this year, Emily will be the same age as her great-grandfather, Joe McCaffrey, when he left for Gallipoli in 1914 from Gowrie Junction, QLD.

"My great-grandfather signed up on August 19 1914, two weeks after the war began, and was discharged on May 2 1919 after being wounded twice and gassed three times," Emily said before her departure yesterday. Private McCaffrey also served at Gallipoli and in France.

Emily will also lay a wreath at the Gallipoli Lone Pine service on behalf of the University to honor those who died, in particular, the medical personnel. "I will be paying my respects to those who served and gave their lives at Gallipoli, both as a medical student and as the great-granddaughter of a serving soldier," she said.

"It is particularly poignant as it is the centenary of the invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula by British, Australian and New Zealand forces and will honor those who served, including my great-grandfather, many of his friends and other young men and women who never returned home."

Emily said the doctors and nurses who manned casualty stations and hospital ships were often close to the front line and exposed to shelling and gunfire. "They were responsible for ferrying thousands of wounded to hospitals in Imbros, Lemnos, Salonika, Alexandria, Malta and England," she said.

Following Gallipoli, Australian forces fought in France and the Middle East. For Australia the First World War remains the most costly conflict in terms of deaths and casualties. From a population of fewer than 5 million, 416,809 men enlisted of which over 60,000 where killed and 156,000 were wounded, gassed or taken prisoner.

Emily said she attended her first Dawn Service as a two year old alongside her father, a past serviceman. This will be the first time she has visited where her great-grandfather served.

Professor Christine Bennett AO, Dean of Notre Dame's School of Medicine, Sydney, expressed her pride in Emily's acknowledgement and respect for the role of doctors and nurses in respecting human life and relieving suffering during the tragedy of war.

Theresa Kyne: Tel (02) 8204 4141; Mob: 0407 408 177;