WORK on getting World War I veterans' graves in the Nowra General Cemetery restored and recognised as war graves with Commonwealth War Graves is continuing.
The Keith Payne VC Veterans Benefit Group started work on the project nine months ago after identifying 12 veterans' unmarked gravesites.
Around 150 WWI Anzacs' graves have been identified in the Nowra cemetery.
The majority are part of family plots.
Local historian Robyn Florance OAM and benefit group member Graham Morrison have worked together and identified the 12 unmarked graves of the former diggers.
"All of these graves were unidentified. "
The project originally started when the grave of Private Raymond Benson, possibly the Shoalhaven's highest decorated WWI veteran, who received the Military Medal and Corps Complimentary and was Mentioned in Despatches, was discovered in a terrible state in 2018.
Under the auspice of the Nowra RSL Sub-Branch, his grave was given a spruce up prior to Anzac Day that year with moves made for the War Graves to provide a proper headstone.
Early last year the Shoalhaven's only Indigenous WWI soldier Private Ernest Licey was also given a fitting resting place.
Now another three graves of Privates Robert William Senior, Robert Kearns and William John Murphy have been completed.
"Two other graves are currently being organised," Mr Meehan said "including one of Percival Hume Smith while a gravesite for Charles Stanley Werninck has also been identified.
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"It has been a long task but we can now say three of these graves have been completed and we have at least two more on the go.
"We have identified another five grave sites and are working on them to get recognition as well.
These are original Anzacs. They now have a proper and fitting burial place, giving them respect and remembrance for one who has served their country in time of war. They have not been forgotten. This is the recognition, due honour and respect they so rightly deserve.Keith Payne VC Veterans Benefit Group chairman Rick Meehan
"The work of Robyn and Graham has been superb. Graham, in particular, has really taken it on as a personal project.
"Their due diligence is superb and it's a pleasure to work with them both."
A prolific author, Mrs Florance is also working on a book on the diggers in the Nowra General Cemetery.
"I'm aware that our elderly veterans need to be involved in projects and have a purpose," Mr Meehan said. "They form a great team and love the opportunity to work helping others and maintaining camaraderie.
"This is one such project."
He said it was an honour to be able to provide former diggers with a respectful resting place.
"I know it is very important to Keith (Keith Payne VC) and he's delighted what we have achieved and will continue to work towards," he said.
"These are original Anzacs. They now have a proper and fitting burial place, giving them respect and remembrance for one who has served their country in time of war.
"They have not been forgotten. This is the recognition, due honour and respect they so rightly deserve."
It is planned, once the COVID-19 emergency is over, to stage military services for all five men to rededicate their grave sites and recognise their service.