Australian High Commission
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Also accredited to the Republic of Maldives

Anzac Day 2020

Anzac Day 2020

ANZAC Day is one of the most important days in our national calendar. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, our usual Anzac Day service was unfortunately cancelled this year. Instead, Australian High Commissioner David Holly and Group Captain Sean Unwin held a small commemorative ceremony at the grave of Sergeant Patrick Joseph Brosnan at Kanette General Cemetery.

For those wishing to watch the national commemorative service in Australia, you can view it on the Department of Veteran Affairs facebook or twitter pages.

The story of Sergeant Patrick Joseph Brosnan

One of these men who fought in the battles of 1918 was Sergeant Patrick Joseph Brosnan of the 7th Field Artillery Brigade. Patrick grew up in Lower North Adelaide where he was educated at Christian Brothers College. Upon leaving school Patrick worked as an Office Boy and Junior Clerk for the Engineering and Water Supply Department of South Australia where his father had worked after arriving in Australia. A keen adventurer Patrick left Adelaide for the silver mines of Broken Hill before going to Kalgoolie, Western Australia in search of gold.

In February 1916, Patrick answered the call to serve in the 7th Field Artillery Brigade during the Great War. Patrick served almost entirely on the Western Front in France for the full three years of his service. Despite surviving the horrors of the Western Front without illness or injury, Patrick took ill after the Armistice whilst in a training camp in England on his way home to Australia. Patrick left England for Australia on 4th January 1919 on board the City of York. On 7th February 1919 Patrick disembarked the City of York in Colombo where he subsequently died on the 10th of February 1919 as a result of the Spanish Influenza Outbreak of 1918. Unlike other soldiers, Patrick did not leave behind a wife and children. However he was sadly missed by his mother, brother and sisters, as well as his friends who were shocked to hear of his death upon returning to Australia.

Sergeant Patrick Joseph Brosnan is buried in Sri Lanka at Kanette General Cemetery.