Information regarding the song 'Can You Hear Australia's Heroes Marching?' - The heroes song was created from Peter Barnes' experience in visiting the Adelaide River War Cemetery (114 kms south of Darwin) in the Northern Territory and seeing the graves of Australians who gave their lives in the service and defence of their country. Peter felt he should do something within his capabilities to honour the memory of such incredible sacrifice. You can download mp3's and sheet music for the song here.
A total of 434 WW2 war graves, marked by bronze plaques, are contained in the Adelaide River War Cemetery. The burials are made up of 14 airmen of the RAF, 12 unidentified men of the British Merchant Navy, one soldier of the Canadian Army, 18 sailors, 181 soldiers and 201 airmen of the Australian Forces and seven men of the Australian Merchant Navy. The Northern Territory Memorial to the Missing honours a further 292 Servicemen and women lost to the north of Australia. The adjacent civil section contains the graves of the nine Post Office staff killed on 19 February 1942 during the bombing of Darwin, one of 63 separate occasions from that date. The civilian casualties of WW2 include those of 31 Indigenous Australians. The 19th Feb 2012 was the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Darwin.
"To stand on my homeland, surrounded by our war dead, who fought heroically to defend Australia and their loved ones down the track, was a profound experience and initiated the creation of the song." - Peter Barnes
The song has been used for commemorative purposes across Australia by schools, churches, choirs, bands, councils, retirement homes, military services, RSL branches and ANZAC tributes at NRL & AFL matches. Radio stations throughout Australia have broadcast the song leading up to ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day. The song is also requested to be played at funerals (for veterans).