The Missing


Commissioned by: Victorian Government

Produced: 2019

Length: 11:21 minutes

Professor Melanie Oppenheimer, Chair of History, Flinders University. Still from the film ‘The Missing’, courtesy of Wind & Sky Productions.

The Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau, London, 1918. Courtesy of Australian Red Cross Society.

Dr Bart Ziino, Historian, Deakin University. Still from the film ‘The Missing’. Courtesy of Wind & Sky Productions.

Burial Parties and Relocating to Proper Graves, France, circa 1919. Source: Marcel Pillon photograph collection, ANZAC House, Melbourne.

Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, Gallipoli, circa 1915. Photographer: Victor Rupert Laidlaw. Source: State Library of Victoria.

About The Film

When WW1 brought Australians face to face with mass death a Red Cross Information Bureau and post-war graves workers laboured to help families grieve for the missing.

The unprecedented death toll of the First World War generated a burden of grief. Particularly disturbing was the vast number of dead who were “missing” – their bodies never found. This short documentary explores two unsung humanitarian responses to the crisis of the missing of World War 1 – the Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau and the post-war work of the Australian Graves Detachment and Graves Services. It tells of a remarkable group of men and women, ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, who laboured to provide comfort and connection to grieving families in distant Australia.

The film features Professor Melanie Oppenheimer of Flinders University and Dr Bart Ziino of Deakin University, with original compositions by Dr Richard Chew of Federation University. Not to be missed are rarely seen archival images from the Australian Red Cross Heritage Collection and from Anzac House Victorian RSL headquarters.

Skillfully crafted and edited by director Jary Nemo, the eleven minute film is a moving and visually rich reflection on war, grief, commitment and loss, a fitting vehicle to commemorate the centenary of the Great War’s aftermath.

This Wind & Sky Production was directed by Jary Nemo and written and produced by Jary Nemo and Lucinda Horrocks, with executive producer Associate Professor Fred Cahir of Federation University.


Film Launch: Friday 29th November 2019, Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance.

Viewing the Film

The film is free to show, watch and share online at internet quality at The Missing on YouTube.

To arrange for a high quality screening copy for community screenings and events contact Wind & Sky Productions.

In the News

The untold story of the ‘searchers’ who tracked down missing World War I soldiers, Elise Kinsella, ABC News Online, 30 Nov 2019.

PM daughters’ hunt for wartime missing, Yaz Dedovic, Flinders University News, 29 November 2019.

‘What did you do after the war?’ The Missing is short but packs a punch, David Stephens, Honest History, 14 January 2020.

About the ‘Ordinary People in Extraordinary Circumstances’ Project

The film ‘The Missing’ is the first output of the ‘Ordinary People in Extraordinary Circumstances’ film and digital gallery project, which is supported by the Victorian Government and is a project partnership of Federation University, Wind & Sky Productions, Australian Red Cross and RSL Ballarat.

Media contact

For interviews and further information, contact Diane Falzon.


Bart Ziino and Melanie Oppenheimer
Film Directed by:
Jary Nemo
Film Written and Produced by:
Lucinda Horrocks and Jary Nemo
Executive Producer on behalf of Federation University:
Fred Cahir
Music by:
Richard Chew
Research Advisors:
Fred Cahir, Moira Drew, Katrina Nicolson, Linda North, Melanie Oppenheimer, Sara Weuffen, Carole Woods and Bart Ziino
Archival photographs and footage courtesy of:
Anzac House RSL Victoria, Australian Red Cross Society, Australian War Memorial, Central Highlands Libraries, Deakin University Library, Family of Stanley Addison, Museums Victoria, State Library of New South Wales, State Library of South Australia, State Library of Victoria, University of Melbourne Archives and US National Archives
Sun Rim: Music by Richard Chew and Ian Dixon. The Windhover: Music by Richard Chew. Solo Violin; Stephen Morris. A View of the Sky: Composer Richard Chew. Produced by Richard Chew and Tom Robinson.
With Thanks to:
Gillian Anderson, John Cahir, Sandy Cahir, Julie Cotter, Joanna Day, Alan Douglass, David Fitzroy, Leigh Gilburt, Sam Henson, Andrew Hope, Heather Horrocks, Maurie Keating, John MacDonald, Georgia Melville, Kristine Morgan, Brendan Nelson, Paula Nicholson, Fred Pratt, Lynne Redman, Matt Smith, Alex Tascas, Kristen Thornton, Sharon Turley, Creative Victoria, Deakin University, Flinders University, the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance and Royal Historical Society Victoria.
Produced in collaboration with:
Federation University Australia, Australian Red Cross Society and RSL Ballarat
Created with the support of:
the Victorian Government
Project production and development took place on the lands of the Wathaurung, Boon Wurrung Wurundjeri and Kaurna peoples. We would like to acknowledge these Traditional Owners and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future.
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International.
Production Company:
Wind & Sky Productions
Copyright with:
Wind & Sky Productions ©2019.



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