The family of a larrikin boy from Dubbo who was killed serving his country are pushing to have their hero given a fitting final resting place.
Private William Wayne Donnelly, known as Wayne, died of wounds sustained in the Vietnam War at the age of 19.
For 50 years his family has had the extra sorrow of his grave being "hidden" in an out-of-the-way part of Sydney's Rookwood cemetery.
His cousin, Pauline James, is determined to have the grave moved to the war cemetery section of Rookwood, and she has the support of his aunty, Barbara Dodd of Dubbo.
But the Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG), while acknowledging the family's wish, reports it follows an additional protocol to the Geneva Convention, that "war dead should not be disturbed except for reasons of overriding public necessity".
Mrs James, the state president of the central council of RSL Auxiliaries, said Wayne had been buried in a section among the old graves because at the time there had been growing discontent about Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War.
"So he's hidden, there's 11 Vietnam veterans hidden in an old section, and you really need a map and a compass to find it, and it's so sad," she said.
So he's hidden, there's 11 Vietnam veterans hidden in an old section, and you really need a map and a compass to find it, and it's so sad.Pauline James, cousin of Wayne Donnelly
Last November on the 50th anniversary of Wayne's death there had been a gathering at the grave at Rookwood, which had only firmed Mrs James in her resolve.
Mrs James, who grew up in Coonamble and was three years younger than Wayne, has sought an appointment with Campbelltown MP and former Dubbo man Greg Warren, to discuss the matter.
Despite a refurbishment of the section of the cemetery where the young private was buried being in the pipeline, Mrs James said she still wished to see her cousin's grave moved "up the front".
It was "virtually impossible" to find Wayne's grave, she said.
The teen soldier is remembered in Dubbo with a memorial in Victoria Park.
Mrs Dodd fondly remembers her nephew, the son of William 'Bill' and Margaret Donnelly.
"He was a real loveable larrikin, really," she said.
Wayne had enlisted in the army after his elder brother Larry was called up to serve as a conscript in Vietnam.
"...when Wayne was shot, they took him to a hospital, and although Larry was in a different area, they brought him over and he was with [Wayne] when he died," Mrs Dodd said.
She recalled visiting Rookwood years earlier and of a trek to find her beloved nephew's grave.
They left the car on a side road inside the cemetery, finding their way along a pathway.
"Nothing else there, and nothing like the main part of Rookwood," she said.
"...They would never be seen, and to be able to say the job they did for Australia, because nobody would ever find them...
It would be so lovely to know they were out where people could see it, and show appreciation for what these young men had done, what they'd gone through.Barbara Dodd, Dubbo aunt of Wayne Donnelly
"It would be so lovely to know they were out where people could see it, and show appreciation for what these young men had done, what they'd gone through."
Mrs Dodd is hoping the push to have the grave moved meets success.
"I know just how much peace it would have given his father and mother..." she said.
"These young ones, they went away... now they're hidden away in a derelict part of the cemetery, that's what it is, it's dreadful."
The OAWG acts as an agent of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to maintain war cemeteries and memorials and individual war graves in Australia and the region. It appears to be ruling out moving Wayne Donnelly's grave.
"While OAWG appreciates the desire of the family to have the grave moved, the CWGC and its member governments follow the principle laid down in the Additional Protocol 1 to the Geneva Convention, that 'war dead should not be disturbed except for reasons of overriding public necessity'," a departmental spokesman said.
It reports it is in the early stages of repairing and refurbishing the "Old Army" Anglican Section EE at the Rookwood Necropolis.
As part of the restoration, the OAWG must research, plan and work with a range of stakeholders in order to ensure the appropriate permissions and authorities are in place, the spokesman said.
The OAWG would advise known family members and relevant stakeholders when the works were scheduled to start and advise them of key milestones throughout the project, he said.
The OAWG is aiming to complete the project "prior to Anzac Day 2020".