If a relative who served in the Australian military has recently died, you might wish to give them a funeral which commemorates their service. However, if you have not served yourself, it may be difficult to know how to go about doing this. Read on to find out everything you need to know about organising a military funeral.

Contact local veterans' groups

It is a good idea to contact local veterans' groups. These groups will be able to offer you advice. They may also offer to supply standard-bearers who can attend the funeral as a mark of respect. The group may also be able to assist you in making contact with the deceased former regiment or unit, who may offer to send a squad of service personnel to the funeral to represent the Australian military and to act as a guard of honour.

Check if you are eligible for a military headstone

If you're loved one died during active service, they will be eligible for a military headstone. These headstones are of a uniform design and will typically feature the name and service details of the deceased. A service badge is usually also engraved in the stone. If you would like to order a military headstone, you should make contact with the Department of Veteran Affairs. If you're loved one did not die during active service, you will not be eligible for a military headstone. However, if you contact your local funeral home, they should be able to help you to design a fitting tombstone which can be engraved with your loved one's service details.

Ask for donations to be sent to a military charity

Rather than having people buy flowers for the funeral, you could use the funeral notice to request that they instead donate to a local or national military charity. This is a great way of paying it forward and offering help to those who have served in the military but who may be having a difficult time due to health problems or financial worries.

Hold a two-minute silence

At the graveside, you may want to hold a two-minute silence in which the deceased and all those who have served are remembered. If possible, organise for a bugler to play the Last Post at the end of the two minutes.

If you are interested in finding out more about headstones, you should make contact with your local funeral service.