Remembrance Day, 11th November 2019

11 Nov

Event Date
11 Nov
Event Time
11:00 am
Locality
Hunters Hill
Organiser Name
Hunters Hill RSL Sub Branch
Contact Number
Kaye Shannon 0408 714 667
Contact Email
Venue Details
Hunters Hill RSL Memorial Hall
Venue Address
56 Alexandra Street Hunters Hill NSW
Postcode
2110


A bit about this event

The RSL Sub-branch is holding a service at 10.45am on Remembrance Day, 11th November, at the Memorial Wall in the grounds of the Hall.

 

Remembrance Day

History of Remembrance Day

Words by Richard Pelvin

At 11 o’clock on 11 November 1918, fighting in the First World War – the most destructive war fought to that date – came to a formal close as Germany, the Allied Powers and the United States concluded an Armistice. Turkey and Austria-Hungary had ceased fighting some days earlier.

The mass armies and unprecedented industrialisation that were salient features of the war had led to a deadlock in Northern France and Belgium that had required four terrible years of attritional warfare and economic blockade to break.

The result was a horrendous casualty list for all the major combatants that shocked their people. Total casualties for WWI are estimated at 20 million dead and 20 million injured.

Australia’s Involvement

Australia was a small nation with a population of fewer than five million. From this small population base, no less than 416,809 men enlisted of which 302,000 served overseas. Of these, 62,000 were killed and 155,000 wounded.

At least a further 8,000 died of war-related injuries after the war. These figures do not include the neurological trauma inflicted on so many soldiers, which negatively affected their lives and those of their families for many years afterwards.

Remembrance Day - Crowd in Marin Place

A crowd in Martin Place, central Sydney, celebrate the news of the signing of the Armistice. Photo credit AWM

In these circumstances, it is no surprise that 11 November – the day the carnage stopped – became a date of enduring significance. Armistice Day, as it was known, became the day to commemorate the sacrifice of the war.

The First Remembrance Day Commemoration

The first commemoration was at the Cenotaph in London on the first anniversary of the end of the war, and it was on this occasion that the tradition of maintaining two minutes silence from 11am was introduced.

Although the idea of a commemorative silence was first suggested by a London-based Australian journalist, Edward Honey, the tradition originated in South Africa during the war and passed to London in 1919 where it was approved by King George V, immediately prior to the Armistice Day commemoration.

He requested that the custom be observed throughout the Empire. The length of silence has since been reduced to one minute. It is preceded by the Last Post and followed by the rousing strains of the Reveille.