I thank all of our local Sub Branches and everyone who made sure we commemorated Remembrance Day in an appropriate way.
In August of 1914 Great Britain responded to ongoing German ambition and aggression with a declaration of war. Australia quickly, enthusiastically and loyally joined the fray.
There began our involvement in the “Great War; the war to end all wars”. Four years later, 60,000 young Australians had given their lives for “King and for Country”. Many more suffered injury, too often life-changing. Indeed another 60,000 were dead within the next ten years due to their war injuries and horrific experiences.
An astonishing 38 per cent of Australia’s male population embarked for foreign soils over the course of the course of the First World War.
In addition, many women faced some of the most difficult and physiological challenging circumstances; as nurses and other roles.
Last Saturday we paused to think of all of them and to remember their deeds; on the beaches and cliff faces of the Gallipoli, in the trenches of the Western Front, and in the vastness of the Arab deserts culminating in the Charge on Beersheba which occurred 100 hundred years and 11 days ago.
We thanked them once again - and those who have served in campaigns since them - for their courage, their dedication, and their sacrifice. So many have given their lives so that we may be free to determine our own future, free from foreign influence.
We also on Remembrance Day, commemorated the day the guns fell silent on the Western Front. On November 11 next year, we will mark the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice.
We do not gather at these services to glorify war. Rather, we gather in reflection.
Lest we forget.