Remembering our heroes on 11/11/11
AT THE 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of war were silenced.
Thus ended four years of brutal butchery on the battlefields of the Western Front, Gallipoli and other theatres of war.
Next Sunday marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended the carnage of what was called the "War to End all Wars".
Mothers lost sons and the wives of the world lost husbands while children lost fathers.
Australia, like all other countries, was caught up in this disastrous war and lost a whole generation of young men.
At 5am on November 11, 1918, the British, French and German generals signed the ceasefire that was effective from 11am.
In Ipswich, this news arrived at 8.20pm that day and swept the city. Rejoicing erupted in the streets.
After four long years, the fighting was over. However, the loss had been enormous, with 65,000 young Australians dead and another 120,000 so badly wounded they would die prematurely over the next 10 years. This was almost an entire generation from our small population of only five million.
On Sunday, November 11, 2018, at the Ipswich Railway Workshops Museum, a commemoration service will be held to mark this important anniversary.
The traditional Remembrance Day Commemorative Service will commence at 10.20am at the Workshops. The memorial will be followed by a re-enactment of the reading of the proclamation by King George V. Two free events will be held for Ipswich to "Remember the Sacrifice of the Fallen".
This event will be held in conjunction with the Ipswich Railway Workshops' annual free public open day and will also feature marching bands, performances by the Australian Military Wives Choir, displays of World War I Light horse troops and their horses, military camels and military jeeps. Everybody is welcome to join in the services and then enjoy the free open day.
On this day, Australians are asked to observe, unless impracticable, one minute's silence at 11am to remember the sacrifice of those who died or otherwise suffered in Australia's cause in wars and warlike conflicts."
One of the most quoted and popular poems, In Flanders Field, was written by Canadian doctor Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae following his attendance at a funeral of a friend and fellow soldier who had died in the second battle of Ypres. This poem recited at all services reads:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky,
The larks still bravely singing fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie,
In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe,
To you, from failing hands, we throw,
The torch: be yours to hold it high,
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
In Flanders fields,
Lest We Forget.