VETERANS and sailors will pay tribute to the first Anzacs at Ocean Reef Boat Harbour this Sunday.
To mark 100 years since the first troops left Fremantle for Gallipoli, Ocean Reef RSL sub-branch will hold an evening service with a sail-past by Ocean Reef Sea Sports Club yachts.
Sub-branch president Rick Green said most of the troops on that October 31, 1914, voyage were in the 11th Battalion, with a quarter from the 12th.
‘Eleventh and 12th battalions were two of the four battalions that landed on Gallipoli on April 25, 1915,’ Mr Green said. ‘Thirty-one per cent of the first wave were West Australians.
‘Our event is to mark the day the troops sailed from Fremantle and met with the convoy of ships heading to Gallipoli from Albany (carrying) troops from the eastern states and New Zealand.
‘We will be conducting a sunset service with a sail-past from our yacht club members. ‘There will be a piper piping during the wreath-laying service (and) the local chorus girls singing songs that reflect the day.’
Mr Green said he would speak at the service about Australia joining the Great War and the atmosphere as New Zealand ships joined the first Australian convoy.
‘Young Australia was welcoming young New Zealand in no uncertain manner in the first meeting of those brothers-in-arms soon to be known by a glorious name as yet undreamed of, (Anzac),’ he said.
‘Australians lacked that sense of pessimism and fatalism found in the French, the Russians or the Irish, people who knew how devastating were the consequences of war.
‘The Australians were genuinely cheerful, excited and hopelessly optimistic.’
Mr Green said there would be a bugler for the Last Post and Joondalup Mayor Troy Pickard would also speak .
State commemorations will take place on October 31, starting with a gunfire breakfast at Blackboy Hill, Greenmount, then a function in Fremantle.
HMAS Leeuwin will take descendents of the 11th and 12th Battalions out near Rottnest Island with a fleet of smaller craft from boat and yacht clubs.
There, they will have a memorial service and throw wreaths overboard.