Remembrance Day 2019: 101 years since war’s end

Remembrance Day 2019: 101 years since war’s end

TODAY is Remembrance Day, marking the 101st anniversary of the signing of the Armistice to end the Great War, and the 100th anniversary of the first Armistice Day service which was held at the then-new Cenotaph in London.

It is also 100 years since the last troop ship returned to Fremantle.

While that was a happy occasion for many families, the moment was bittersweet: thousands of families across Western Australia mourned the death of loved ones who would never return home.

Full list of Perth Remembrance Day services

Over a third of Western Australian men between 18 and 41 served in this conflict.

Half of those were either killed or wounded.

The deaths of 6000 young Western Australians literally decimated a generation.

Official estimates are that about 1000 Indigenous Australians – out of an estimated population of 93,000 in 1901 – fought in the First World War, though the real number is probably higher.

It’s also often overlooked that 2139 Australian nurses served overseas with the Australian Army Nursing Service and Britain’s Imperial Military Nursing Service, and 29 Australian nurses died from disease or injuries.

Each year on this day Australians observe one minute’s silence at 11am, in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.

“In the 105 years since the outbreak of The Great War, there remains an enduring significance of their sacrifice in the hearts and minds of Australians,” Veterans Issues Minister Peter Tinley said.

“This spirit carried Australians through the Second World War, the Malayan Emergency, the Korean War, Borneo, Vietnam and more recently, Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Each Remembrance Day we honour those service men and women who have defended our values and freedoms, in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

“We acknowledge all current and former members of our defence forces – the men and women who serve our country on a daily basis.”