EACH YEAR we observe Remembrance Day at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month as the anniversary of the Armistice that effectively ended the fighting in World War One.
The end of the war came a year later with the Treaty of Versailles. The First World War, to give it one of its titles was ‘the war to end all wars’, which of course it didn’t.
However, the number of casualties in combat in that war have seldom been equalled since.
We look back with horror at the conditions under which the combatants fought, especially on the Western Front in France and Belgium.
Later conflicts – World War 2, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and others – have seen a great rise in civilian casualties due mainly to the use of air power and artillery.
It is good that we remind ourselves of the great loss of life in all these conflicts as it helps to limit casualties in future.
No current serving military commander would accept the huge number of dead, wounded and missing that occurred often on one day in World War One.
Importantly, it would not be accepted by governments or people in the western world nowadays.
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THE CENTENARY of the Armistice in World War One is next year, 2018, and toward marking that important anniversary the Anzac Memorial Centenary Project is progressing in Sydney.
This spectacular project is the completion of the original architect’s design for the War Memorial in Hyde Park.
The most visible part of this project takes the form of two sloping cascades of water from the Memorial to Liverpool Street.
However, the project also creates underground space under, and between, the cascades that provides galleries, a library, lecture rooms all linking with the existing Memorial.
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A FEATURE of the new development will be the Hall of Service where the walls will support a plaque and a name of the 1700 places in NSW from which soldiers enlisted in World War One.
The plaque will contain a sample of soil from each location.
Collection of two of the four samples in the Hunters Hill municipality will take place during the Remembrance Service that commences at 11am on November 11 at the RSL Memorial Hall in Hunters Hill.
The actual samples will be dug and placed into special bags by pupils from Hunters Hill Public School, one sample at the Memorial Hall and the second sample at a site in Woolwich.
There will be refreshments at the Memorial Hall afterwards and everyone is invited to attend.
ROD STEWART is President of Hunters Hill RSL Sub Branch