Remembrance Day – 11th November 2017
10 November 2017
Each year on this day Australians observe one minute’s silence at 11 am, in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.
In 2017, 11 November marks the 99th anniversary of the Armistice which ended the First World War (1914–18).
Through October 1918, Allied troops advanced quickly through a sequence of successful offensives, and threatened the last German line of retreat. In the first week of November, the British broke through German lines between the Schelde and the Sambre, taking 20,000 prisoners and 450 guns. Having suffered a series of setbacks and defeats, the German forces finally collapsed and agreed to an armistice.
At 11 am on 11 November 1918, the armistice, signed by Germany earlier that morning, came into effect, finally signifying the long-awaited end to the war. As soon as the news was known, cities and towns around Australia erupted into celebrations.
However, for those troops still on active duty in France, the cause for celebration was harder to enjoy, as they were still surrounded by the devastation caused by the war and the memories of all they had been through, and of those who would not be returning.
The echoes die, the smoke-clouds thin and pass,
The cannons are, like statues, dumb and cold:
Silent the crosses wait, and in the grass
The spent shells gleam like gold.
All spent he lay and dreamed till the moment came:
Now, waking with a cry, he looks, all wonder
To see the empty sky hurl down no flame:
To hear no crack of thunder.
– Henry Weston Pryce, 11 November 1918
To read more about why this day is special to Australians CLICK HERE