By Derek Schlennstedt
At 100 years on from the signing of the treaty that ended World War I, cenotaphs and memorials across the Dandenong Ranges, fell silent at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, in memory of those who have died in war.
The ceremonies were marked with the laying of wreaths, the placing of poppies, and the reading of the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ and the reply ‘We Shall Keep the Faith’.
At Belgrave-Upwey RSL the involvement of Tecoma Primary School and local community groups recognised the impact of the loss of thousands of young lives on small, rural communities throughout Australia’s history of involvement in war.
David Eaton, President at Upwey- Belgrave RSL reflected on the 100th anniversary.
“The last three years have seen a number of centenaries however 2018 is particularly significant as it marks the centenary of the end of WW1,” Mr Eaton said.
“The 11th November 1918 marked the end of the bloodiest war the world had seen – the war to end all wars.”
“Of the Australian population of 5 million, 300,000 young men went to the Great War, more than two thirds were casualties of the war, 60,000 Australian soldiers died and 156,000 were wounded or taken prisoner.”
“All Australian soldiers were volunteers … it is important we remember them all, those who did come home and more importantly those who didn’t.”
The service ended with a moving rendition of the Last Anzac performed by the students at Tecoma Primary School.