Remembrance Day 2014
- Extract from the Ode of Remembrance
The speech delivered by Mayor Brad Pettitt summarises the importance of Remembrance Day historically, and the significance of Tuesday 11 November 2014 for the Fremantle community.
"Remembrance Day 2014 marks the 96th anniversary of the armistice which ended WWI. At 11am on the 11th November 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of unrelenting warfare. It was a time of great celebration worldwide, but also of great sadness as the world reflected on the enormous losses inflicted on so many countries, so many families, and so many individuals.
2014 holds special significance for Fremantle residents, as it was 100 years ago that our soldiers first embarked from Fremantle port to travel abroad and fight in World War One. It is also 100 years since the Royal Australian Navy commissioned its first submarines, the AE1 and AE2. Fremantle played a major role in submarine operations in both World Wars, hosting over 150 submarines over the course of World War Two. Our local Naval Base HMAS STIRLING, the largest naval base in Australia, continues to build on this rich tradition, with Western Australia remaining the home of Australia's Submarine Force. It was a great honour for me, last week, to grant an official Freedom of Entry to the submariners of HMAS Stirling. It’s also an honour for Fremantle to be the epicentre for the centenary commemorations of submarines in Australia and I welcome all submariners, serving and retired, here today.
Next year’s ANZAC centenary is a significant milestone and one which the City is marking with a special series of events. These events commenced last month with the commemorative train journey from Blackboy Hill followed by a march through Fremantle and departure service at Fremantle Ports.
We also have a number of ways we’re honouring the 849 sailors and soldiers from the greater Fremantle area who left for World War One, never to return home. The loss of these 849 men was devastating for our city, which at that time had a population of about 25,000. Almost everyone in Freo would have lost a son, a brother, a father, a husband, a friend or a neighbour. Their family members, loved ones and ancestors continue to keep the memory of these 849 men alive today.
...Today, we have some 700 students here from local schools who each hold a cross for our 849. Each of these crosses, crafted by members of the local Fremantle Men’s Shed – and we thank these men for their efforts and skill – bears the name of Fremantle’s men who died in World War One.
It is wonderful to see so many local school children and teachers here today to honour these men and their memory. [Represented here today are John Curtin College of the Arts; CBC Fremantle; Kardinya Primary School; South Fremantle Senior High School; St Hilda’s Senior School; Beaconsfield Primary School; Fremantle Primary School; North Fremantle Primary School; Hilton Primary School; Our Lady of Mount Carmel; St Patrick’s Primary School; Winterfold Primary School; Swanbourne Primary School; White Gum Valley Primary School; Caralee Primary School, Newton Primary School and Southwell Primary School.]
Seeing the crosses laid out momentarily will be a poignant visualisation of the scale of loss this City and its community experienced. Each cross represents a man who left behind his home and loved ones in order to serve his country and protect that which was dearest to him. Sadly, like so many others in World War One and the many conflicts since, these men were unable to return home to enjoy the very things they fought for.
Today we remember the 849 and all those that have served our country past and present. They will not ever be forgotten. Lest we forget."
Our emcee for the service, Rear Admiral Mark Bonser RAN Rtd.
Sounding the Last Post before the minute of silence
Commodore Peter Scott, CSC RAN delivering the Remembrance Day Address
South Fremantle High School student Kadin Anketell reciting the Words of Remembrance
(image courtesy of Fremantle Gazette)
Members of various military and veteran associations were in attendance
Over 1000 people were in attendance for Remembrance Day this year, adding to the solemnity and significance of the event
Laying of wreaths
Mayor Brad Pettitt delivering his speech
Laying of 849 crosses (images 1-3 courtesy of Fremantle Gazette)
These crosses have since been collected and donated to the Army Museum of Western Australia located at the Artillery Barracks in Burt Street, Fremantle