A hundred years ago today (11 September 1914) some Australians fired shots in anger – it was the day the Battle of Bita Paka took place near Rabaul New Guinea, the day Australians first saw action in WW1, the day the first Australians were to die in WW1.
One month earlier on 11 August 1914 a new chum had answered the call and enlisted in what was called the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force. He had arrived in Sydney three years earlier after having served in the Hampshire Regiment of the British army so was well aware of what he was doing. His regimental number was 194 so it’s safe to say he was near the front of the queue and raring to go. He was a first cousin of my maternal grandmother.
Today The Golfer and I went to The Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance
(photos enlarge with a click)
The band played – colours were paraded
The armed Catafalque Party was there and banners were paraded
Politicians were visible – wreaths were laid
Prayers were said and The Last Post played.
The Catafalque Party left – Soldiers and Sailors had been remembered
The Eternal Flame burned above the new plaque
As we looked back at the Shrine on the hill
I thought of young James Bannister and wondered how well he would have done in Australia after the war had ended – sadly he never got the chance.
In January 1917 he lost his life on the battlefield in France