Government prepares for military commemorations

An Australian Army soldier rests on arms during the Anzac Day Dawn Service in Darwin, 2017. Image via Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.

Australia’s significant program of military commemorations in-country and overseas has kicked off this month, with 2018 marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said Armistice Day, 11 November 2018, will mark the end of the most important commemorative period in Australia’s history – the Anzac Centenary spanning 2014-18. The minister has encouraged all Australians to attend the domestic and overseas commemorations throughout 2018 to recognise the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have fought to defend Australia in all wars and peacekeeping operations.

"It is always a moving experience to attend a commemorative service in Australia and a truly memorable experience attending a service overseas where Australians actually fought," Minister Chester said. 

"As the last year of the Anzac Centenary, 2018 is an important year for Australians to commemorate those who have served our country and to learn about Australia’s military history so that it is remembered for generations to come. Many Australians will be planning overseas trips this year and I encourage them to register early for commemorative services to pay their respects."

In Australia, commemorations will be held for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic, the 50th anniversary of the Battles of Coral and Balmoral, the 65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, the 75th anniversary of Australian work on Hell Fire Pass and completion of the Thai-Burma Railway and the Centenary of the First World War Armistice. 

Overseas, Australia will commemorate the Centenary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux, the Centenary of the Battle of Hamel and the Centenary of the First World War Armistice. 

The Australian government will support Anzac Day Services in France, Turkey, Belgium, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia in 2018. 

On 25 April 2018, the commemoration of the Centenary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux will be recognised in a Dawn Service at the Australian National Memorial situated just north of the village of Villers-Bretonneux, France.

The anniversary marks the day 100 years ago when the Australian 13th and 15th brigades successfully retook the village from German forces in a surprise night attack.

A commemoration to mark the Centenary of the Battle of Hamel will be held at the Australian Corps Memorial, Le Hamel, France on 4 July 2018. The 93-minute long battle on 4 July 1918 was a success due to the planning and direction provided by Lieutenant General John Monash. 

In 2018, Australia will also mark other days of national significance including Kapyong Day (Korean War), Battle of Coral Sea Day, Victory in Europe Day, Battle of Lone Pine, Victory in the Pacific Day, Vietnam Veterans Day, the Battle for Australia Day, Merchant Navy Day and National Peacekeepers and Peacemaker Day. 

A list of key domestic and international commemorations for 2018 is set out below.

 

Date

Commemoration

Location

24 April

Opening of the Sir John Monash Centre

Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

25 April

Centenary of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux

Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

25 April

Anzac Day

Australian War Memorial

Belgium (various locations)

Sandakan Memorial Park Borneo, Malaysia

Papua New Guinea

Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Long Tan Cross site, Vietnam

1 May

75th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic

Captain Reg Saunders Courtyard, Australian War Memorial, ACT

13 May

50th anniversary of the Battles of Coral and Balmoral

Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial, Anzac Parade, Canberra, ACT

4 July

Centenary of the Battle of Hamel

Villers-Bretonneux/ Le Hamel, France

27 July

65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice - Korean Veterans’ Day

Australian National Korean War Memorial, Anzac Parade, Canberra, ACT

16 October

75th anniversary of Australian work on Hell Fire Pass and completion of the Thai Burma Railway

Australian Ex-Prisoners of War Memorial, Ballarat, Victoria

11 November

Remembrance Day 2018 - 100th anniversary of Armistice

Various locations in Australia

France – wreath-laying ceremony

 

 

Government prepares for military commemorations
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