On Monday, 4 August 2014 the world will commemorate 100 years since the start of the First World War.
“For Australians this is a momentous occasion,” Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Martin Hamilton-Smith said. “The First World War touched the lives of nearly every Australian and many of the impacts are still prevalent today.”
State President of the Returned & Services League, Brigadier Tim Hanna said: “On this day 100 years ago Australia committed to what was to be a huge and devastating conflict.”
“Sixty thousand Australians died as a result of this ‘war to end all wars’ and thousands more died prematurely as a result of their service.
“Every Australian town and suburb was affected in some way. Yet, borne out of this enormous sacrifice was the ANZAC spirit which has positively shaped our country since World War I.”
Britain declared war on Germany at 11pm UK time on 4 August, 1914. As war raged during the next four years, millions of lives were lost in the devastating conflict, until the armistice was signed on 11 November 1918.
“For these reasons it is essential to commemorate, remember, and learn from those who sacrificed their lives during those four years.” Mr Hamilton-Smith said. “Here in SA we will begin the commemoration with a series of events marking Australia’s entry into the war.”
Those events will be:
- Monday, 4 August: short commemorative service at the State War Memorial at 8.30AM marking the declaration of war on Germany by Great Britain.
- Monday, 4 August: 11AM church bells at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral and the Town Hall will toll to remember our fallen. We encourage other churches to join the toll.
- Monday, 4 August: 5.30PM Launch of the State Library exhibition “Remember me: the lost diggers of Vignacourt”.
- Tuesday, 5 August: 6PM The Annual Hawke Lecture: “From the Great War to the Asian Century: what we can learn from 1914 about our place in the world” presented by Professor Hugh White at the Town Hall
- Friday, 8 August: 2.30PM the launch of the Virtual War Memorial, RSL-SA’s Centenary of ANZAC project to capture the personal stories of Australia’s conflicts, by the Governor of SA at the Heztel Theatre, State Library of SA.