[Editor: This article, regarding Armistice Day (later known as Remembrance Day) commemorations in Williamstown (Victoria), was published in the Williamstown Chronicle (Williamstown, Vic.), 15 November 1930.]
Large crowd at Town Hall.
One of the largest crowds that ever occupied the Town Hall assembled there last Sunday afternoon, at an Armistice Day service, arranged by Cr. Briggs (president of the local branch of the R.S.S.I.L.A.) and his comrades. The Mayor (Cr. G. Paine) presided, and it was noted that eight of the twelve councillors were associated with him on the platform, as follows:—Crs. S. Thorburn, J. and W. Gray, J. Crow, C. Owens, H. Harvey, J. Nelson, T. Briggs, and the acting town clerk (Mr. J. Hocking).
The local ministers who took part were Revs. E. Shackell, M. Bennett, Jas. Walker and G. Muller, and there was an apology from Rev. S. Goble. There was a fine parade of R.A.N. Reserves, headed by their band, also a large muster of Scouts and Cubs, and Girl Guides, while the men of the local artillery and infantry units also were in force, together with the vastly improved Salvation Army Band. Returned soldiers and mothers and fathers of the boys were also in evidence.
Interspersed with the addresses were a number of musical items and band selections, those contributing being Miss Blanche Dorgan, Mr. and Mrs. E. Hocke, and the Naval and Salvation Army Bands, while the “Last Post” was sounded by Bandsman H. Boughton at the close. A collection was made for distressed Diggers. Miss Ballard acted as accompanist.
Cr. Thorburn said the large gathering was an evidence that the lads had not fought in vain. The war had drawn them closer together in the British Empire, and the large attendance of councillors was an evidence that they had a loyal council. (Applause.) Sixty thousand of Australia’s best made the supreme sacrifice, and they would not forget them.
Cr. Jas. Gray (ex-captain) said the foremost of Australia’s chivalry went to the other side. On this day the Emden was sunk by the Sydney. That raider had sunk two million pounds worth of shipping. The motto of the navy was defence — not defiance, and Cr. Gray spoke of the great work of the navy in many seas. They did great service at Zeebrugge, Jutland, Gallipoli and elsewhere.
Colonel Luxton was particularly pleased at the large proportion of youth in the audience, and urged them to cultivate the memories of the past. At the outbreak of the war, Great Britain had 100,000 men in the field, and at the Armistice had 4,000,000 doing military duty. Australia had contributed 330,000 men, and of these 60,000 were casualties. We are here in peace to-day, because of the victory of Great Britain and her Allies. The Armistice was signed on the 11th day of the 11th month, and on that day the German General, Ludendorff, told the Kaiser that the great German military machine was broken.
Lieut. Trevaskis, sub-district naval officer, briefly replied on behalf of the navy, for the sentiments expressed. The local lads were always ready to assist at any function for the benefit of the community. Rev. Jas. Walker (representing the Ministers’ Association) said Armistice Day was an occasion for thanksgiving, and a call to remembrance of those who sacrificed themselves that others might be free. Sixty-eight and a half per cent. were either wounded, killed or missing. The distress of the present time, which was one of the results of the war, was nothing compared with what our lads endured in the time of battle.
Williamstown Chronicle (Williamstown, Vic.), 15 November 1930, p.
address = a talk, a speech (plural: addresses)
Cr. = an abbreviation of “Councillor”
Crs. = an abbreviation of “Councillors”
Emden = SMS Emden, a light cruiser of the Imperial German Navy; during World War One, the ship largely operated in East Asia; she was sunk in 1914 by HMAS Sydney
See: “SMS Emden”, Wikipedia
Jas. = an abbreviation of the name “James”
Kaiser = Wilhelm II (William II) (1859-1941), the Kaiser (Emperor) of the German Empire (1888-1918); he was the leader of Germany (although essentially in title only) during World War One (1914-1918); he abdicated in November 1918
“Wilhelm II, German Emperor”, Wikipedia
Last Post = a musical tune played (usually with a bugle) in a military facility, or at a military-related ceremony, in countries of the British Commonwealth; historically, bugle calls were played during an officer’s inspection of posts in Army encampments, and when the final (or last) post had been inspected, the Last Post tune was played, and therefore signalled that the day’s general duties were over, and that the daytime personnel could retire for the night; later on, the tradition arose of playing the Last Post at military funerals, and at remembrance services
See: 1) “The story of the Last Post”, BBC, 11 November 2015
2) “Last Post”, Wikipedia
Lieut. = an abbreviation of “Lieutenant”
Ludendorff = Erich Friedrich Wilhelm Ludendorff (1865-1937), a German general, politician, and military theorist; he was well-known for his prominent role with the German military forces during World War One (1914-1918)
See: “Erich Ludendorff”, Wikipedia
per cent. = an abbreviation of “per centum” (Latin, meaning “by a hundred”), i.e. an amount, number, or ratio expressed as a fraction of 100; also rendered as “per cent” (without a full stop), “percent”, “pct”, “pc”, “p/c”, or “%” (per cent sign)
pound = a unit of British-style currency used in Australia, until it was replaced by the dollar in 1966 when decimal currency was introduced in Australia
R.A.N. = Royal Australian Navy
Rev. = an abbreviation of “Reverend” (a title given to a minister of a church, a priest, a member of the clergy)
Revs. = an abbreviation of “Reverends”, the plural of “Reverend” (a title given to a minister of a church, a priest, a member of the clergy)
R.S.S.I.L.A. = Returned Sailors and Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia: an organisation founded in 1916, dedicated to the welfare and well-being of returned servicemen (the organisation’s name was abbreviated as RSSILA); the name of the organisation was changed to the Returned Sailors’, Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Imperial League of Australia (RSSAILA) in 1940, it became the Returned Services League of Australia (RSL) in 1965, and then became the Returned and Services League of Australia (RSL) in 1990
See: 1) “A Historical Perspective of the RSL”, Emu Park RSL Sub Branch
2) “Returned and Services League of Australia”, Wikipedia
Sydney = HMAS Sydney, a light cruiser of the Royal Australian Navy; during Word War One (1914-1918) she sunk the German ship Emdem in a battle in the in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (in the Indian Ocean); for 18 months she operated along the west coast of the Americas (in the Atlantic Ocean), and then served in the North Sea
See: “HMAS Sydney (1912)”, Wikipedia
[Editor: Added a closing double quotation mark after “Last Post”.]
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