We will pause, remember them

The honour roll at the Forbes cenotaph.
The honour roll at the Forbes cenotaph.

On November 10, 1918, thousands of Australians were walking wearily toward the frontline in France to relieve British troops.

Two months earlier these troops, the First and Fourth AIF Divisions, had fought their way across the Somme in some of the most devastating battles of World War I.

This time they did not go into action, for the Germans signed an armistice early on November 11.

Hostilities on the western front ceased at 11am that day.

This Saturday marks the 99th anniversary of the hour the guns fell silent on the Western Front in what was known as The Great War or, in hope, the war to end all wars.

Locally, a service will be held at Forbes cenotaph, in Victoria Park facing Harold Street, from 10.30am Saturday.

All are welcome, with ex-service personnel invited to form up in Harold Street in front of the memorial.

The service will include the traditional wreath laying and the reading of names of all those Forbes residents who lost their lives in service in all wars.

The bugle will sound, and a silence will be observed at 11am. Other community organisations are also honouring the occasion, junior cricketers are asked to note the request to pause any games underway at that hour.

Remembrance Day honours all those who have suffered or lost their lives in all wars and armed conflicts before, during and after World War I.

But it marks the anniversary on which, after more than four years, and tens of millions of military and civilian people on both sides either dead or wounded, the fighting was coming to an end.

A series of treaties ended World War I, or The Great War as it was known then. It was officially over when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919.

November 11 is also observed outside the Commonwealth of Nations. A number of them have declared it a national holiday such as France and Belgium.

In Canberra, the Remembrance Day National Ceremony includes a formal wreathlaying, and many high-level dignitaries and diplomats will attend, just as they do each year.

Don’t forget to wear a red poppy as well. The WWI poem entitled In Flanders Fields inspired the adoption of the remembrance poppy.

They have been the symbol with which to remember lost soldiers since 1921.

More on Remembrance Day on page 9.