Remembrance Day and remembering…

“On the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month… we will remember them”. 

Right now I’m remembering back when I was shooting down the shop to do some messages and mum reminded me to “keep my wits about me” because it was Remembrance Day and when it turned 11 o’clock I was to STOP what I was doing, bow my head and remember those who gave their all in the War.

Querulous me asked… “but how will I know if it’s 11 o’clock” for I had no watch.  “Just keep your wits about you Catherine”… I did and I knew it was “the time” because everything, and everyone, stopped and the silence was palpable.

Remembrance Day is indeed the time for remembering and finally the War Service of our Indigenous Australian’s has been recognised with the unveiling of our Nation’s first memorial, here in Adelaide, South Australia dedicated to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Servicemen, and Servicewomen  and  and my heart just about bursts with pride and happiness.

I also learn that the Boer War, more than 110 years ago, marked the first time Aboriginal soldiers served on active duty with Australian services and then remember another reason to be proud to be South Australian. It’s that magnificent statue in our C.B.D. at the corner of King William Street and North Terrace honouring the 12,000 Australians who served in the six colony contingents which was the first time Australians had served/ fought overseas but because it was before “Federation” has been largely overlooked. These soldiers were volunteers and mostly mounted units known as MOUNTED RIFLES, BUSHMEN or IMPERIAL BUSHMEN. In honour of the 600 who died the SOUTH AFRICA WAR MEMORIAL was unveiled, here in Adelaide, on 4 June 1904 by Governor Le Hunte.

“Your stature is a statue of action and it betokens the action of Empire when it is called for” 

Then sadness overtakes me as I remember those whose sacrifices certainly are not honoured, not respected and their memorials are moved and/ or destroyed. To read about this please follow this LINK.


Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

8 thoughts on “Remembrance Day and remembering…

  1. I can understand your sadness Catherine. There is no honour in treating the dead of a generation that went to war on our behalf with such disrespect. Those who died in order that I may live in freedom asked for nothing and were given little. This is not fair payment for their service.
    xxx Hugs Galore xxx

    • Thankyou so much for your kindness and understanding David. It does distress me terribly, especially knowing that many “big knobs”, who are allowing the desecration of these graves and memorials, will be parading around with “poppies” on their lapels and with false words on their lips.
      Thanks more than I can say and so many HUGE HUGS flying through cyber- space that you will indeed be overloaded… so just palm a few off to Reuben, that adorable grandson of yours… xxx

  2. I cannot look at photos of WWI soldiers, nurses and the like without being overcome with sadness. A truly horrific war. I can only imagine what post-war life was like when people made their transitions back into civilian life after witnessing all that they had during the war. One of the first Americans killed in WWI came from my hometown. His grave (or at least I think it is. He has “another” in Indianapolis, but I have assumed that is a memorial) is located in the same cemetery as my grandparents and there is a flagpole and plaque not far from their graves dedicated to him.

    Thank you for this post, Catherine.

    • Thankyou for this comment Jenga… I actually have a terrible time with all the “Remembrance Day” and “Anzac Day” hype 😥

      WW1 truly was an horrific war and my husband’s grandfather, who was there in all the horror with his South Australian “diggers”, never talked about it… never went in marches but was totally involved with the RSL (Returned Services League) to get support for those that were not murdered in France but came home physically injured and traumatised.

      My paternal Grandfather served with the Canadian forces also on the “Somme”. As a member of the “regimental band” his other duties were the collecting and burying of the dead. This followed on from service in the 2nd Boer War in South Africa and all the horrors he would have witnessed there.

      Thankyou for the understanding and the caring J.G.

  3. “unveiling of our Nation’s first memorial, here in Adelaide, South Australia dedicated to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Servicemen, and Servicewomen” This is so good to know.

    • Thanks for your comment. As a South Australian I sure am proud that, once again, we’ve led the nation in matters of Social Justice. e.g. votes for women, women accepted into University as well as the Boer War memorial. I’m not sure if this was an Australian “first” but I do know that there is a lot of lobbying going on to get a “Boer War Memorial” in Canberra
      What I am NOT proud of is that we also lead the Australian nation in the disturbing of our dead, recycling of graves and burying strangers of top of our loved Ancestors… 😯 😥

      • Yes South Australia is awesome with its firsts. Is there something in your water 😉 ? I haven’t heard about the graveyard issues, except in your post. Is it general lack of care or vandalism or lack of space?

      • In my opinion it’s about a total lack of respect and where financial interest predominates. I am so ashamed that whilst South Australia has led the way with so many positive changes to society… that it’s now leading the way with this total lack of respect for our Ancestors. There is not a lack of space in this big wide, brown land of ours. Thanks for your caring.

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