A representative of the Australian army pays his respects at the Hill Top Anzac Day dawn service. Photo by Victoria LeeTHE three little words “Lest we forget” continued to ring true through this year’s Anzac Day services held across the Southern Highlands.
At the Bowral Dawn Service one woman, Elizabeth Wright, fondly remembered her father who fought at Somme and Hill 21 in World War I.
“He was gassed twice during the war and the second time he remembered someone putting their hand on his shoulder and saying ‘this poor bugger won’t make it’,” she said.
However, she said her father did make it.
“He was taken to hospital and that is where he met my mother,” she said.
“They had 10 children.
“My father died on August 31, 1945, at the age of 49. He managed to live until after V-Day.
“He knew about the Germans, but he was too sick to realise the Japanese had also capitulated.”
The importance of remembering the many men and women who suffered – and in many cases died – in battle, so that we today could live a life of freedom was not lost on the youngest members of the community.
Nine-year-old Torah Wooderson was quick to point out that she was at the Bowral Anzac Day service to “remember the soldiers who fought for our peace in Bowral”.
Hundreds of people attended both the Anzac Day dawn and main services in Berrima.
Dogs and children were the stars of the show at the Berrima Anzac Day main service.
Friends of Wingecarribee Animal Shelter (FOWAS) members, accompanied by their canines, laid a wreath to pay tribute to all of the animals that have lost their lives at war, both past and presented.
Students at Berrima Public School also played a large role in the main service.
Both dawn and main services in Mittagong attracted large crowds.
One father explained to his young son, “We are up before the chickens,” at the dawn service.
Flags were handed out at the main service, and rosemary was left outside Twisting Vintage for the dawn service.
Attendees enjoyed free homemade Anzac cookies at St Stephen’s Anglican Church after the main service.
The northern villages of the Highlands held morning services, with a busy service and breakfast at Hill Top followed by the 8am Colo Vale gathering.
Hundreds also took to the streets of Bundanoon to pay their respects, with all generations joining together in song and silence to remember the fallen.
Residents from Sutton Forest and Exeter braved the chilly morning to pay their respects at the Sutton Forest service.
Garry Barnsley OAM read a touching commemoration about members of his family that have fought in the armed forces as well as his nephew who is currently serving.
There was a good turnout for the Robertson/Kangaloon wreath laying service which was then followed by a commemorative service at Burrawang.
MC Greg Hoare said it was one of the biggest crowds he had seen.
Members of the Diggers Military Motorcycle Club were a big part of the celebrations, carrying the original Robertson-Burrawang-Kangaloon RSL flag in their ride.
The members were all men who have returned from active service with the Army, Navy and Air Force and have fought in places such as Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan.
Some of the Diggers read the ODE and raised the Australian Flag during the ceremonies.
Miss Judith Green MBE, OAM was also part of the service.
In WWII she was Staff Captain Social Services, attached to the British Commonwealth Overseas Forces for two years in Japan.
Reverend Graham Thomas paid tribute to the soldiers who had made the ultimate sacrifice.
“They fought and died so that freedom can be a reality for us. They were prepared to make a great sacrifice and many lost their lives,” he said.
“I can’t imagine how difficult that would have been. (Anzac Day) is a day to honour them and to honour their memory.”
This year was also the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.