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Remembering and honouring those who fell for our freedom

Like many small towns across Australia, Aberdeen, which lies beside the Hunter River between Muswellbrook and Scone in NSW, will remember today the 101st anniversary of the end of World War I.

And like many country towns, Aberdeen will honour the lives of those men and women from the district, who paid the ultimate price while fighting for and defending Australia in that and successive wars.

The local RSL Club has planted one cross on its lawn for each son and daughter who left our shores, never to return home.

“At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we will remember them,” Australia One leader Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Riccardo Bosi said today.

“It was on this day in 1918, after four years of non-stop warfare, that Germany formally surrendered to the allied powers and agreed to stop fighting while the terms of peace were negotiated.

“And for many months it had been the five divisions of the Australian Corps — under the inspired leadership of our greatest military commander, General Sir John Monash, GCMG, KCB,VD —  that  was at the forefront of the allied advance to victory.

“Although our troops had achieved a reputation well out of proportion to their numbers, Australia paid a very high price, with more than 12,000 Aussies killed in battle on the Western Front alone.

“But in the four years that this war raged, the Australian soldier death toll was almost 60,000 with another 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner.”

During the six years of World War II, about 27,000 Australian service personnel laid down their lives with another 23,000 wounded in action in Europe and the Pacific.

“And since then, in other theatres of war, another thousand or so members of Australia’s military have made the supreme sacrifice for our freedom,” Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Bosi said.

“So today, when the bugle calls the Last Post, we will remember them all.”