The original unknown soldier was entombed in Westminster Abbey in London on 11 November 1920, two days after being brought from France. His body had been selected by General Wyatt from among four, each draped in the Union Jack; they had been recovered from the British battlefields of the Somme, Aisne, Arras, and Ypres. The soldier was assumed to have been British (though he could have been a Canadian, a New Zealander, or even an Australian) but he was intended to represent all the young men of the British Empire killed during the Great War.
On the same date, an unknown French soldier was buried under the Arc de Triomphe, and several other allied nations soon entombed unknown soldiers of their own.
Plans to honour an unknown Australian soldier were first put forward in the 1920s but it was not until 1993 that one was at last brought home.
To mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the First World War, the body of an unknown Australian soldier was recovered from Adelaide Cemetery near Villers-Bretonneaux in France and transported to Australia.
After lying in state in King's Hall in Old Parliament House, Unknown Australian Soldier was interred in the Hall of Memory at the Memorial on 11 November 1993
He was buried with a slouch hat and a sprig of wattle in a Tasmanian blackwood coffin, and soil from the Pozičres battlefield was scattered in his tomb.
The Unknown Australian Soldier represents all Australians who lost their lives in war.
After the one minute’s silence, flags are raised from half mast to the masthead as 'Rouse' is sounded. Today it is associated with 'Last Post' at all military funerals, and at services of dedication and remembrance.
Since Roman times, bugles or horns had been used as signals to command soldiers on the battlefield and to regulate soldiers’ days in barracks. 'Reveille' was a bright, cheerful call to rouse soldiers from their slumber, ready for duty; it has also been used to conclude funeral services and remembrance services. It symbolises an awakening in a better world for the dead, and also rouses the living back to duty, now their respects have been paid to the memory of their comrades.
'Rouse' is a shorter bugle call that was also used to call soldiers to their duties; being short, 'Rouse' is the call most commonly used in conjunction with 'Last Post' at remembrance services. The exception is the Dawn Service, when 'Reveille' is played.
In Flanders Fields A poem relevant to WWI.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
between the crosses, row on row,
that mark our place: and in the sky
the larks, still bravely singing, fly
scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago
we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
loved and were loved, and now we lie
in Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
the torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
we shall not sleep, though poppies grow
in Flanders fields.
John McCrae (1872–1918)
Some material courtesy of Australian War Memorial.
Traditionally, sprigs of rosemary are worn on ANZAC Day, and sometimes on Remembrance Day.
The sprigs are usually handed out by Legacy and the RSL. Rosemary has particular significance for Australians, as it is found growing wild on the Gallipoli peninsula.
For the Vietnam 'grunts'; Vung Tŕu means "anchorage",NOT "Pogo City". (Although both are acceptable answers to trivia questions !)
This page is intended to be of general interest to visitors using the website for research.
Did you know . . . . ?
Their Service . . . . Our Heritage We Will Remember Them
the motto of the Royal Australian Regiment
New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory . . . Northern Territory . . . Queensland . . . South Australia . . . Tasmania . . . Victoria . . . Western Australia 4 RARASSOCIATIONS OF AUSTRALIA THE FIGHTING FOURTH
MALAYSIA/BORNEO - SOUTH VIETNAM - EAST TIMOR/TIMOR LESTE - IRAQ - AFGHANISTAN