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Remembrance Day, 98 years since end of WWI

by November 10, 2016 General

Ninety-eight years ago on Friday, the guns went silent across the Western Front, marking the end of a conflict which claimed the lives of millions, including more than 60,000 Australians.

That will be marked with Remembrance Day services across Australia with the traditional one minute’s silence at 11am when the armistice came into effect.

The main national ceremony will be held at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove, defence head Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten are expected to attend.

This Remembrance Day is a special occasion for the war memorial, marking 75 years since it officially opened in 1941.

That came early in World War II while Australian troops were fighting in North Africa and Greece.

A month later they would be fighting much closer to home following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour and invasion of Malaya.

The official opening in Canberra was a gala event, with more than 5000 in attendance including 18 Australian recipients of the Victoria Cross from the Great War.

This was a spectacular turnout for the new capital. Performing the official opening was Governor-General Lord Gowrie VC who flicked a switch, making the great bronze doors swing silently open.

In Sydney, the Australian National Maritime Museum will conduct a special Remembrance Day service in front of World War II Commando vessel Krait.

This event will be attended by members of the WW2 Commando Association and the Australian Commando Association.

Krait, a converted fishing boat, was used in one of Australia’s most daring and successful operations, sailing boldly into Japanese-occupied waters with a team of Z Special Unit Commandos who attached mines to enemy ships in Singapore harbour, destroying seven.

© AAP 2016

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