Today's Honour Roll

November
15
Today's Honour Roll recognizes 192 Australians who fell on this day in history.
See Full List
Name Date of Death Conflict
RICHES, Edward Victor 15 Nov 1917 World War 1
HALL, Ernest William 15 Nov 1916 World War 1
FUREY, Ronald John 15 Nov 1941 World War 2
LILWALL, William George 15 Nov 1916 World War 1
DE-GRUCHY, Cyril 15 Nov 1943 World War 2

Peace At last – 11 November 1918

Peace At last – 11 November 1918

In the early hours of the morning of 11 November 1918 in a railway carriage at the edge of the forest at Compiegne, the Armistice was signed bringing an end to a war that would come to be known as bloodiest conflict in history. The Armistice was to take effect at 11.00 am the same day marking a victory for the Allied Forces and defeat for Germany.


Each year for one hundred years the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month communities across the world take time for quiet reflection – a time to give thanks for the cessation of that war, but more so to remember the enormous sacrifice paid by all participants in it.


The news that the war had ended was received in Adelaide about 7.00pm on 11 November 1918 however an announcement was delayed due to concerns that it may not be accurate. Finally, around 10.30pm, official confirmation was received sparking widespread celebrations. People flocked to the city for the next 24 hours.

 

Celebrating Armistice in King William Street (https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/PRG+1316/12/498)

 

A public holiday was declared for 14 November 1918 and in a booklet marking the occasion Governor Lt Colonel Sir Henry Galway remarked:


"It is only a very small percentage of mankind who leave behind them footprints on the sand of time, but the men and women who gave their lives for freedom's cause in the Great War have by their devotion, their courage, the unselfishness, and their loyalty earned a nation’s gratitude. Their grand example should prove a stimulant to generations yet unborn, and, though they have passed away, their memory will be ever kept green in the hearts of their county men.”


Celebrations duly subsided and all too soon it was clear that the costs and the implications of the war would carry well beyond the end of hostilities. The financial costs had been crippling. As a proportion of its active fighting contingents, Australia’s forces suffered more deaths, more hospitalisations for wounding, illness and other injury than its allies. And the Government was still to manage the enormous challenge of bringing those who had survived the war home and to contribute to the appropriate identification and interment for those who would forever remain in foreign soil.


With these realities in mind the words delivered by Andrew Fisher in his election speech in July 1914, “….should the worst happen, after everything has been done that honour will permit, Australians will stand beside the mother country to help and defend her to our last man and our last shilling.” seem almost prophetic. The cost to our young nation then, and for some time to come, was too close to “our last man and our last shilling.”


The centenary of the Great War Armistice is a time to remember the courage of ordinary men and women who made a choice to do something extraordinary for their nation  and the importance of this cannot be underestimated. The freedoms and the lifestyle that we all enjoy have come at a price and that price has been paid by someone. We owe each and every one of these men and women a great deal, but most of all, we owe it to them not to forget them and what they did.

Virtual War Memorial Australia - we remember them all.