To mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the World War 1 Armistice, the Air Force Association will hold a public torchlight commemoration on November 4 at RAAF Base Point Cook to honour the memory of those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice.
One hundred years ago… at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month … the guns on the Western Front fell silent and World War 1 came to an end with the signing of the Armistice in France, ending four years of brutal and destructive conflict known as the Great War.
“100 years is a little more than an average life time, so it’s very likely many of us know a family member who served in the Great War,” says Carl Schiller, OAM CSM, president of the Air Force Association.
“Many of those who went to war came home as very different men. So widespread was the loss that almost every family in every community was touched in some way by this conflict.”
They include 209 men from the Australian Flying Corps (the forerunner of the Royal Australian Air Force) who lost their lives in World War 1.
The names of those 209 men rest in a sealed copper canister that was placed inside the Australian Flying Corps Memorial at RAAF Base Point Cook at the memorial’s inauguration in 1938.
In 2016, a second copper canister was interred in the AFC Memorial to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the deployment of the Australian Flying Corps in the Great War, containing the names of 11,401 Australian Flying Corps and Royal Australian Air Force airmen and airwomen who have lost their lives on operational service to that date.
The Air Force Association was established in 1919 to foster the spirit of friendship formed in service, to perpetuate the honour and ideals of the Royal Australian Air Force and to provide support to members in need.
Today the association continues to support the welfare and wellbeing of veterans through advocacy, social networking and commemorative events.
“Members of the community are invited to join our serving members past and present at RAAF Base Point Cook, the birthplace of Australian military aviation
to participate in this historic and memorable centenary event,” Mr Schiller says.
The Armistice Commemoration will include an historical aircraft flypast followed by a Commemoration and Remembrance Ceremony, with music from Werribee Concert Band.
A wall of red poppies created by the 5000 Poppies organisation – that has created stunning poppy displays for commemorative events all over the world, including the Australian War Memorial – will provide a stunning backdrop to the memorial itself.
For further information, visit raafavic.org.au or call 9813 4600.