Remembering the end of WWI at Axford Park

Published: Friday, 2 November 2018 at 4:24:37 PM

On Sunday 11 November a special ceremony and community picnic will be held in Mount Hawthorn at Axford Park from 10.45am to mark 100 years since the end of WWI.

“The Centenary of Armistice is an opportunity to reflect, take a minute of silence and also to celebrate the end of a war that impacted so many Australian and New Zealanders and generations of their families,” said Mayor Emma Cole.

“Included in the ceremony is a special tribute to animals at war, particularly the horses, mules and dogs that accompanied the troops and gave their lives, both in World War I and all wars since.”

RSL President David Millar fondly remembers the dog that stayed by his side during his tour of Vietnam.

“I had a dog called Archie in Vietnam and having dogs was a common occurance both in the Vietnam war and other wars. We will be remembering the contribution of dogs with a poem that will be read during the service.”

“Hundreds and thousands of horses and mules died during World War I. An estimated 130,000 horses, donkeys and camels left Albany from 1914 to travel to Egypt and we understand that only one returned,” he said.

Purple poppies will be worn by distinguished guests to recognise the contribution of animals at war. When worn alongside the traditional red poppy, purple poppies are a reminder that both animals and people have served together in conflict.

"Animals played a significant part in the war effort and often had a big impact on the lives and wellbeing of serving men and women,” said Mayor Cole.

"My Great Grandfather worked with the mules and horses during World War I and I will always be grateful to an intuitive mule who saved his life. Together they were making their way to the forward gun pits when the mule stopped - petrified - as they both approached a cross roads. Seconds later, shells bombarded the cross roads. As soon as this barrage ceased the mule quietly proceeded on as directed."

“Following our community's support for the annual ANZAC Day event at Axford Park, we’d love to welcome everyone back to Axford Park to celebrate the Centenary of Armistice and join us for a family picnic afterwards,” she said.

Local school students will be involved in the ceremony with students from Kyilla Primary School reading a poem and the Aranmore Catholic College choir performing. Students from other surrounding schools will also be laying wreaths at the event.

The Remembrance Day event is presented by the City of Vincent and the Mount Hawthorn Sub branch of the Returned Services League of WA, with funding support from the Commonwealth Government’s Armistice Centenary Grants Program.

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