Reflecting on war, loss and peace

Filed in Just In by November 11, 2021

THE heavens held off, while Scone stopped to remember the fallen today and marked two minutes silence at 11am.

Veteran Val Quinell led proceedings and opened the ceremony with a recount of how Remembrance Day evolved beginning with the Armistice being signed in a train carriage in France and the beginning of observing two minutes silence.

“The silence was proposed by an Australian journalist Edward Honey who was working in Fleet Street. At about the same time, a South African statesman made a similar proposal to the British Cabinet which endorsed it. King George V personally requested all the people of the British Empire to suspend normal activities for two minutes on the hour of the armistice which stayed the world wide carnage of the four preceeding years and marked the victory of Right and Freedom.”

On the second anniversary of Armistice began another tradition, when unknown soldiers were interred with fully military honours in Westminster Abbey in London and at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. When the unknown soldiers were entombed in London more than a million people attended to pay their respects.

Allied nations throughout the world chose that time to inter their unknown soldiers back on home soil. On the 75th anniversary of Armistice the remains of an unknown soldier were exhumed from a military cemetery in France and laid to rest at 11am on Remembrance Day in 1993 at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. 

Mayor Maurice Collison gave an address and recounted the story Henry George Ashford, from Harry Willie’s book on the local ANZACs. The poem In Flander’s Fields was read by Adelaide Hobson from Scone Public School and Madeleine Bridge and Albert Yuille from St Mary’s Primary School read the poem We Shall Keep the Faith.

While the Scone RSL Pipes and Drums played the Lament, wreaths were laid by community organisations and local schools and then two minutes silence was observed.

The Ebbing Tide, a poem written by former Scone resident Tomas Hamilton, was read by Indi Welsh and Dylan Denley from Scone High School and Emily Turner from Scone Grammar School read How Long Does it Take.

Reverand Nate gave the Benediction and Hamish Guiana concluded the ceremony with the Australian National Anthem.

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