Brisbane’s main Remembrance Day service was held as usual at the Shrine of Remembrance in the city. I attended a small function held near my local World War I memorial at Windsor.
One of the sad ironies of Remembrance Day is that probably one of the things some veterans of war try to do more than anything else is to forget. I suppose the very least the rest of us can do is to regularly try to remember why that is.
The event was organised by the local Windsor and Districts Historical Society, a local group based in the old Council chambers of the former Windsor Town Council (which was abolished when the greater Brisbane City Council was formed in 1925). I think it’s very valuable to keep the history of small localities alive, particularly when they are areas that have become swallowed up in the vastness of a modern city, and these local historical societies play rarely recognised but immensely important part in making that happen.
Prior to 11am, a short talk was given about the life of one Queensland soldier who signed up under age, went to the war and was killed in the heavy fighting near Ypres. Focusing on just one person’s story, and the people directly touched just by that one person’s death, is a way of pulling the horror of war back to the comprehendible, individual level.
The Windsor Memorial is a nice sandstone shrine, built in the 1920s by the former Town Council in a park across the road from the Chambers. The park is now a large island in the middle what is now a very busy main road (which may become a somewhat smaller island if a proposed new Busway goes ahead). Speaking of busways and war history, it was interesting to read that construction of another busway currently underway in the city has been halted by the discovery of an abandoned underground World War II air raid shelter.
It is curious that while Anzac Day services have gone from strength to strength in recent years, the focus on Remembrance Day has remained fairly muted. I’ll leave others to speculate on why that might be.
And here’s a good short and sombre post over by Hamish over at Webdairy.