Days of Remembrance
The following are the days of remembrance, in date order, that are observed by the Devonport RSL. Please note that anyone and everyone is invited and encouraged to attend these memorial services.
National Servicemen's Day- 14 Februaryyy
Between 1951 and 1972, a total of 287,000 young Australian men were called up in two separate schemes for compulsory training in the Navy, Army and Air Force. Of them, 212 died on active service in Borneo and Vietnam. National Service was part of Australia’s defense preparedness for three decades.
Monday 14th February marks National Servicemen’s Day, when we honour the hundreds of thousands of young Australian men who served our nation through compulsory military service after the Second World War.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Andrew Gee said it was important to recognise those who stood up when called upon to defend our country.
Kapyong Day - 24th April
The Battle of Kapyong (22-25th April 1951), also known as the Battle of Jiaping, was fought during the Korean War between United Nations (UN) forces - primarily Australian and Canadian - and the Chinese communist People's Volunteer Army. Today, the Battle is regarded as one of the most famous actions fought by the Australian and Canadian armies in Korea.
To honour this battle, a representative of the Devonport RSL lays a wreath at the Cenotaph located on Victoria Parade at 11.00am to commemorate this occasion
Anzac Day - 25th April
ANZAC Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, originally commemorated by both countries on 25th April every year to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War I.
It now more broadly commemorates all those who served and died in military operations for their countries. ANZAC Day is also observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn, and Tonga.
ANZAC Day marks the anniversary of the first campaign that led to major casualties for Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC Day remains one of the most important national occasions of both Australia and New Zealand, a rare instance of two sovereign countries not only sharing the same day of remembrance, but making reference to both countries in its name.
Traditionally, sprigs of rosemary are worn on ANZAC Day and sometimes on Remembrance Day. Rosemary has particular significance for Australians, as it is found growing wild on the Gallipoli peninsula.
ANZAC Day is remembered by the Devonport RSL through a Dawn Service and Morning Service. Both services are conducted at the Cenotaph located on Victoria Parade.
The Dawn Service commences at 5.45am at the Cenotaph. After the service, everyone is invited back to the RSL for breakfast. The Morning Service commences at 11.00am.
Prior to the Morning Service there is a March for those who wish to participate that leaves from opposite the boat ramp in Victoria Parade at 10.45am and proceeds north, along Victoria Parade, to the Cenotaph.
After the Morning Service the March proceeds back along Victoria Parade and continues on to the Devonport RSL in Macfie Street, where they "fall out" for a well-earned drink. Lunch is also available.
Vietnam Veterans Day - 18th August
Vietnam Veterans Day was originally known as Long Tan Day, chosen to commemorate the men of D Company, 6RAR who fought in the battle of Long Tan in 1966.
On that day, 108 Australian and New Zealand soldiers fought a pitched battle against over 2,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops in a rubber plantation not far from the small village of Long Tan.
The Australians prevailed, but only after fighting in torrential rain for four hours. They were nearly overrun, but were saved by a timely ammunition resupply, accurate artillery fire from the nearby Australian base, and the arrival of reinforcements by armoured personnel carrier.
Eighteen Australians lost their lives and 24 were wounded, the largest number of casualties in one operation since the Australian task force had arrived a few months earlier.
After the battle, the bodies of 245 enemy soldiers were found, but there was evidence that many more bodies had been carried away.
To remember this day, the Devonport RSL conducts a Memorial Service. The Service is held at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall located on Victoria Parade (near the entrance to the Mersey River) at 11.00am.
Remembrance Day - 11th November
Remembrance Day is observed on 11th November each year to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918.
Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month", in accordance with the Armistice, signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5.12 and 5.20 that morning.
("At the 11th hour" refers to the passing of the 11th hour, or 11.00am). World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28th June 1919.
The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem, "In Flanders Fields".
These poppies bloomed across some of the worst battlefields of Flanders in World War I, their brilliant red colour an appropriate symbol for the blood spilled in the war.
The Flanders poppy has long been a part of Remembrance Day, the ritual that marks the Armistice, and is also increasingly being used as part of ANZAC Day observances
Remembrance Day is recognized at the Devonport Cenotaph at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month each year.