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On June 28 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand – heir to the throne of the mighty Austrian-Hungarian Empire – was assassinated in Sarejevo. That event is considered the catalyst for the start of World War 1. However, from the late 19th century tensions throughout Europe were high as the macro-politics of the region played out. Sarejevo’s location in Bosnia put it at the strategic heart of the ongoing push and pull of the European empires. The great European alliances had been mobilized and “The Great War” began.
This was to be the “war to end all wars”. Alas, history has proven otherwise.
Australia’s entry into World War 1 coincided with the British declaration of war on Germany on August 14, 1914. Germany had launched an invasion on France through the previously unaligned Belgium, with whom Britain has a mutual defence pact.
The first significant Australian act of war was on 17 Sept 1914 when the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Forces took possession of New Guinea, which had been under German control. However, the engagement that is credited as shaping the Australian national identity like no other was the infamous landing on 25 April 1915 and subsequent eight month campaign at Gallipoli ( in latter-day Turkey) where our troops had been despatched by their British commanders to help deal with the territorial aspirations of the Ottoman Empire.
Post Gallipoli the AIF Light Horse brigade remained in the Middle East and North Africa to defend the strategically important Suez canal and then onwards with the British into Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. The infantry division progressively transferred to the battlefields of France and the associated horrors of the many battles on the European Western Front. Over forty thousand Australians were killed or injured on the Western Front alone.
Approximately sixty-five million men marched to this war and over eight million never returned. More than fifty percent of all soldiers were wounded. From the fledgling Australian nation of less than five million people, nearly four hundred and twenty thousand Australian men enlisted for battle, of whom more than sixty thousand were killed and one hundred and fifty-six thousand wounded, gassed or taken prisoner. This war affected communities deeply and permanently.
Australian enlistments represented nearly forty percent of the male population aged between eighteen and forty-four years of age. Anecdotally, we also know that many younger or older men misrepresented their birthdates to enlist. This left a huge void at home but Australian women volunteered in droves for service in auxiliary roles such as cooks, drivers, munitions workers and farm workers. Nurses were welcomed into the armed forces and served near the front lines in Egypt, France and Germany but applications from women for overseas service from other professions were generally refused.
World War 1 effectively ended with the signing of an armistice on 11 November 1918. When news of the armistice reached Australia late in the day on November 11, 1918, celebrations around the nation were exuberant. The streets of Melbourne were thronged with crowds who climbed on trams, waved flags and made as much noise as they could with songs, firecrackers and musical instruments.
November 11 continues to be recognized annually as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day, with 11 am being the universal time for a one minute reflective silence…. the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Our brand new Townhouse release by Mirvac can save owners an average of 80% off their energy bills, featuring revolutionary solar technology valued at $20k - all offered as standard for the very first time. Priced from $439,900 these townhouses won't last long! Book an appointment today: http://bit.ly/2LZmlgJ
Congratulations to Jagjit & his family who won our Herald Sun / Transurban Run for the Kids 2019 competition!! A fun weekend hitting the slopes at Mt Hotham looked cold - but SO epic. Tell us your favourite Winter escape destination & you never know....it could be next years major giveaway!!
Are you a Masterchef Australia fan?! Did you know that the highly sought after 'immunity pins' are made just around the corner at a jeweller in Melton!! Pop into John McAleer Jewellery Design for the inside scoop on the pins as well as an array of custom jewellery pieces.
Check out the progress of the impressive Rockbank Station Upgrade, expected to be complete in just a month or so! Stay tuned for more updates and what this means for our evolving community. #communtiyinaction
Who remembers our HUGE 'Weekend of Wonderment' back in 2016?! From henna tattoos to a farm animal petting zoo we offered it all. What were some of your most memorable moments from our epic event?
Humans of Woodlea photoblog series launching soon. Read inspiring true stories from real Woodlea residents, just like you. Read more about this exciting series here http://bit.ly/2XIujSx
Together with Free to Feed – a social enterprise showcasing the incredible cooking talents of new migrants – we're hosting a series of cultural feasts & we want you to join us! Learn to cook 10 authentic dishes & then get to feast on all the food with your nearest & dearest. For YOUR CHANCE TO WIN, simply like our post, tag who you would bring along & like our page. Winner will be announced next week.
Did you know that excercise is just as beneficial for your mental fitness as it is your physical fitness? Excercise is known to relieve stress & release happy endorphins which can boost your overall mood AND help you sleep better! Don't let this Winter weather deter you either - We Love Aintree have a full calendar of events (with many of them indoors) & it's also the perfect oppurtunity to get a friend & encourage each other along.