A Warm Welcome!
2015 Marks the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli.
Weeks after war was declared in August 1914, long before the suburbs of Canning Vale, Southern River or Huntingdale were established, Henry Rieke of Walter Street in Gosnells, signed up with the Australian Imperial Force, joining the 11th Battalion, the first battalion recruited in Western Australia. Together with the 9th, 10th and 12th Battalions it formed the 3rd Brigade. After just two weeks of training in WA, the Brigade was sent to Egypt for training and less than six months later it was then sent on to Gallipoli.
The 3rd Brigade was the first ashore at ANZAC cove on 25 April 1915, landing at 4:30am to provide cover for the following troops. On that first day, 25th April, Private Henry Rieke was killed, and now lies in Row O, Grave 14 at Lone Pine cemetery.
The 11th Battalion was heavily involved in defending the front line of the Anzac beachhead during the early part of the campaign, and later it made attacks at the southern end of the Anzac position before the battle of Lone Pine. It continued to serve at Anzac Cove until the evacuation in December and then went on to serve on the Western Front in France until the armistice in 1918.
Henry Rieke was just one of 1115 men killed from the 11th Battalion during the course of the war.
The 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing is a time to pause and remember the sacrifice of over 60,000 Australians who lost their lives, and the many more who were wounded, gassed or taken prisoner. We also remember the sacrifice of the women and families left behind.
For more information on the ANZAC story check out the new state government website for the centenary of ANZAC celebrations, www.anzac.dpc.wa.gov.au. The RSL WA website has details of the many centenary events being held in the lead-up to ANZAC Day this year, as well as details of the memorial services being held on the day.
Locally the Gosnells RSL is having a March and Service on Saturday 25th April. The march will assemble at 6:25am and leave the Coles car park on Albany Highway and then proceed up Albany Highway, in to the Gosnells Council car park, and along the south side of the council buildings to the gardens.
As always, our local schools will not fail to observe ANZAC Day with services and special assemblies. I have always enjoyed the school ANZAC celebrations and find it to be a privilege to commemorate the day with the next generation.
I hope you and your family take the time to remember the sacrifice of our current and former servicemen and women this ANZAC Day.