Yanchep residents pay their respects on Anzac Day

Yanchep Netball Club players Maddison Moltzan, Aaliah Brown and Adilene Phillips at the Anzac Day service in Yanchep National Park today. Picture: Anita McInnes

TODAY marked the 107th anniversary of the landing of allied forces on the Gallipoli Peninsular in Turkey.

Organisations and individuals either marching or taking part in the morning service held at Yanchep National Park included Australian Red Cross, Two Rocks SES, Yanchep Police, career and volunteer firefighters, Marine Rescue Two Rocks, Kelmscott Pinjarra 10th Light Horse Memorial Troop, the Challenge Brass Band and the Northside Highlanders.

Yanchep Netball Club members – Maddison Moltzan, Aaliah and Indiana Brown and Adilene Phillips – also took part.

Yanchep Two Rocks RSL president Bill Jones said the original Anzacs who took part in that “forever famous if poorly planned and generally unsuccessful military campaign”’ have now passed into legend.

“In the year 2022 however, we would continue to hope that on or near every such day, well into the future, we the citizens of our country will always remember to pause and reflect upon them and the sacrifices they made, in order that we are here today, living in a free and generally peaceful society,’’ he said.

“Not only did those Gallipoli veterans endure eight months of constant fighting for very little gain, they suffered a huge number of casualties, as was expected in the way that wars were conducted in those times.

Mr Jones said about 10,000 Australians and New Zealanders paid the ultimate price in losing their lives.

Derek Nannup represented Indigenous people at the morning service held in Yanchep this morning. Picture: Anita McInnes

“Many more were wounded, some several times, whilst others, as is always the case on battlefields, succumbed to disease and accidents.

“The survivors of the Gallipoli campaign counted themselves lucky to finally be evacuated in December 1915.

“Only then to be sent to the even greater horrors of the Western Front in Europe – out of the frying pan into the fire so to speak.

“They arrived in Europe in the middle of a typical winter with all of the usual snow, rain, storms and mud to replace the harsh dustbowl of Gallipoli.

“Many more were to perish, be wounded or taken prisoner during the next three years of horrific trench warfare, until several battle victories by the Allied Forces resulted in a cease fire being called at 11am on the 11th of November 1918.

“So ended World War I, still regarded as being the most horrific conflict in modern history.

“It is of course not just that war we remember today – many further wars followed over the years.’’

Mr Jones said Anzac Day had been set aside in Australia’s national calendar so that Australians could collectively give thanks to all of the servicemen and women along with many civilians in support roles, who have all put their lives at risk for Australia and New Zealand in particular.

Two Rocks SES members prepare to place a wreath at the Anzac Day service held in Yanchep National Park. Picture: Anita McInnes

“We acknowledge the losses and sacrifices of not just those who served in the military forces but also their families and friends who stayed at home.’’

He said there was also thought for the vast number of innocent civilians, especially the old, disabled and young children who were touched by the horrors of war during the devastation of their cities, towns and villages by opposing forces.

“This is sadly evident at this very moment during the war in Ukraine.

“So too we remember the huge number of loyal and trusting animals who served alongside the military in times of conflict and endured the same horrific conditions.

“Just people’s pets and animals of the wild, who will never understand what humans are doing to destroy each other.

“Over the years, following on from the original Anzacs during WWI, the Australian military forces have been involved in the further conflicts of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Borneo and Malaya, Cambodia, Somalia, Rwanda, the Gulf War, Solomon Islands, East Timor, Afghanistan, Iraq and other peacekeeping duties.’’

He said the face of warfare had changed, along with general military progress and technological advances.

“Thankfully, gone are the days of troops leaping out of trenches to run towards artillery, rifle and machine gun fire and grenades.

“So too in general, where the opponents adhere to the accepted rules of warfare, the massive collateral damage suffered by the civilian population in war zones, has been much reduced.

Sasha Rimington and Indi from the Kelmscott Pinjarra 10th Light Horse Memorial Troop at the Yanchep National Park Anzac Day service this morning. Picture: Anita McInnes

“Ironically these days the rules of engagement have been formulated not just by much more educated military hierarchy, but also by lawyers and other assorted experts.

“Yet there are “no guarantees” as can be witnessed in the Ukraine at the moment where regular atrocities and war crimes are sadly taking place.

“War of course is never to be encouraged.

“Dialogue is much less harmful and cheaper.

“Overall, those who have served Australia in times of conflict may be proud of their achievements and know that they are appreciated by the citizens of the country.

“They almost always have volunteered to carry out distasteful work under the direction of the national government, whenever it has been deemed necessary.

“There is high likelihood of there always being military forces in every country far into the future.

“Hopefully the chances of being needed in times of conflict, may be few if we manage to become wiser people as we progress?

“Thank you to all those of the past, who to this very moment, have had a hand in allowing all the rest of us to continue to live in freedom, peace and prosperity.’’