Armistice Centenary: honour the World War 1 memories of your family

An opportunity to tell your family’s World War 1 story

On November 11 it will be the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

We would like to pay tribute to your loved ones involved in the conflict – and there were thousands of them. 

More than 400,000 Australians enlisted to serve in military forces during the war. The nation’s population was less than 5 million at the time.

Just scroll down and send us pictures and a brief summary of your loved ones actions to be shared as a lasting memory.

Almost 62,000 Australians died fighting for our freedom and in service of our nation in the war, while another 156,000 were wounded.

In all, 20 million people died in World War I, about half of them civilians, and another 21 million were wounded.

Australia’s involvement in the First World War began when Britain and Germany went to war on  August 4, 1914, and both Prime Minister Joseph Cook and Opposition Leader Andrew Fisher, who were in the midst of an election campaign, pledged full support for Britain. 

The first action of Australian troops was in German New Guinea in September 1914. In April 1915, Australian troops landed at Gallipoli in Turkey. In 1916 they fought for the first time on the Western Front in Europe and in the Middle East. 

It was on the Western Front where Australia suffered most of its war casualties. They served in many significant battles, including Fromelles, Bullecourt, Messines and Passchendaele

Australian women volunteered for service in auxiliary roles, and nurses were allowed to serve overseas. Australian nurses served in Egypt, France, Greece, and India, often in trying conditions or close to the front, where they were exposed to shelling and aerial bombardment as well as outbreaks of disease.

The armistice that ended the war, also known as the Armistice of Compiègne (the location in France where it was signed), came into force at 11am on November 11.

There will be a national ceremony on Remembrance Day, November 11, at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra as well as several local commemorations. The Memorial is running a five-week public program starting October 5 in commemoration of the event. It includes a display of 62,000 handcrafted, red poppies on the Memorial's grounds, in honour of the those who gave their lives in the service of their country. 

In the coming weeks we will be publishing more stories about the of World War I and sharing the individual stories that are sent to us by readers.