The lead up to ANZAC dawn service brought a great deal of frustration as the two IT experts put together their project to produce what I would describe as a very professional streaming of the dawn service. It was very heartful to see the co-operation between the two sub-branches to hold a an ANZAC Service of which we can be proud .
Our thanks also go to the efforts put in by the council to make sure that our mortar, recovered from the old Bass Hill Club, was in place for ANZAC Day.
Our ANZAC luncheon held in newly furnished auditorium at the Chester Hill RSL Club was very successful and it was pleasing to have the company of our State President Ray James and his wife Pauline.
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3 weeks ago
It is my sad duty to report the death of two people.
1. Patricia Walker, beloved wife of Member James (Jim) Walker.
Monday, 31 May, 10.30am, East Chapel Rookwood Crematorium.
Member to wear Bass Hill Tie, Committee full uniform with white shirt. No medals.
2. Jim Green, husband of long serving Member of our Women's Auxiliary Joy Green. No funeral details yet. ... See MoreSee Less
1 month ago
I was asked by Member Tony Reidy of Grenfell to put together the Australian and New Zealand Flags with the RAN White Ensign.
I hope he likes it. ... See MoreSee Less
Ken Heath has asked a genuine question. Should the flag of Australia be on the left? Can anyone give us an answer?
Shouldn't the Oz flag be on the left??
One of the many schools, aged care facilities and other organisations we attended and in most cases addressed the community on the spirit of ANZAC. ... See MoreSee Less
ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the Chester Hill Memorial, NSW was very successful where a combined Bass Hill and Chester Hill - Carramar RSL sub-Branches presented a solemn commemoration.
The following is the Prologue and Address given by the two presidents of the sub - Branches.
Bass Hill RSL Sub-Branch
The story of the Australians, who served during the First World War, is one of great triumph and tragedy. It is also one of almost unimaginable losses to a young nation.
World War One impacted on Australia like nothing before or since. From a population of just under 5 million, 471,000 enlisted, 332,000 served overseas, and 61,000 never came home. Of the 270,000 who returned, more than half had been wounded – and others had mental scars that never healed.
Australian and New Zealand soldiers, sailors, and airmen and women have served side-by-side not only in World War One, but also during the Second World War, in Korea, Malaya, Vietnam and more recently in Timor Leste, the Solomon Islands and Afghanistan.
The ANZAC service and sacrifice has had a long-lasting influence. The courage, endurance, sacrifice, and mateship shown by the ANZAC’s has evident throughout our history. That ANZAC spirit comes to the fore whenever Australians and New Zealanders face tragedy or adversity, wherever they are around the world.
This time each year, we pause to remember the sacrifice of these brave men and women not only our former members but also our current members of the defence forces.
This is a day of thanks and quiet reflection on what a wonderful, lucky nation in which we live. It is a time to reflect on Australia’s commitment to continue to contribute to peace in other parts of the world.
I also wish to make mention of the number of “driveway services” that will be conducted today at people’s homes. Many cannot attend Services like this, but their unfailing recognition of those who served, those that died, those who suffered in defending democracy, show their remembrance and gratitude in keeping this a free country.
On the 31st March this year, The Royal Australian Air Force celebrated its centenary having been formed in 1921. It was originally known as the Australian Air Force until June of the same year, when King George V approved the prefix ‘Royal’.
The Royal Australian Air Force then became the second Royal air arm in the Commonwealth, after the Royal Air Force. The address this morning will dwell on the predecessor of the RAAF.
President – Chester Hill - Carramar RSL Sub-Branch
The birth of Australian airmen goes back to the commencement of World War One. In 1914 Australia’s only military aviation base, the Central Flying School, newly established at Point Cook, was equipped with two flying instructors and five flimsy training aircraft.
From this modest beginning Australia became the only British dominion to set up a flying corps for service during the First World War. Known as the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) and organised as a corps of the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), its four squadrons usually served separately under the orders of Britain’s Royal Flying Corps.
As we all know, the ANZAC tradition started on this day in 1915 and although no Australian Flying Corps squadrons were stationed near Gallipoli at that time, at least 26 Australians are believed to have served as either pilots or observers with the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Navy Air Service operating from The Ark Royal.
The Australian Flying Corps’ first complete flying unit, No. 1 Squadron, left Australia for the Middle East in March 1916. By late 1917 three more squadrons, Nos 2, 3, and 4, had been formed to fight in France.
Throughout 1916 and much of 1917, No. 1 Squadron flew inferior aircraft, such as BE2c against German opponents who, were equipped with the more advanced Fokkers. However, newly equipped with Bristol Fighters, the allied airmen began to gain the advantage by the end of 1917.
It was different for Australian Flying Corps members who served in the Western Front squadrons. They arrived in England between December 1916 and March 1917 and after completing eight-months’ training they were sent to the front with Nos 2, 3, and 4 Squadrons.
The days when enemy airmen waved to each other on reconnaissance flights were long gone. Aircraft now carried machine-guns as standard equipment, with interrupter gears, it enabled pilots in single-seat fighters to fire straight ahead through their propellers.
Not everyone was suited to this new field of military operations. Many of its recruits came from the ranks of the Light Horse; most of these already had years of active service. The Squadron also drew men from other backgrounds: the AFC’s only Victoria Cross winner, Captain Frank McNamara, had been a schoolteacher.
Given the nature of warfare on the Western Front, it is not difficult to imagine why men would seek to transfer into the Australian Flying Corps. They preferred to face it in a corps which offered the promise of independence and glamour, as well as a degree of comfort unknown to the men in the trenches. Men who had already served in the ground forces reasoned that if they survived the day’s flying, they would at least have the chance to sleep in a comfortable bed.
Pilots who survived training were posted to operational squadrons where the thought of meeting the enemy in the sky was enough to give even the bravest men pause for thought. Harry Cobby, who went on to become the AFC's leading ace, admitted his own fear of being posted to the front. He said.
“the nervousness assailed me during the months of training in England, when I gave thought to the fact that as soon as I was qualified to fly an aeroplane, I would be sent off to the war to do battle with the enemy in the sky and on the ground.”
Owen Lewis, an observer in No. 3 Squadron, was an experienced airman. An entry in his diary on a day when bad weather prevented flying reveals his feelings about operations:
“This morning I was pleased when the weather was fairly dud – I am afraid I am always pleased when that is so."
His fears were justified. On 12th April 1918, the day after he had teamed up with a new pilot, both men were killed in action.
During the last weeks of the fighting in the area, No. 1 Squadron flew in support of the allied advance into Palestine. The war against Turkey ended on 31st October 1918. No. 1 Squadron returned to Egypt after the armistice and embarked for Australia in January 1919.
The war against Germany lasted only a few days longer. As the German army on the Western Front retreated eastwards, their airmen continued to fight. October and early November 1918 were characterised by massive sweeps of allied aircraft over German lines. Even on the last day of the war, No. 2 Squadron was bombing the Germans, while No. 4 Squadron flew escort.
After the armistice No. 4 Squadron was the only Australian unit that entered Germany as part of the British Army Occupation. The Australian Squadrons that served on the Western Front left for home in early March 1919.
During the war, 460 officers and 2,234 men served in the AFC and 178 were killed. By First World War standards, these casualties were light.
The AFC was a pioneering corps that helped to lay the groundwork for the Royal Australian Air Force. The AFC made a significant contribution to Australian civil aviation.
We honour our ANZAC’s, and we remember them. Lest we forget. ... See MoreSee Less
Bass Hill RSL Sub Branch was live.
2 months ago
Join us live from Chester Hill RSL for our Dawn Service ... See MoreSee Less
The Bass Hill RSL sub-Branch wish to acknowledge the expert assistance of Lucas Gooche with the transmission of this Commemorative Service due to his expertise in media production.
I would like to thank Gary and Ron for all the work they did behind the scenes to get this video done,good effort,Michael Bowman President Chester Hill-Carramar RSL sub branch
Good on you Michael.