By Greg Peters
This year we commemorate the centenary of the Armistice which marks the end of the First World War. The significance of this anniversary is a time to honour the service and sacrifice of our original ANZAC’s, and the generations of Australian servicemen and women who have defended our values and freedoms, in wars, conflicts and peace operations throughout a Century of Service.
Events that took place 100 years ago meant a great deal to the residents of Dereel then; and just as much now as we reflect and move forward.
Part of the history of Dereel is the proud legacy to the soldiers, who attended Dereel State School No 748. Those heroic soldier’s names are now preserved for the future; by the actions of Dereel residents and pupils 100 years ago in commissioning the Roll of Honour which can still be seen today in the Dereel Community Hall. They also planted twenty-five cypress trees in the school grounds as an Avenue of Honour. Old age is catching up now for the cypress trees and they are declining in number.
However, both these events have perpetuated the memory of those twenty-five soldiers who went from Dereel and district to fight in the First World War. For they were brothers, fathers, sons, and friends who left Australia to defend freedom abroad.
Four of the soldiers made the supreme sacrifice, and four were wounded and it is these facts which testify to both the courage and sacrifice made by those soldiers. They were at the Front, in the thick of the fighting and all played their part as ANZAC’s in the First World War.
Anzac Day is the day on which we remember all Australians who served and died in war and on operational service past and present. The spirit of Anzac, with its qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice, continues to have meaning and relevance for our sense of national identity. Lest We Forget