100 Years at Australian Parliament, Canberra.

The hundreds of thousands of poppies to mark one-hundred years of the end of the First World War have gone from other sites in Canberra (Australia’s capital city), but the 270 000 handmade poppies at Australian Parliament were still here until the end of the weekend.

I drove past last week, but on Saturday we actually stopped and took some pictures.

As part of the British Empire, Australia committed to the war in mid-1914 – before Britain even declared it. Most of our contributions are hidden; because we were part of the Empire, our troops are often recorded as “British” (as were New Zealand, Canadian etc. contributions to the war effort).

I’m glad we’ve done some beautiful things to commemorate the event.

Poppies for Remembrance Day – 100 Years

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Thousands of Poppies First world War One Sonya Heaney 11th November 2018 Australian War Memorial Canberra.

Thousands and thousands of handmade poppies at the Australian War Memorial for Remembrance Day, and a hundred years since the end of the First World War. Australia committed to the war before Britain even declared it, and Canberra turned on a sunny, hot, blue-skied, beautiful day for the occasion.

Because I live in Canberra, love history, and have a military father, I visit the War Memorial quite often. However, today was special, and because I’ve been overseas for much of the past few months, and today was the last day to see all the poppies before they go, (there are poppies at Parliament House, too, but they’re there for another week), I had to visit.

Australian War Memorial Canberra

(I’m copying this from my other blog, because I read and review a lot of military-themed books. Check out the Australian Special Forces uniforms!)

We had a public holiday yesterday. I think it used to be the Melbourne Cup holiday, but the ACT Government moved it and renamed it. Whatever it is, it’s just an excuse to not go to work!

I went with my parents to the Australian War Memorial here in Canberra, which – despite being called a “memorial” – is actually a huge war museum to rival those anywhere else in the world.

The first picture is of some of the Victoria Cross soldiers’ uniforms. The one on the left belongs to giant SAS Special Forces soldier Ben Roberts-Smith (or HERE). I had to get a blurry photo just because it’s so huge (he is nearly 6’7″, which is massive for a Special Forces soldier)!

It was SO crowded yesterday, with a gazillion tour bus-loads of visitors. It’s interesting watching people who have never been there before. There were actually people who were walking around crying, that’s how moved they were.

My father is a war veteran, so we occasionally drop by and just look at a couple of things (usually things involving the Vietnam War) and then go for a glass of wine! It’s free, so it’s easy to do. However, this is the first time I’ve been where they had a teeny bit of security at the entrance.

The main reason we went is because Mephisto, a World War One tank, is on loan to the museum at the moment, and we hadn’t seen it before.

What’s really upsetting is that at the entrance there’s a boat from the Gallipoli landings, and every time we go there, everyone is running their hands all over it, despite being told not to. It’s astonishing how disrespectful people can be to such important historical pieces.

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