Recently, Sydney’s population hit the 5 million mark.
In 1915, the entire Australian population was 4.9 million people.
At the time of the first World War around 420,000 Australians enlisted for service, including 330,000 males aged 18 to 44 years - representing 38.7% of the country’s male population!
Nearly 70% of these were wounded or died for their country.
400 came from the Central Coast.
[Image: The Gosford Times, 30 April 1915]
When war broke out, Australia promised to provide 20,000 men to the British Government. But they didn’t count on the country’s enthusiasm.
The average enlistment rate was closer to 8,000 a month, for the first 4 months of 1915 alone. That year saw the largest intake ever of enlisted personnel, with 165,912 of the 416,809 who went to World War 1 signing up over 12 months.
According to the Wyong Family History Group, WW1 enlistments from that area totalled 148, with 33 soldiers never making it back to the shire.
Similar figures signed up in Gosford.
Sadly not all of them came home.
Nationwide, it was the worst war we’ve ever fought, in terms of sacrifice.
For Australia, the First World War remains the costliest conflict for deaths and casualties. From a population of under 5 million people, nearly half a million men enlisted...more than 60,000 were killed, 156,000 were wounded in action, including being gassed or shell-shocked.
Over 4,000 were taken prisoner.
Another 431,446 suffered sickness or non-battle injuries, like trench foot.
The overall casualty rate was 64.8%, one of the highest of any war ever.
Australian women also volunteered for service - in ‘auxiliary roles’ like nurses, cooks, drivers, interpreters, munitions workers, and farm workers here at home.
While the government welcomed nurses into the armed forces, it rejected offers from women in other professions to serve overseas.
On Anzac Day we salute them all.
Commemorations and Ceremonies across the Coast include:
Berowra RSL Sub-Branch ANZAC Day Main Service
7.15am: Assemble at old netball court, western side of Berowra oval. Step off at 7.30am and March to the Memorial in the grounds of the Community Centre.
Brisbane Water Legacy
8:45am for 9am: ANZAC Day service around the Legacy Village flagpole, followed by morning tea in the Legacy Hall.
NOTE: The Legacy Office will be closed on Anzac Day, reopening 8.30am Wednesday 26th April.
Catherine Hill Bay
6am: ANZAC Dawn Service at War Memorial, 69 Flowers Drive.
Davistown RSL Sub-Branch
6am: Dawn Service commences at the club.
Doyalson-Wyee RSL Sub-Branch Service & March
5am: Dawn Service at the Cenotaph. Breakfast available in the club afterwards.
8.30am: Assemble at the Raw Challenge course on the Pacific Highway for the March to the RSL grounds and Cenotaph for ceremony.
11am: Service at the War Memorial.
5.15am: March Commences from Woy Woy Railway Station, for the Dawn Service at Woy Woy Memorial Garden at 5:30am.
8am: a short Wreath laying service will be held at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the waterfront.
5.30am: Dawn Service at the Cenotaph in Memorial Park.
11.15am: Assemble at Campbell Street for the March commencing at 11.30am, heading to the Cenotaph for the Memorial Service at 11.50am.
Gosford RSL Sub-Branch Services
5.45am: Step off from the Gosford Police Station, for a service at the Cenotaph at 6am.
10am: the main March begins at Kibble Park, along Mann Street to the Cenotaph for the Service at 11am.
10am: Anzac Day BBQ Brunch for the community, at Matcham Hall.
Morisset Country Club RSL
6am: Dawn Service
10.30am: Main Service
Ourimbah Lisarow RSL Club
5.30am: Dawn Service at Ourimbah RSL CLub Memorial.
1.30pm: Assemble at Yates Road for the March - heading south along Pacific Hwy, past RSL Club, turn right into Dogtrap Rd and then left into school grounds for Main Service at Ourimbah Primary School at 2pm.
10am: Service at Memorial Hall.
Swansea RSL Sub-Branch
11am: Assemble for the March at McDonalds, head north along Pacific Highway to the Service at the Rising Sun Memorial at Swansea RSL, at 11.30am.
Terrigal & Wamberal RSL Sub-Branch
5.15am: Assemble at Terrigal Police Station, for the March to the Dawn Service. Includes an 'Iroquois' helicopter flyover at Terrigal Beach to mark the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan in the Vietnam War.
11am: the Main Service will be held at Breakers Country Club.
5.10am: Assemble in Athol Street carpark , march to Cenotaph for Dawn Service at 5.20am.
9.15am: Buses run from Club to Canton Beach Rd (Assembly Point) for Main March to Cenotaph.
9.45am: March to Club Cenotaph for Service at 10.30am.
Woy Woy, Ettalong Beach and Hardy’s Bay RSL Sub-Branch
5am: Assemble at Woy Woy Station, for March from 5.15am heading to Memorial Park in Brick Wharf Road for the Dawn Service.
10am: the main March begins at Deepwater Plaza, to Memorial Park for the Service to follow at 10.30am.
Wyong RSL Sub-Branch
5.45am: Assemble at Club Wyong RSL forecourt, corner of Anzac Avenue and Margaret Street, for the Dawn Service.
9.30am: the main Service will be held at the Cenotaph in Wyong Town Park.
Followed by the March departing the Park at 10.30am, heading to Club Wyong RSL forecourt.
Star104.5 will be broadcasting live from the Dawn Service at The Entrance. So if you can’t make it to a memorial, we will bring the ceremony to you.
The Price of Liberty is Eternal Vigilance
We Will Remember Them
Lest We Forget