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Monday, 26 November 2018
Page: 11460

Mr CREWTHER (Dunkley) (10:53): For the past 100 years at 11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month, we as a nation have stopped to remember the fallen. This year, Australians commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the armistice of the First World War, a day of special significance marking a century since the weapons on the Western Front fell still after more than four years of horrendous carnage. Remembrance Day is a day to acknowledge the service and sacrifice of all Australians killed in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. This year, on the centenary, we pause for a minute's silence as we reflect on the toll of the First World War in particular. We remembered the 150 servicemen in World War I who once called Dunkley home and paid tribute at Frankston Memorial Park. The final resting place for over 200 ex-servicemen is at the cemetery in Frankston.

Many who came from what is now known as Dunkley contributed at a young age to the defence of Australia and Australia's interests. We have a rich military history. Sixteen soldiers from Frankston were killed in action in World War I and are listed on the honour roll at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and there are numerous recognised at the Frankston War Memorial as well. Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve also brings history to our doorstep, having hosted both a prisoner of war camp and a military hospital, contributing much to our knowledge in the form of research into wartime afflictions. Most of us have stories of our own relatives or their friends and neighbours; 100 years may seem a long time ago but it is only three generations for many of us. Both my father and grandfather served in the Australian defence forces on the Mornington peninsula, in the Army and Navy respectively. I mention in particular this year my great-grandfather who served in World War I on the battlefields of France. He passed away from the effects of mustard gas poisoning, several years after the conflict, and my nanna as an only child was put through school by Legacy.

Each year in my local electorate the community therefore honours the fallen across many days and many locations. I had the privilege of attending the Langwarrin Community Centre remembrance service and the Frankston RSL service. Also holding commemoration services were Mornington RSL, Mornington Secondary College, Langwarrin Naval Memorial Club, Seaford RSL—a service for school students—and the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, amongst others in my electorate. At the time I was also able to announce the giving of an Armistice Day grant for the housing of World War I memorabilia for the Mornington & District Historical Society at their premises down in Mornington. All these services recalled the heroism, the pain and the sacrifices of those who have served this nation, and we must continue to honour the fallen and we must continue to serve the living. The best memorial is how we serve and support our veterans and their families, who are with us each and every day. To our veterans and their families: we thank you and we remember you.