Locals will commemorate 100 years since the end of World War 1, with a gathering at the Gunnedah cenotaph from 10.45am on Remembrance Day.
Formerly known as Armistice Day, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month attained a special significance in the post-war years.
This was the moment when hostilities ceased on the Western Front in 1918 and the guns fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare.
This day became universally associated with the remembrance of those who had died in the conflict, including 130 of Gunnedah’s fine young men, who bravely marched away to war never to return.
Gunnedah was just a small town of less than 3000 people when Word War 1 erupted. Fired by patriotic zeal and a sense of adventure, 500 of the town and district’s young men signed up for what would become a blood bath at Gallipoli, the Western Front and in the deserts of the Middle East.
Although the names of these young men have faded into the mists of time, they are still remembered every year on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day.
Three brothers from the local Douglas family volunteered one after the other. Leslie Douglas was the first to enlist at the age of 20, followed by his older brother Herbert (23) and the youngest Howard Douglas, who was only 19.
Howard and Leslie Douglas received the Military Medal for bravery, while Herbert Douglas was severely injured at Gallipoli and invalided home.
Known locally as Dick Douglas, Howard returned to his pre-war job at Storey’s but in 1920 established his own grocery business HR Douglas & Co; which remained a part of the Gunnedah business community for more than 70 years.
On Sunday, November 11, Gunnedah will salute those who paid the supreme sacrifice and the courage of those who served in all theatres of war.