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[+] HONOURING OUR PATRON, SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL, VICTOR OF THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING PEOPLES

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[+] HONOURING OUR HERO, LORD NELSON, ON THE BICENTENNIAL OF THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR (1805 - 2005)

[+] HONOURING OUR SONS, THE QUEEN'S COMMONWEALTH SOLDIERS KILLED IN THE 'WAR ON TERROR'

[+] HONOURING OUR VETS ON THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VICTORIA CROSS (1856 - 2006)

Friday, November 11, 2005
Why we stop and remember The Great War

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 1918, the Great War came to an end. Over four years of slaughter took the lives of between 9,700,000 to 12,600,000 military personal and somewhere between 5,000,000 to 10,000,000 civilians (directly or indirectly). In all, between 14,700,000 and 22,600,000 lives were lost in the greatest conflict the world had ever known.

It is so hard for us now to comprehend what this meant for the people who lived through those terrible days. Remember the world's population was much less in those days so the impact would have been even greater. Australia, for example, had a population of under 5 million, just over 300,000 saw active service of whom 61,720 lost their lives, 153,509 were wounded or gassed. Australia was the only nation in the Empire that did not need conscription.

It has become trendy to say the Great War was just a waste, and it is true that it did lead to an even greater conflict just 21 years later, but that is to forget what was at stake in those days. Prussian militarism was a real threat to European security. The western allies were right to stand up to it and fight for civilization but sadly it came at a horrendous cost.

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