01. Memorials From Around Australia
Our memorials represent a wide range of communities. Fremantle and Wollongong have large populations, Nowra is a mid-sized city and St George and Pontville are small communities. The memorials reflect the size of the location. The larger the location the more grandiose was the memorial. The arch is a popular theme taken from historical monuments honoring battles fought in Europe throughout previous centuries. Smaller communities often had less grand memorials as they were reliant upon local funding.
The average age of enlistment was 24 years old. This age may initially appear a little high, but it comes about by a significant number of enlistments from men in their 30s and some in their 40s. Those who served in the Boer War would have been in their mid to late 30s at the outbreak of WWI. Married men who served were typically older than the 24 year average.
The theaters of war graph confirms the far greater number of soldiers who served in France and on the Western Front compared to Gallipoli. In fact 295, 000 soldiers served in those campaigns with 46,000 losing their lives. This compares with 50,000 at Gallipoli suffering around 8,000 casualties. Although the Anzac legend was born at Gallipoli and occupies our minds when World War One is remembered, greater carnage occurred after 25 April 1915.
Not unexpectedly, the vast majority of soldiers enlisted with the rank of private. Australia did not have a regular army at the outbreak of World War One and all who enlisted were volunteers. Those who were given a rank had either served during the Boer War some fourteen years earlier or were part of the Commonwealth Military Force made up of part time volunteers.
Nearly every small town and city in Australia has a memorial to soldiers of past and present wars. We as Australians must always remember these men and women and never forget what they did for our country.