November 17 - 23, 2019: Issue 429


Remembrance Day 2019: Commemorative Services in Pittwater - 100 years since the first Armistice day service

Remembrance Day Commemorative Services were held at Pittwater RSL and Avalon Beach RSL on Monday November 11th. Hosted by the Clubs and their Sub-Branches, these Services marked the 100th year such remembrances and prayers for the fallen have been given in Australia. In the years preceding 1919, and following the Armistice declared on November 11th, 1918, services were held around the country for those who had fallen on a weekly basis - most of them in churches and outdoor areas as no cenotaphs alike those now installed in Pittwater's villages had yet been dedicated.

From Our Special Correspondent

Sunday, July 6, 1919, will long live in the memory of Australians, for in accordance with the command of His Majesty King George it was a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God for the blessing of peace. From one end to the other of our vast continent, wherever there was a place of worship the church bells rang out a great Te Deum. Sydney was blessed with most perfect weather, and though owing to the influenza epidemic the outdoor services had to be abandoned, in every church of every denomination services were held and were crowded, all classes being well represented. It seemed as if the wish to express to the Almighty our gratitude, for His great mercies, and the peace which crowned all, made us 'one kin,' and no thought of creed interfered with our thankfulness. 

Just before the Nestor left London a big Peace Ball was given at the Piccadilly Hotel and was attended by all the 'diggers' and many well known Australians who were then in London. Miss Dorothy Brunton and her mother brought a large party, so did Sir John and Lady Monash. Miss Ivy Shilling, Miss Sybil Arundalo, and many other well known folks. Influenza was very bad while our men were in London and still is, but it does not in any way interfere with one's social life. SOCIAL GOSSIP. (1919, July 11). Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW : 1911 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from

The newspapers were filled with notices about sons and daughters coming home:


Lieut. W. D. Scott, son of Mr. and M A. W. Scott, of Cavendish-street,. Stanmore is returning, after being on active service for three and a half years. He enlisted in the Victorian regiment He was gassed twice, a wounded twice-once in the knee and once the head.

Lance-corpl. Robert V. Pell, only son of Mr. and Mrs. R. S. Pell, of Glebe Point, is returning by the Dorset, after having been on active service for three and a half years. He is suffering from malaria.

Mrs. M. Moneur, of William-street, Canterbury, has been informed that her second son, Sergt. D. G. Moneur, is returning by the Marathon, after four years' active service in Gallipoli and in France. His elder brother returned quite recently.

Mr. and Mrs. R. C. Marsh, late of Bourke now of Kogarah, have received news that their son, Driver P. P. Whittaker, of a machine gun section, is returning on the Boonah, after an absence of two and a half years.

Mrs. F. Shepherd, late of White and Brenn streets, Leichhardt, has been advised that her son, Lieut. H. J. Murray, D. C. M., is returning to Australia by the troopship Boonah.

Mrs. Chisholm, of Strathalbyn, Colin-street, North Sydney, has received news that her son Lieut. A. R. Chisholm, is returning by the hospital ship Karoola, and is expected to arrive in Sydney about June 25. Lieut. Chisholm served on the Western front, and sine the signing of the armistice has been acting as an education officer.

Mrs. K. Miller, of Hordern-parade, Croydon, has received advice that her son, Driver E. F. Miller, is returning by the Commonwealth, which is due in Sydney on June 16. His brother is expected in July.

Mr. and Mrs. B. Rhodes, of Tasma, Bondi road, Bondi, have been notified that their son, Private Cecil Rhodes, M.M., of the 4th Batt. is returning by the steamer Boonah, after an absence of three and a half years on the Western front.

Mr. W. E. Wearne. M.L.A., has received news that his two sons, Driver D. E. Wearne and Driver Eric Wearne, of the 39th Battery Field Artillery, who have been away for three and a half years, are returning by the steamer China, which will reach Sydney about June 12.

Mr. James Hickey, of Fitzroy-street, Moore Park, has been advised that his eldest son, Sergt. J. J. Hickey, D.C.M., of 1st Light Trench Mortar Battery, is returning to Australia by the Boonah, after being abroad for four years. His two brothers and a brother-in-law are still with their units.

Mr. and Mrs. Honeyman, of Kingston road, Camperdown, have been notified that their youngest son, Ted Honeyman, is returning from Egypt after three years' active service, by the Dorset. Two brothers are still on active service.

Mrs. C. L, Harrison, of Glebe Point and Byrock, Narrabeen, has received information that her son, Lance-corporal C. S. Harrison, is returning by the Boonah. He has been on active service since 1916, and has been wounded twice. He was for some years an alderman of the Queanbeyan Municipal Council, and was later in business at Byrock, near Bourke. - Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), Wednesday 4 June 1919, page 8

However, from 1914 on, more page space was taken up with column upon column of those who had lost their lives or been wounded in action. Their names would continue to be listed among the masses of 'In Memorium' tributes which would persist for as long as their grieving relatives would live.

The first Remembrance Day in Britain and the Commonwealth was held on November 11th 1919 at 11 a.m., one year to the day and hour since the Armistice that ended World War One commenced. Australian born journalist Edward George Honey is originally thought to have proposed the idea of an observance for all those who fell in a letter published in the London Evening News on May 6th, 1919, under the pen-name 'Warren Foster', in which he appealed for five-minutes of silence of national remembrance. South African politician Sir Percy Fitzpatrick echoed this idea for observance and called for a period of silence on Armistice Day, 11th of November, in all countries of the British Empire which was approved by King George V. As five minutes silence was deemed too long, two minutes was decided upon.

King George V issued a proclamation calling for a two minute silence: "All locomotion should cease, so that, in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead."

Services were held in Australia with some Australians, still on active service or healing in England prior to being shipped home, attending that first Armistice Day Remembrance Service in London.

At Avalon Beach RSL Cenotaph on Monday the 100th Year Remembrance Day Service was conducted by Acting President of the Avalon RSL Sub-Branch Drew Martin, with the 2019 Remembrance Day Address being given by Colonel Mathews Stevens DSC CSC, Director of Personnel. The Legacy Widows were the Guests of Honour.

The Colour Party was formed by the Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch, with Vice President of the Sub-Branch Tamara Sloper Harding giving the Prologue. Cmdr. John Davies RAN gave the Prayer for the Fallen. Sub-Branch Member John McInerney gave the Prayer for the Services. Samantha Shaw (The Big Sing) lead the hymns, Eternal Father Strong to Save and Abide With Me.

The Ode of Remembrance was read by Vice President of the Sub-Branch Tamara Sloper Harding before all observed One Minutes Silence. Wreaths were laid by Mark Houlder, President of the Avalon Beach RSL Club, and Vice President of the Sub-Branch Tamara Sloper Harding, following which attendees laid sprigs of rosemary on commemorative pavers dedicated to family members as well as at the base of the cenotaph marker itself. The names inscribed on these stones of tribute commence from the Boer War (1899-1902) on, and so mark 120 years of conflict Australians have served in.

Acting Avalon Beach RSL Sub-Branch President Drew Martin gave the Welcome.


I wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians on where we are conducting today’s ceremony and pay my respect to the elders past, present and future for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture and the hopes of Indigenous Australia.

Remembrance Day Tradition

Why is this day special to Australians?

At 11am on 11 November 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare. The allied armies had driven the German invaders back, having inflicted heavy defeats upon them over the preceding four months.

In November, the Germans called for an armistice (suspension of fighting) in order to secure a peace settlement. They accepted the allied terms that amounted to unconditional surrender.

The 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month attained a special significance in the post war years. The moment when hostilities ceased on the Western Front became universally associated with the remembrance of those who had died in the war. This first modern world conflict had brought about the mobilisation of over 70 million people and left between 9 and 13 million dead, perhaps as many as one third of them with no known grave. The allied nations chose this day and time for the commemoration of their war dead.

On the first anniversary of the armistice in 1919, two minutes silence was instituted as part of the main commemorative ceremony at the new Cenotaph in London. King George V personally requested that all the people of the British Empire suspend normal activities for two minutes on the hour of the armistice “which stayed the worldwide carnage of the four preceding years and marked the victory of Right and Freedom.” The two minutes silence was popularly adopted and it became a central feature of commemorations on Armistice Day.

After the end of the Second World War, the Australian and British governments changed the name to Remembrance Day. Armistice day was no longer an appropriate title for a day which would commemorate all war dead.

Remembrance Day ceremonies were conducted simultaneously in towns and cities all over Australia and in 1997, Governor General Sir William Deane issued a proclamation formally declaring 11 November to be Remembrance Day. He urged all Australians to observe one minutes silence at 11am on 11th November of each year, to remember those who died or suffered for Australia’s cause in all wars and armed conflicts.

Also recognised as part of Remembrance Day tradition and ritual is the Flanders Poppy. During the First World War, red poppies were among the first plants to spring up in the devastated battlefields of Northern France and Belgium and in soldiers’ folklore, the vivid red of the poppy comes from the blood of their comrades soaking the ground. 

In closing, we remember all those who fell in the air, on the sea and on the land. May we and our successors, prove worthy of their sacrifice. 

Lest we forget.

I would also ask you to remember all those police, fire services personnel and emergency services people who have given their lives for the community and a special thought to those who have tragically lost family members in this current fire emergency.

Thank you.


Given by Tamara Sloper Harding
Vice President Avalon Beach RSL Sub Branch

We gather here today and remember those who, in the great tragedy of war gave their lives for Australia and the freedom of all people. 

It is important that our broader community and particularly our youth are included in our commemoration ceremonies, for they will take these memories forward and keep the spirit alive. It is imperative that we instil in the next generation the understanding that what they will need more than anything in order to face the world as free, self-assured, and empathetic young Australians is one another. The tales of courage, endurance, sacrifice and mateship that personified the Australian troops of WW1 are essential in the formation of our youth as our future leaders.

Our Sub Branch President Captain Maley is still on active duty, currently serving in the Royal Australian Navy. His job takes him all over the world and he plays an integral part in ensuring our peace and security. He sent the following message from somewhere in Afghanistan this morning.

“A quick message to all of you on the Northern Beaches and in Avalon RSL Sub Branch. Today we too will stop at about 1040. We will have a service in the chapel here in Afghanistan and wear our poppies.

Very poignantly for us we will read the names of the 24 people we have lost since I have been here. We will remember them. 

I am lucky enough to come home in just over 2 and a half months. Those 24 from the US, Croatia, Romania are not so lucky.

For November 11 is a day we remember all those in all wars that did not get to come home.

We remember them for their sacrifice - it doesn’t matter what nationality they are. They served their countries and didn’t get to come home

They are not lucky enough to be on the Northern Beaches today.

They are not lucky enough to be with their kids instead they made the ultimate sacrifice and that is what we need to remember.

We need to nurture the living, care for the wounded and honour the dead.”

We are very privileged to have Michael Maley as our RSL Sub Branch President and will welcome him home early next year.

As a veteran myself, I have been fortunate to wear the uniform of the Navy for 19 years and now, I reflect on how lucky I am to have come home safely, permanently changed - but still living. Unlike those 60,000 Australians who never returned from WW1. Every Australian, regardless of whether we have a direct link to those that wore the uniform or not, is a benefactor of their sacrifice. They have given us a legacy from the past on which to build the future. They have given us the Gifts of determination, of compassion and self-confidence, but most of all, of service.

Today as we have one minute of silence, we also remember the service and sacrifice of all men and women who have fought for us in all wars and armed conflicts and whose lives were changed forever.

We remember those who bear physical and psychological wounds as a result of their service to our nation and the families who love and support them; It is only due to them that we enjoy peace.

War comes at a cost. A human cost. For those who return, and the families to whom they return, none are unaffected by their service.

Their battles do not end the day they step off the battlefield. Coming home often marks the beginning of a new fight – a fight to live in a now unfamiliar world. In World War 1 soldiers returned with shell shock. Today it is known as PTSD. The effects of war are long lasting. In commemorating our dead, we must acknowledge that we have young men and women returning from conflicts overseas now – in our lifetime. In paying homage to those who died in past conflicts we must endeavour to welcome the veterans of the new age home.

Let us continue to make reference to the past, but go forward into the future with honour and courage. To truly commemorate the lives, service and sacrifice of these men and women we must understand that they were driven by a love for Australia and each other. To truly honour them we must live our lives with the same courage, the same loyalty. We must be motivated by the same desire for fairness and compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves.

On this day, above all days we remember those who, in the great tragedy of war, gave their lives for Australia and the freedom of all people. We remember all those who fell in the air, on the sea and on the land and our loyal friends of the Commonwealth and Allied forces. We think of every man woman and child who died so that the lights of freedom and humanity might continue to shine. 

May we and their successors prove worthy of their sacrifice.


At Pittwater RSL at Mona Vale and overlooking the northern mouth of the Warriewood valley, the Commemorative Service was conducted by President of the Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch Deborah Hendy, with Mackellar MP Jason Falinski and The Hon. Rob Stokes, MP for Pittwater and NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, in attendance. Special guests of this service included representatives from local school choirs Mona Vale Public, Narrabeen North Public and St Lukes Bayview Campus singing 'Always Remember' as well as a performance by Soprano Anna Gebels.

HMAS Penguin sailors formed the Honour Guard along with Pittwater RSL Executives, much to the delight of WWII RAN Veteran Gwynneth Sneesby. Photos of the Pittwater RSL 2019 Commemorative Service by Michael Mannington, Community Photography:

Mackellar MP Jason Falinski with Pittwater MP Rob Stokes at the Pittwater RSL Remembrance Day Service 2019.

Member for Mackellar, Mr Jason Falinski honoured all those who have served and continue to serve in our military at the Pittwater RSL Remembrance Day service. 

“The Pittwater RSL Sub-Branch has hosted yet another magnificent Remembrance Day Service.” Mr Falinski said.

“Every year at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, we mark Remembrance Day because it was at this time and date in 1918 that the guns fell silent on the Western Front, officially ending the First World War,”

“The war came at a great cost for Australia, with more than 60,000 service men and women never returning home, from the 416,000 who enlisted.”

“This affected every community, large and small, across the country, in what was a very young nation at that time.”

“More than 102,000 names are today listed on the Australian War Memorial’s Roll of Honour in Canberra to honour the lives lost at war and it is vital we continue to remember their service and sacrifice today.” 

“It is incredibly important to instil an ongoing sense of remembrance and respect in future generations of Australians so our current and former serving defence personnel and their families know their sacrifices are honoured, now and into the future.”

Mr Falinski reminds all Australians, including our younger generations, to continue the Remembrance Day tradition and pay tribute to those who have proudly served our nation in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations by attending a local commemorative service and wearing a red poppy in honour of the sacrifices made by our brave service men and women.

Below run some more photographs taken at the Pittwater Commemorative Services for Remembrance Day 2019.


A silence, deep and tense as the hush of the dead of night, swept over the great gathering in Martin-place as the Post-office clock chimed out the hour of 11. Not a footfall was heard, not even a whisper. Miles away, it seemed, could be heard the gentle tapping of a hammer, and then it died away. For two minutes the scene was muffled in profound quiet. Every man in the great concourse uncovered his head, and stood, with the women-many of them in mourning-in silent meditation, in reverent remembrance of the valiant dead. And then rang out the sombre notes of "The Last Post."

Here, where traffic whirls and eddies all day long, was a brief sanctity that will always be remembered for its impressiveness. The whole ceremony in this thoroughfare, in commemoration of the first anniversary of the signing of the armistice, lasted only 15 minutes. The solemn act of homage concluded, the life-blood of the busy street and of the great buildings running up and down it was again set in circulation.

Shortly before 11 o'clock many representative citizens assembled at the stand In tho middle of the street-among them, his Excellency the Governor and Lady Davidson, tho Chief Justice and Lady Cullen, the Premier and Mrs. Holman, and other Ministers and their wives. Archbishop Wright, Commodore Glossop, and other naval officers, representing the navy, the District Commandant (Major-General Lee), and other officers of high rank, representing the other arm of the service, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly (Mr. D. Levy), the Lord Mayor (Alderman Richards), representatives of the consular service, and Captain Teece, president of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers' Imperial League.

His Excellency, in a clear, resonant voice that carried its note to all present, read the King's message, asking his people throughout the Empire to concentrate their thoughts for a brief spare on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead, and to unite in a simple service of silence and remembrance.


"We are here today," proceeded his Excellency, "to do honour to the valiant dead. Here, and thus, we offer homage to their glorious name. At the bidding of our King, in the stately fashion of our race, we keep their memory green. I adjure you all, in your own life or in the lives of your children, never to omit this solemn act of gratitude to those who made us great. Let the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month be to you all the most solemn of all anniversaries, for it was then that we passed out from the Valley of the Shadow of Death and reached the haven of safety. We are safe because those brave men died.

"Let us never omit this ceremony of to-day. These men fought for us and died for us. This is the day all through the years to come when, in silence, by some form of silent prayer, we vow that we shall hold fast to the heritage for which they fought and died. And for years to come, I adjure you all to bear in mind those men, too, who fought for us and suffered for us, though they did not die on the battlefield. See that the broken man is cared for as he deserves. That is one way of returning thanks.

"The stout heart which made them last the longer and prevail, the clear vision and resource by which they outwitted their enemy-these virtues are still your sacred heritage. Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war. You need these virtues still and always-the stout heart and the clear vision.

"To-day we fight a dreadful drought. God grant that rain may come and save the land, for the flocks and herds are the mainstay of us all. I pray to God that rain may soon fall. But whatever destiny may decree, rely on your stout heart and your clear vision, as *. those did who are dead, and win through, as those did who died for you."


The Premier (Mr. Holman), in a brief address, said that in the great gathering there were probably but few who had not made some direct sacrifice, either in their own persons when they were soldiers, or in the persons of sons or other honoured relatives. There were probably but few who had not made some direct sacrifice to bring about the great victory which was achieved that hour 12 months ago.

"All that we ask to-day," added the Premier, "'all that we can ask, in the name of the Government of the State, is that the message from the King should be taken by all of us as an exhortation to live for our country in the years to come, as those when we celebrate to-day have died for It." 

"Those are solemn moments in commemoration of the first anniversary of the armistice," 'said the Lord Mayor (Alderman Richards).

"Our hearts are filled with united sympathy with those who have been bereaved. Today we ratify the sorrow of our Empire and Allied nations in paying homage to the sacred dead, who made the supreme sacrifice for the glory of God, the honour of the King, and love of country. Still, we are inspired with a righteous pride, and rejoice in the peace that is ours, looking forward, as we do, by faith with the confident belief that the problems of the future will be made, encouraged, and emboldened in this by memories of the brave deeds and the unselfish sacrifices of our heroes and heroines-the deeds that will ever live as a noble example to the Christian world! 

We shall face the future with that indomitable courage that characterised the efforts made for the victory won, and we thank God for it."

Cheers for tho King, at the instance of his Excellency the Governor, were followed by the Recessional Hymn by the Gallipoli Memorial Band, and by ringing cheers for the sailors and soldiers, at the instance of the Premier. 

'"And three cheers for the British Empire, cried a man in the crowd.

And again Martin-place echoed and re-echoed with cheers, which died away as the band played the National Anthem. 

IN MARTIN-PLACE. (1919, November 12). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from

Armistice Anniversary

The following message from His Majesty the King was received last week by His Excellency the Governor-General. 

"To all my People, —

"Tuesday next, November 11, is the first anniversary of the Armistice which stayed the world-wide carnage of the four preceding years, and marked the victory of right and freedom. I believe that my people in every part of the Empire fervently wish to perpetuate the memory of that great deliverance and of those who laid down their lives to achieve it.

"To afford an opportunity for the universal expression of this feeling, it is my desire and hope that at the hour when the Armistice came into force — the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month — there may be for the brief space of two minutes a complete suspension of all our normal activities. During that time, except in the rare cases where this may be impracticable, all work, all sound, and all locomotion should cease, so that in perfect stillness the thought of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead. 

"No elaborate organisation appears to be necessary. At a given signal, which could easily be arranged to suit the circumstances of each locality, I believe that we shall all gladly interrupt our business and pleasure, whatever it may be, and unite in this simple service of silence and remembrance. 


"Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson presents his humble duty to your Majesty, and conveys the grateful thanks of the people of Australia for your Majesty's gracious message, Inviting the peoples of the Empire to unite in a universal celebration of the anniversary of the Armistice. 

"Your Majesty's wishes shall be loyally carried out, and at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of of the eleventh month we shall remember in silence and with heartfelt gratitude the men who fell in the Great War." 


A large crowd of citizens assembled on the steps of Federal Parliament House, from which, eight minutes before the eleventh hour, Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson began the reading of the King's message. Naval and military guards of honor were formed up at the base of the steps, and a number of distinguished representatives of both services participated in the ceremony. In civilian attire and wearing on his breast the decoration of the Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George, the Governor-General, who was accompanied by Lady Helen Munro Ferguson and Sir Henry Galway, Governor of South Australia, arrived at Parliament House punctually at 10.49. The Union Jack and the Australian flag were hoisted on the temporary flagstaff which had been erected at the foot of the steps, and a military band from the Domain camp played the National Anthem. 

After the Governor-General had inspected the guards of honor, hats were doffed while he read the King's message. After the reading of the message Kipling's Recessional Hymn was played by the band. Then the bands of the post office clock pointed to the eleventh hour, a naval and a military bugler, standing shoulder to shoulder, sounded the Stand Fast. The trams, which had been passing too and fro, came to a stop, the flags in front of the steps and on many buildings in Bourke street, were lowered, and in a hush which seemed to spread over the entire continent, all stood at attention. Not a sound disturbed the stillness. The sudden dramatic hush was more impressive than any eloquence could have been. All felt that the hour demanded silence, for the nation's sorrow was not as:— 

The lesser griefs that may be said. 

That breathe a thousand tender vows. 

The period of silence was brought to a close as dramatically as it had begun by the thrilling notes of the Last Post sounded on the bugles. 

As the notes died upon a final throb of noble grief a sigh spread throughout the crowd. The nation had remembered — the world's work was resumed. Profoundly impressive was the scene in the streets of the city. The signal from the belfry of St. Paul's Cathedral was heard all over Melbourne, and the rattle of the tram cables in the slots ceased: the hum of the motor cars, the crackling of the motor cycles and the rumble of the horse-drawn vehicles stopped instantly and all Melbourne was wrapped in solemn silence. Precisely at 11 o'clock, all the trains on the Victorian lines ceased running, and the passengers, in many cases, stood with bared heads while two minutes passed in silence. It was perhaps at the Newport workshops, where 2500 men are employed in noisy occupations, that the change to sudden silence was most dramatic and impressive. 


There was a reverence and dignity about the great meeting conducted in the Town Hall by the Day of Prayer Council which was in keeping with the anniversary. Many an eye was wet, and many a woman sobbed quietly as the organ led the swelling voices in hymns and as the sonorous sentences of the Scripture rang through the hall. On the stroke of 11 the gathering stood with bowed heads, while from outside floated the sounds of the "Last Post." Here and there stifled sobbing could be heard, but otherwise the hall was wrapped in silence. Hymns and prayers followed, and Mr W. H. Edgar, M.L.C., the chairman, gave a Brief address. 


As the strains of the "Last Post" floated from the roof of Anzac House over the silent city there were moments of tense impressiveness. Away upon the housetop, 'neath the fluttering folds of the Southern Cross emblem and the Union Jack, Sergeant J. Jarvie sounded the notes which brought hack poignant memories to the Diggers who had assembled at the headquarters of the Victorian branch of their League to do honor to the glorious memory of their immortal dead. 

Standing at the salute beside the bugler were Mr G. R- Palmer (president), Mr R. G. Peisley (secretary), Mr H. J. Lynch (assistant secretary), and others. On the street below were members of the organisation deeply moved by the solemnity of the occasion. At the side of the doorway stood a group of returned nurses, their tear-dimmed eyes betraying their emotion. In the hush that ensued as the traffic of the city ceased as at the waving of a magic wand, even the sound of a footfall on the pavement seemed sacrilege. After the bugle ceased came an echo of the " Last Post" from the Town Hall, with a heartache in every wailing note, like a Highland lament in a gloomy Scottish glen.The clang of a tramcar gong broke the spell, Melbourne was once more a city of bustling business activity.  



ARMISTICE ANNIVERSARY (1919, November 15). Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic. : 1869 - 1954), p. 41. Retrieved from

NB: Australia's Federal Parliament House was still in Melbourne at this time.

Freemantle. April 3.

'Few Australians know that Mr. Edward George Honey, an Australian, was the creator of the two minutes' silence which is observed on Armistice Day throughout the British Empire,' said Mr. A. C. Tinsdale, an Australian film producer, who is returning to Melbourne on the Orarna, which arrived here to-day. Mr Tinsdale said an English newspaper had devoted considerable space last year to material supplied by Mr. W. E. Hayter Preston, who knew Mr. Honey before the latter's death in 1922. The reason for the publicity was that Mr. Honey's grave was marked by no stone on which could be inscribed a reference to him as the originator of the two minutes' silence. In support of the claim made on behalf of Mr. Honey, the following extract from the 'Daily Graphic' of August 29, 1922, was reprinted: — 

'The death has occurred of Mr, E. G. Honey, a well-known Fleet-street journalist, in .the Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, after a short illness. He was the originator of the idea of the great silence, which he suggested under the nom de plume of Warren Foster. An Australian by birth, his home town was Melbourne. Mr. Honey was a versatile writer.' 

Mr. Tinsdale said Mr. Honey, while he lived, showed no desire to be officially connected with the great silence, and the fact that his original suggestion, which was adopted, was made in the columns of one of the leading daily newspapers under a pen name, was characterise of the man. Mr. Honey had stated that he first conceived the idea towards the end of 1916. Silences of various kinds had, of course, been observed long before that year, but Mr.' Honey had been the first to make public the suggestion for a national silence. 

Common justice demanded that a permanent memorial should be erected to Mr. Honey's name. Mrs. Tinsdale and a few other Australians had taken wreaths to the grass-covered mound denoting Mr Honey's grave. Mrs. Honey, who was in poor circumstances, was longing for an opportunity of visiting her relatives in Melbourne. TWO MINUTES' SILENCE. (1928, April 7). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 50. Retrieved from

Widow of Edward Honey Now Canvasser 
LONDON. July 31 (Air Mail). 

The story of Mrs. Edward G. Honey is a reminder that London's most impressive ceremony — the Two Minutes' Silence — had an Empire origin, Australia and South Africa sharing the honour. Mrs. Honey, who is the widow of the man who first suggested in England the two minutes' silence on Armistice Day, has just been discovered working as a door-to-door canvasser at 30s a week. She is a slight, fair-haired woman, with whom life has dealt hardly since her husband's death in 1922 from tuberculosis, aggravated by his war service. 

Mrs. Honey is a most versatile woman. She has managed a dancing school, been an interior decorator, and has had considerable business experience. "My husband, whom I adored, was ill for so long before he died that his savings had vanished and his earning capacity was gone, so I was left without a penny." she said.

"In the 15 years since his death I have managed to scrape along somehow — I often wonder just how. The last thing I would do is to trade on my husband's memory, or accept charity on his account. But I feel that somewhere there must be somebody who could give me work that I could enjoy doing as some tribute to his great idea, which has meant so much to so many people." 

Edward George Honey, an Australian born journalist, put forward the idea of the Great Silence in an article in a London newspaper of May 8, 1919, over his pen-name of Warren Foster. 

A few months later the late Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, the South African statesman, suggested the same idea to Lord Milner, who put it before King George V. There was a private rehearsal, at which Edward Honey was present, and it was agreed that the silence should last two minutes instead of the five as originally suggested. 

There followed King George's message to his people, asking that "at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" there be set aside two minutes, "so that in perfect stillness the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the Glorious Dead." 

TWO MINUTES' SILENCE (1937, August 18). Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954), p. 3 (LATE NEWS EDITION and DAILY : The Examiner WOMEN'S SUPPLEMENT). Retrieved from