Australia commemorates 100 anniversary of Anzac's departure for WWI

GMT 14:47 2014 Saturday ,01 November

Arab Today, arab today Australia commemorates 100 anniversary of Anzac's departure for WWI

National Anzac Centre opens in Albany
Sydney - XINHUA

 Australia is bracing for an emotional weekend to commemorate the centenary since the first convoy of Australian and New Zealand (Anzac) troops sailed into the Great War.
A train solemnly departed Friday morning, to recreate the journey taken 100 years ago by Australian troops from their training camp to Fremantle Port as part of a weekend of commemorations for the Anzac Centenary.
State Premier Colin Barnett joined commemorative events to mark the troops' departure.
"About 100 years ago, more than 41,000 men and women from Australia and New Zealand set sail from Albany and Fremantle for the battlefields of World War I WWI," Barnett said.
Barnett said that the extraordinary bravery and sacrifice of those young troops still resonates today and "those characteristics have helped shape our nation."
On October 31, 1914, the troops traveled by train from their training camp at Blackboy Hill, near Mundaring, before leaving Fremantle on two ships to join the rest of the convoy that departed from Albany on November 1 bound for active service in World War I.
More than 50 Australian and New Zealand ships of these two convoys carried a total of 40,000 soldiers and nearly 17,000 horses. They were the two largest convoys to depart from Australia for the whole of the war and together carried 10 percent of Australian soldiers to war.
History records the impact of the Great War on an entire generation of Australians, almost 40 percent of the male population aged between 18 and 44 enlisted.
Speaking to Fairfax news on the eve of the centenary, Returned and Services League (RSL) WA President Graham Edwards called for Australians to preserve the Anzac spirit.
"Our challenge is to carry those values of mateship, courage and compassion forward into the next 100 years," Edwards said.
The Fremantle commemorations will be followed by a program of events around Australia.

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