Remembrance Day

TOPSHOTS An Australian war veteran takes part in the annual ANZAC Day Parade in Sydney on April 25, 2014. Anzac Day commemorations are held on this day each year to mark the anniversary of the ill-fated landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at Gallipoli in World War I. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKSPETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images

November is a significant month for the RSL and includes our Poppy Appeal and Remembrance Day.

The Poppy Appeal commences on Tuesday November 1 with a launch at the Field of Remembrance on North Terrace.  The Field of Remembrance features thousands of crosses planted in the lawns adjacent to Government House.  The crosses are planted by Veteran Associations and schools.

The field has been expanded this year and we have welcomed 1000 hand-made poppies from budding young artists.  Little Picassos Art School offers specialised art classes for young children at three locations (Glenelg, Hyde Park, Woodcroft).  Approximately 300 students have contributed 1000 poppies for the Field of Remembrance as a significant back drop to the wooden crosses.

The Poppy Appeal raises funds for the RSL to deliver services for Veterans and their families.  We have dedicated this year’s appeal to remembering and supporting veterans of all ages.  In line with that mood, the appeal will provide financial support for four programs:

  • Homes for Heroes – emergency housing for homeless veterans.
  • RSL Active – supporting former members of the Armed Services in their transition from military to civilian life.
  • Operation K9 – assistance dogs for veterans experiencing stress-related conditions.
  • The RSL Virtual War Memorial - over 600,000 profiles of men and women who served.

Poppies are available for sale from RSL Sub-Branches across South Australia, Northern Territory and Broken Hill.   We also national partnerships with Woolworths, Bunnings and Officeworks who sell poppies on our behalf – significant relationships that assist our fundraising efforts.

In Adelaide we have the support of current staff from the Australian Defence Force who donate their time to sell poppies.   The ADF staff and our volunteers will be selling poppies at the following locations:

  • The Field of Remembrance, North Terrace, from Nov 1 - 11
  • SAJC Race Day at Morphettville on November 5
  • Rundle Mall and city streets on November 9
  • Rundle Mall and city streets on November 11
  • Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar at Coopers Stadium, Friday November 11

We will also have poppies available at our Remembrance Day service in the city.  Our traditional service will be held at the SA National War Memorial from 10.45am with state dignitaries in attendance.  This service is open to the general community and will conclude by 11.30am.

In 2016 we will also have buglers on city streets to play The Last Post at 11am followed by one minute of silence.  The locations for this are:

  • 30 Pirie Street (outside Telstra House)
  • Victoria Square (opposite SA Water)
  • 400 King William Street (outside Credit Union SA)
  • 111 Hutt Street (the front garden of the Naval Military and Air Force Club).

We trust that the Last Post will encourage city workers to leave their desks, pause for a minute and buy a poppy.

On Wednesday November 9 we have a new addition to the Poppy Appeal.

A platoon of ‘ghost soldiers’ – dressed in the military uniforms of past conflicts – will parade throughout Adelaide.  Each ghost will carry a card bearing the name and service details of a South Australian casualty of war.  The idea is to build community awareness, and develop a mood of widespread reflection, in the lead-up to Remembrance Day.   The ghosts will meet for a group photo at the SA National War Memorial at 10am on November 9.

The ‘ghost soldiers’ platoon has been recruited by the RSL and includes members of service organisations and military re-enactment groups.    Adelaide’s ‘ghost platoon’ has been inspired by a similar initiative in the UK this year, in which groups wearing World War 1 uniform assembled at train stations and shopping centres to mark the Battle of the Somme centenary.  Their appearances everywhere left an indelible impression on public consciousness, notably through mainstream media and internet exposure.

We are very fortunate that ASC - Australia’s submarine maintainer and shipbuilder – are our Poppy Appeal Partner in 2016.  We are very pleased to be working with the City of Adelaide who support our Remembrance Day Service and collections in city streets.  We also thank the sporting organisations who are supporting the Poppy Appeal this year.

A flier advertising all activities for the Poppy Appeal is available here.

We thank everyone who supports the RSL and our Poppy Appeal during November.  If you would like to donate online please do so here.    If you have a family member who served in the military you may be interested in adding their profile to the RSL Virtual War Memorial.