The Australian people are very proud of those of their number who risk all to keep their nation safe and are always keen to honour them. Every year on Anzac Day, April 25, the soldiers who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during WWI as well as the veterans of World War II and all who have served Australia in times of war, conflict, peace and humanitarian operations are commemorated beginning with a special service at dawn followed by a parade of veterans and all men and women who have retired from the military.
Anzac Day holds a special place in the hearts of Australians, but it’s important that we honour veterans all year long. There are many ways to do this, volunteering for veterans in need, making sure veteran medical benefits are received by the people who have given so much of themselves to earn them, and perhaps most important of all, never forgetting their service to the nation’s good.
One way to make sure veterans are honoured throughout the year is to erect honour rolls as a symbol of commemoration. Honour rolls are a very popular form of war memorial in Australia, they can be found in schools, community halls, memorial halls, shire offices and many other locations. Many Australian communities have worked together to fund and construct honour boards or honour rolls to remember local people who have served or died. A roll of honour commemorates the people who were killed in action or who died of illness or wounds as well as those souls who are listed as missing.
In many communities around Australia, honour rolls were one of the first types of memorial to honour the people who had enlisted to serve in World War I. Most older honour boards were made in the 1920s from a mixture of materials, such as wood, metal, stone, paper and photographs. Wooden honour boards are the most common and are still on display in many local communities.
On these various boards, you will find the names of people from a club, community, association or school who served during a war. The names of those who died are marked with a cross. An abbreviation after a name indicates that the individual received a decoration for bravery or conspicuous service. On days of commemoration like Anzac Day people gather at local war memorials, such as the site of an honour roll.