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Mildura’s Service History
Mildura has a proud military history with over 3,800 men and women from the Mildura district having served in all theatres of war, of those who enlisted 375 paid the supreme sacrifice. It is widely acknowledged that the 1457 who enlisted for WW1 Service was the highest per capita enlistment ratio in Australia.

Private Richard Edward (Ted) Topham became Mildura’s first soldier to be lost in action when he was killed on June 12, 1901 whilst serving in the Boer War in South Africa.

According to available evidence among the first to officially enlist from Mildura in WW1 was Gunner Leslie Mansell. Mildura’s Private Edgar Robert Colbeck Adams, his brother Private Frederick James Adams, Warrant Officer Class 2 Donald Neil MacGregor, Private Frank McRae Moorehead, Lance Corporal Thomas Radford Sage and Lance Corporal Allan Melrose Hayes from Merbein were all killed at Gallipoli on the day of the landing April 25, 1915.

Sgt. Samuel Pearse V.C. MM
Mildura’s Highest Decorated Solider

Samuel Pearse from Koorlong enlisted in 1915 serving in Gallipoli and later France where he was twice wounded and subsequently awarded the Military Medal for Bravery. In 1919 Samuel served with the North Russia Relief Force where he was to lose his life at Entsa (North Russia).

He was awarded the Victoria Cross for most conspicuous bravery, devotion to duty and self sacrifice. A statue of Samuel Pearse was erected in 2009 at Henderson Park and officially unveiled by his daughter on November 11, 2009.

Honouring Mildura’s War Veterans
All those who served from the Boer War through to 2013 are honoured at the Henderson Park Honour Rolls.

The Mildura RSL plays an integral role in preserving the memory of those who have served in the Australia Defence Forces particularly those who have died or suffered as a result of war.

In addition to the Henderson Park Cenotaph, the Mildura RSL in recent years has honoured those who have served by erecting the 1939-1975 Honour Roll (completed in 1999), the World War I Honour Roll and Samuel Pearse V.C. MM Statue (completed in 2009). Boer War & Post 1975 Honour Roll (completed in 2017)
Anzac Day and Remembrance Day are important days which also honours all those who served.

Commemoration Ritual
The Commemoration Ritual is the heart of any remembrance ceremony.

If wreaths are to be laid, this should be done immediately before the Commemoration Ritual. By doing this, these tributes are included with the cenotaph on which they are laid and which is the focus of the Commemoration Ritual.

The Ode
Is the fourth verse of Laurence Binyon’s poem “For the Fallen”. Written in 1914, it was used at commemoration ceremonies by the British Legion soon after World War I. In 1920 it was formally adopted as “The Ode” in all British Commonwealth countries.

“Last Post”
Should be sounded immediately after the last line of The Ode is repeated by the assemblage.

In earlier times when English troops fought in Europe, Retreat was sounded when it became too dark to fight and the soldiers retired to the nearest town or village where they spent the night. Sentries were placed at the entrances of the camp or town. When the Duty Officer marched the sentries around the town to man their posts he was accompanied by a bugler who sounded “First Post” when the first sentries were posted and “Last Post” when the camp was finally made safe by manning the last entrance. At a funeral or commemoration service sounding “Last Post” symbolises that the dead soldiers have ended their journey through life.

The Silence
Shortly after the end of World War I George Honey, a Melbourne journalist in London, was dismayed that, in the noisy celebrations that marked the end of the War, no thought had been given to the human sacrifice that had made the celebration possible. He suggested that all people should stand in silence for 5 minutes in memory of the Fallen. Tests by the Guards showed that 5 minutes was too long and King George V accepted that the Silence should be of 2 minutes duration.

(Our Governor-General issued a Proclamation in 1997 recommending that The Silence be for 1 minute).

Lest We Forget
The final line of Rudyard Kipling’s hymn The Recessional is a warning of what might become of us if we forget the power of The Lord.

The phrase was adopted for commemoration services to warn us that, if we forget the sacrifice of those who died in War, we are likely to repeat the futility and obscenity of armed conflict.

The expression is normally used to mark the end of The Silence and serves as a cue for Reveille to be played.

Is the bugle call that awakens servicemen and women at the start of the day. There are several Reveille calls any one of which may be sounded at dawn.

During the day the shorter, more raucous, “Rouse” is sounded.

In commemoration services it signifies the resurrection of the dead soldier into the after life.

Mildura RSL Sub Branch Rules

The Mildura RSL rules include things such as a dress code, signing in, behaviour and etiquette, alcohol consumption, smoking policy, gaming and children. These rules and regulations are to be respected by all members, guests and staff, and will be maintained by the club manager. Written warnings can be issued to offending parties. Membership privileges can be withdrawn if an individual or party are deemed to be out of order.

The Mildura RSL is committed to responsible service of gaming and alcohol.