To commemorate the centenary of the signing of the Armistice the Gulgong RSL Sub-Branch has secured a grant to construct a permanent memorial in Anzac Park in Gulgong, which will become the focal point of future commemorations of Remembrance Day.
The memorial, believed to be the only one in Australia, is a scale replica of the memorial which stands on the site where the Armistice was signed at Compiegne in France. The memorial will be unveiled by Brigadier Allan Murray CSM at 10.40am on November 11 and one minute’s silence will be observed at 11am.
To mark this historic occasion, the Sub-Branch has organised for a short march along Mayne and Herbert streets, with schoolchildren and community groups are welcome to participate, to precede the commemoration. The march will step off at 10.25am to arrive at Anzac Park in time for the official unveiling.
The Armistice Carriage
The monument at Compiegne in France symbolises the railway carriage in which the Armistice was signed. It is constructed at the exact spot where the railway carriage in which the Armistice was signed was parked.
The term 'The Armistice' specifically refers to the end of World War I. It marked the cessation of hostilities while awaiting a peace settlement.
An armistice commission was dispatched by the Germans to negotiate with the Allies. Near to the village of Rethondes, in a train carriage parked in a clearing about 6km from Compiègne, the Supreme Allied Commander, Marshal Ferdinand Foch, dictated to the defeated Germans the text of the Armistice of 11 November 1918 and at 5:15 am on November 11, 1918, the armistice was signed between Germany and the Allies in that railway carriage at Compiègne. The terms were laid down by the Allies, the event signifying the end of the War. At 11am that morning hostilities ended on the Western Front. However, it was to be nearly a year before all hostilities ended.
In London, at 11am on November 11, 1918, Big Ben rang for first time in four years. In June 1940, Hitler parodied this ceremony on the same site. The Germans later destroyed the carriage in 1944. However, although the actual wagon used for both ceremonies was destroyed in 1944, an identical model has been built as a museum. On display are stereoscopic views of the 1914-1918 war and some of the actual furniture used for the signing of the Armistice.