At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, Australia will fall silent as a mark of respect.
The silence echoes a moment in time when the guns of Europe's Western Front fell silent in 1918, after four years of brutal conflict in the First World War.
100 years since the end of World War 1, in a century that has seen a second World War numerous other global conflicts, Remembrance Day stands out as a day when Australians from diverse cultural backgrounds pause to remember those who have fallen in war.
To commemorate the Centenary of the Armistice, we take a moment to reflect and appreciate the significance of Remembrance Day through the eyes of one of our Bundaleer Care Home residents, Mr Tony Ostler who served our country in the Second World War.
Now almost 95, Mr Ostler, served as a Private in active duty in Bougainville, New Guinea with the Australian Imperial Forces.
As part of the Water Ambulance Unit, Mr Ostler and his comrades were charged with picking up and taking supplies into battle, as well as evacuating wounded soldiers and transferring them to a medical clearance station.
For Mr Ostler, Remembrance Day is exactly that. A day to remember and reflect.
He says “It is through this reflection that you do remember those that you served with. It is so true in the Ode of Remembrance that ‘they shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old’.
“My fallen comrades will always live in my memory at the age they were when they lost their lives.”
Mr Ostler believes that the meaning of Remembrance Day needs to continue being taught and understood until the end of time.
“I’ve given many talks at schools in my time and it always struck me that the children I was talking to were not much difference in age to the age that I was myself when my life changed forever.
“It’s important that young people understand the waste of life that war creates. If there is one thing that our war stories should do, it’s to inspire individuals to live their best life and to always wish peace and goodwill towards their fellow man”.
The Battle of Porton Plantation, Bougainville near the end of the War in June 1945, remains a poignant moment for Mr Ostler, and one he remembers with a degree of bewilderment as a poorly executed campaign that even if the Allies had won, would have had very little benefit to the war effort.
Mr Ostler lost five mates from his unit within 24 hours. 29 others were injured.
The Battle of Porton Plantation itself took place near the village of Soraken on Bougainville Island, involving forces from Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
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The battle was part of the wider Bougainville campaign which had begun in late 1943 to liberate the northern part of Bougainville from the Japanese.
The Japanese had a big camp at Buka Island, a mountainous island to the north of Bougainville Island, separated by a dangerous channel.
The strike was a strategic move by the Australians to cut the Japanese forward troops off from their base.
However, the island was surrounded by coral reefs which created havoc with the Australian campaign and while the troops negotiated the tides and landed without incident they had trouble getting supplies in, as the barges got stuck on the coral reef.
Consequently it didn’t take long for the Japanese Army to discover them and unleash a counter attack of their own, forcing the Australians to evacuate and navigate the coral reefs under heavy enemy fire and bombing.
Another significant moment of reflection for Mr Ostler was of being on active duty when the Victory over Japan – or “VJ Day” – was announced on August 14, 1945.
“It was 3am and we received orders to go and collect a member of the infantry with appendicitis from battle and it was then they were able to share the news that the war was over.
“It’s a moment I will never forget. A moment when the machine guns stopped and the celebrations broke the silence of the night and the journey home could begin.”
En route to Australia, Mr Ostler vividly remembers island-hopping from Bougainville and arriving at Rabaul Harbour on the island of New Britain.
The once beautiful harbour, known for its breath-taking beauty with crystal clear waters, white sand and a smoking volcano; stood before him littered with wrecked warships and debris, the town completely decimated; a stark reminder that war is futile.
We will remember.
Lest we forget.