THE words ‘Lest We Forget’ and insignia of the RSL, army, navy and air force will adorn a Wodonga wall as a lasting memento of the centenary of Armistice Day.
The display, on the outside of the Wodonga RSL rooms facing Hovell Street, was unveiled on Friday by the member for Indi Cathy McGowan.
Wodonga RSL senior vice-president Peter White said the sub-branch wanted to recognise all the services and used a federal grant to cover the $7835 cost.
Ms McGowan brought the World War I diaries and French maps of her grandfather Gladstone Robert McGowan to the opening.
The corporal in the field company engineers recorded his experience of the Armistice six days later.
“Last Monday, November 11th we got official news that the Armistice had been signed with Germany and that hostilities would cease at 11am,” Mr McGowan wrote.
“In a few hours all the houses had flags flying and crackers going off.
“The soldiers were celebrating it and the inhabitants brought them cognac and liqueurs from the cellars kept from the occasion.”
Mr McGowan’s maps, which have been kept in slips, featured his markings of where the line of battle was on the Western Front.
After returning home, Mr McGowan, who died in 1960, began a surveying business which resulted in him marking out Wodonga’s Beechworth Road.
Ms McGowan reflected on her grandfather’s legacy of a commitment to education in parliament in 2015
“With this inspiration, I chose to be a teacher and am very grateful to Grandpa for his love, service, sense of duty and vision,” she said.
Ms McGowan was attending a centenary event at Sandy Creek on Friday night, where she was to talk of Mr McGowan’s service which saw him travel to Belgium’s Charleroi for R and R after the Armistice.
The MP will be at Benalla’s Remembrance Day service.
Other Indi projects to have been funded for the Armistice Day commemoration included a memorial storyboard at the Benalla RSL to mark the Australian flying corps of World War I ($2668), a centenary film made by Bright RSL ($6500) and a memorial brick wall at the new Wangaratta RSL sub-branch at the old Sydney Hotel ($12,188).