Under a grey Sydney sky, 90 Australian Defence Force Cadets yesterday retraced the steps of the servicemen who deployed from Australia’s shores to participate in the nation's first campaign of World War I.
Just like the Navy and Army personnel who volunteered for the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force in 1914, the cadets marched proudly through Sydney’s streets, before boarding a ferry to Cockatoo Island.
It was from there the servicemen departed Australia 100 years ago on board HMAS Berrima. The troops were bound for Rabaul in German New Guinea where they conducted the first successful war campaign for the British Empire by neutralising a German wireless station.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the cadets that Centenary of Anzac commemorations would give Australians an opportunity to develop a better understand of their military history.
“On this anniversary, and throughout the Anzac centenary, we will honour all of those who have done what we have not and hope that we might find it in ourselves to rise to the challenges of our time, as they did to theirs, should we ever be put to the test,” Prime Minister Abbott said.
Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, asked the cadets to imagine themselves at Cockatoo Island 100 years ago, when the Royal Australian Navy was in its infancy and war had just been declared.
“These soldiers and sailors did not hesitate to step forward and serve their nation and their memory inspires us today,” Vice Admiral Barrett said.
Participating in the commemoration activities were Australian Navy Cadets from the Reliance Flotilla, the Sydney Church of England Grammar School’s Army Cadet Unit and Australian Air Force Cadets from 307 City of Bankstown Squadron.
More images of the re-enactment can be found here: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20142411