By Kath Gannaway
The year 1917 ended much as it had begun for Australians fighting on the Western Front – with our Diggers bogged in the muddy trenches of France and Belgium.
It was a year of suffering and grief for a whole generation in which 76,836 Australians became casualties in battles such Bullecourt, Messines, and the four-month campaign around Ypres known as the battle of Passchendaele.
Among the tens of thousands of British and Empire troops who remain missing in France and Belgium, some lie in nameless graves, others have never been found.
On Anzac Day, Tuesday, 25 April, thousands of community members will remember them as the sun rises and in commemorative marches around the Yarra Valley.
Healesville RSL’s dawn service is at 5.45am at the RSL, followed by a 10am commemorative march from Church Street to the Memorial Hall, assembling at 9.30am.
Marysville RSL will conduct a commemorative march from the Lyell-Murchison roundabout at 10.30am to the cenotaph for a service at 11am.
The Millgrove Residents Action Group will hold a 6am dawn service in the town park.
Mt Evelyn RSL will hold a dawn service from 5.45am at the War Memorial Park, followed by a Commemorative March to the clubrooms on Birmingham Road.
A dawn service will be run by Lilydale RSL at the cenotaph in the Ralph Goode Reserve in the main street from 5.45am.
Upper Yarra RSL will hold a dawn service at 5.45am at the Yarra Junction Cenotaph, followed by a breakfast at the RSL. A commemorative march will start at 10am from Little Yarra Road down the main street to the cenotaph.
Wandin Rotary Club’s commemorative service will be held at 8.30am at the Wandin cenotaph on the corner of Hunter and Beenak roads.
Warburton RSL will hold a commemorative march from the RSL at 10am, followed by a 10.40am service at the Main Street cenotaph.
In Yarra Glen, the RSL will hold a commemorative march from the police station in King Street from 10am, followed by a 10.30am service at the Memorial Hall.
For more information, visit yarraranges.vic.gov.au