On the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, a minutes’ silence is observed and dedicated to those service men and women who fought and served to protect our nation.

11 November, originally known as Armistice Day, was a day to remember those who died in World War One. Today the loss of Australian lives from all wars and conflicts is commemorated on Remembrance Day.

Part of our very own War Widows Guild history is connected to Remembrance Day. The first reference to our well-known badge appeared in NSW Guild records, fittingly, on Remembrance Day 11 November 1947.

At a Special Council meeting three days later, it was proposed that a ‘small distinctive badge should be worn, uniform in all States and a request for Royal patronage should be made’. It was important to the Guild that its motif be Australian. The kookaburra drew on links with both the 7th Battalion and General Vasey. The kookaburra was the formation sign for the 7th Battalion whose GOC was General Vasey from 1942-44. It stamped the Guild with a determinedly Australian emblem, a territorial independent bird whose characteristics remain potent in our organisation today.

Today is about our veterans but is also about those who they left behind. The Australian War Widows badge is a significant and well recognised symbol for war widows in our country.

On 11 November at 11.00am, we pause to remember all men, women and families of the Australian Defence Force who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

We will remember them. Lest we forget.

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