20th Apr 2017 - 24th Apr 2017

RSLWA ANZAC Day Sunset Services

Each evening 5pm – 5.30pm from Thursday 20 April to Monday 24 April at Kings Park and Botanic Gardens

Sunset Services conducted around the Flame of Remembrance start at 5.00pm and finish at approximately 5.30pm. The Services will be held over five evenings and will focus on a different theme each evening with the program including a wreath laying ceremony.

This year’s themes focus on the following anniversaries:

Thursday 20 April 2017 - 75th Anniversary – Bomber Command Operations

First 1,000-bomber raid launched by the RAF. The target was Cologne, Germany. To make up the numbers, crews were taken from operational training units to participate in the raid.

Friday 21 April 2017 - 75th Anniversary – Battles of El Alamein & Kokoda

The battle of El Alamein, one of the turning point battles of the Second World War, began with a massive artillery bombardment preceding attacks by British and Australian divisions. The last battle of El Alamein demonstrated the growing numerical and material superiority of the Allied powers.  Casualties were severe though with the 9th Australian Division suffering in excess of 2,500 battle casualties (wounded and killed).

Kokoda is recognised as one of the most significant campaigns of the Second World War to Australians in both a physical and symbolic sense.   The Kokoda Trail (Kokoda Track) campaign consisted of a series of battles fought between July and November 1942 between Japanese and Allied, primarily Australian-forces, in what was then the Australian territory of Papua.

Saturday 22 April 2017 - 75th Anniversary – HMAS Perth & USS Houston Sinking

Having survived the battle of the Java Sea, HMAS Perth and the United States Cruiser Houston were sunk in a battle against overwhelming Japanese forces in the Battle of the Sunda Strait in 1942.  About half of Perth's crew went down with the ship, including the Captain – Captain Hec Waller. Those who survived the sinking, became prisoners of war. Approximately one- third of them died during captivity, many on the Burma – Thailand railway.

Sunday 23 April 2017 - 75th Anniversary – Massacre of Vyner Brooke

This date marks the 75th Anniversary of the massacre of Australian nurses and other survivors of the Vyner Brooke, Banka Island and Strait of Sumatra. Vyner Brooke was one the last ships carrying evacuees (including 65 Australian nurses) to leave Singapore in February 1942. It was sunk by Japanese aircraft in the Banka Strait. Of the 65 Australian nurses embarked upon the Vyner Brooke, 12 were killed during the air attack or drowned following the sinking, 21 were murdered on Radji Beach, and 32 became internees, 8 of whom subsequently died before the end of the war.

Monday 24 April 2017 - 100th Anniversary – Battles of Bullecourt and Passchendaele

100th Anniversary of the Battles of Bullecourt and Lagincourt and 100th Anniversary of the Third Battle of Passchendaele - Ypres.

Marked by some of the most intense trench fighting of the war, the two battles of Bullecourt (April and May 1917) cost Australia more than 10,000 casualties.  After the two battles of Bullecourt, more than 2,200 Australians and more than 1,800 Britons killed in action (K.I.A) have no known grave.