On 4 August 2014, people gathered to reflect and mark 100 years since the declaration of war in 1914.
The bells tolled eight times at St David’s Cathedral in Hobart. Each toll represented two million of the 16 million soldiers and civilians who died due to the conflict during World War One. Of those 16 million, 60 000 Australians were among the dead and 120 000 were injured.
As the bells tolled, the ecumenical service within St David’s Cathedral provided a time for reflection about the war, which became known as The Great War.
The ecumenical service was organised by the Department of Premier and Cabinet in conjunction with the Tasmanian Council of Churches as part of the Centenary of ANZAC.
Assistant Bishop for the Anglican Church in Tasmania, the Right Reverend Chris Jones, conducted the service to:
“…remember the sounds of the battlefield, the cost of victory, the despair of defeat…, remember those who lie buried in distant lands, soldiers, sailors, airmen, nurses, ancillary workers…remember those who because of conscience fought a different kind of battle, ordinary Australians, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, lovers, relatives and friends…how those events of a century ago affected our world, our nation and continue to impact our future.”
Among those who gathered to remember were the Senior Australian Defence Force Officer, Brigadier John Withers, community members, sons, daughters, and relatives, including Alice Claridge, a descendant of the last Anzac, Private Alec Campbell.
The ecumenical service included prayers and readings from representatives of the Catholic, Uniting, Salvation Army and Quaker faiths, along with readings by Mr Guy Barnett MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier; and Ms Pat Leary, Co-Chair of the Centenary of ANZAC Steering Committee.
After the service, there was an opportunity to view some of St David’s Cathedral’s World War One memorabilia, which includes The Roll of Honour (crafted by Godfrey Rivers) listing the names of 145 enlistments from the parish and 52 “brave St David’s men” who died.
The sermon for the ecumenical service may be viewed online at: