The Armidale and District National Servicemen's Association Sub-branch 2021 Commemoration Service

Armidale Nashos at a service in 2018
Armidale Nashos at a service in 2018

The Armidale and District National Servicemen's Association Sub-branch Inc (Armidale Nashos), will hold a church service in the St Paul's Presbyterian Church at 9.30am, followed by a Commemoration Service at the National Servicemen's Memorial in Central Park at 11.30am on Sunday, February 14.

The Commemoration Service is in memory of national servicemen (conscripts) killed in action during World War 2 and Vietnam, died during their service and who have passed away since completing their national service obligations.

National service in Australia comprised of four different schemes.

The first was from 1911 to 1929, the second was from 1939 to 1945, the third was from 1951 to 1959 and the fourth was from 1965 to 1972. More than 1.2 million men and boys served in the four schemes.

The first scheme included junior cadets (12 to 14 years of age), senior cadets (14 to 18 years of age), citizen forces (adults 18 to 20 years of age), and training varied from 11 to 16 days per year. In times of war citizen forces (adults 20 to 26 years of age) could be called up.

Barry Dawson president Armidale Nashos

Barry Dawson president Armidale Nashos

In the second scheme, initially unmarried men turning 21 were conscripted, after Japan's entry into World War 2, the Defence Act allowed the call up of five different age groups ranging from 18-year-olds to 59-year-olds.

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The third scheme required men turning 18 to undertake 176 days of national service training in a mixture of full and part-time service.

The fourth scheme required 20-year-old men selected by ballot to undertake 730 days of full-time military training.

About 19,000 national servicemen served in Vietnam where 200 were killed in action including one from Armidale, two from Uralla, one from Inverell and three from Tamworth.

Again at this year's Commemoration Service we will involve the flags of the three local nashos killed in Vietnam. Pte William (Billy) Brett (Armidale), Pte Trevor Attwood and Lance Corporal Ross McMillan both from Uralla).

Guest speaker will be Mrs Margaret Kennedy, President Armidale Legacy and 10 schools from Armidale, Uralla and Guyra have been invited.

School students will be involved in the service by laying wreaths and reciting the National Servicemen's Ode and the Ode of Remembrance.

Families and friends of passed members plus members of the public have been invited to lay wreaths or floral tributes.

All are welcome to attend.

This story Armidale Nashos will gather together this Sunday to pay their respects first appeared on The Armidale Express.