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Conventions and Guidelines for AnzacDay Ceremonies

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    Posted: 09 Oct 2012 at 17:01
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Ceremonial Manual
volume 1
Introduction 21.1
21.1 This chapter details the rules, conventions and guidelines for Anzac Day and Anzac Day 
related ceremonial activities. The sequence for Remembrance Day services is to follow the procedures 
for Anzac Day shown in this chapter.
21.2 All requests for military assistance, which may be given on a voluntary basis to organisers of 
Anzac Day marches or ceremonies, are to be submitted to the area's senior headquarters for approval 
of the appropriate commander in accordance with the provisions of Defence Instruction (General) 
OPS 05–1—Defence Assistance to the Civil Community (DACC). The policy for participation of Army 
Reserve personnel is contained in Defence Instruction (Army) ADMIN 9–1—Policy for Participation in 
ANZAC Day Activities by Army Reserve Members, and is to be read in conjunction with this chapter.
21.3 Serving personnel should be permitted to participate in ceremonies on Anzac Day. Service 
personnel who are eligible may be allowed to volunteer to march in civilian attire with their former 
comrades as individuals.
History 21.4
21.4 A catafalque is a raised structure supporting a stand, upon which a coffin is placed for display 
before burial; people may then file past and pay their last respects to the deceased person. In times gone 
by a watch, or vigil, was mounted around the coffin to ensure that the body was not interfered with whilst 
it laid in State. Today vigils, or catafalque parties, are mounted as a sign of respect around personages 
as they lie-in-State, and around memorials on occasions of remembrance such as Anzac Day (it could 
be said that a memorial is a ‘symbolic coffin’ for those who have fallen).
21.5 The origin of the tradition of resting on reversed arms is lost in time, however, it was used by 
a Commonwealth soldier at the execution of Charles I in 1649 (the soldier was, however, duly punished 
for his symbolic gesture towards the King’s death) and it is recorded that at the funeral for Marlborough, 
in 1722, the troops carried out a formal reverse arms drill, which was especially invented for the service, 
as a unique sign of respect to the great soldier.
21.6 The ‘modern trend’ of sticking rifles upside down into the ground as a temporary memorial to 
a fallen soldier (with a helmet or a hat over the butt) originated with the introduction of tanks. When a 
soldier fell during an advance his mate would pick up the rifle and stick it into the ground, by the bayonet, 
as a marker to indicate to the tanks that a wounded or dead soldier lay there; this way the armoured 
vehicle would not accidentally run over the body.
History of the Dawn Service 21.7
21.7 The Dawn Service on Anzac Day has become a solemn Australian and New Zealand tradition. 
It is taken for granted as part of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) ethos and few 
wonder how it all started. Its story, as it were, is buried in a small cemetery carved out of the bush some 
kilometres outside the northern Queensland town of Herberton.
21.8 Almost paradoxically, one grave stands out by its simplicity. It is covered by protective white- 
washed concrete slab with a plain cement cross at its top end. No epitaph recalls even the name of the 
deceased. The Inscription on the cross is a mere two words—‘A Priest’.
21.9 No person would identify the grave as that of a dedicated clergyman who created the Dawn 
Service, without the simple marker placed next to the grave only in recent times. It reads:
‘Adjacent to, and on the right of this marker, lies the grave of the late Reverend Arthur 
Ernest White, a Church of England clergyman and padre, 44th Battalion, First Australian 
Imperial Force. On 25th April 1923, at Albany in Western Australia, the Reverend White 
led a party of friends in what was the first ever observance of a Dawn parade on ANZAC 
Day, thus establishing a tradition which has endured, Australia wide ever since.’Ceremonial Manual
volume 1
21.10 Reverend White was serving as one of the padres of the earliest ANZACs to leave Australia 
with the First AIF in November 1914. The convoy was assembled in the Princess Royal harbour and King 
George Sound at Albany WA. Before embarkation, at four in the morning, he conducted a service for all 
the men of the battalion. When White returned to Australia in 1919, he was appointed relieving Rector 
of the St John's Church in Albany. It was a strange coincidence that the starting point of the AIF convoys 
should now become his parish.
21.11 No doubt it must have been the memory of his first Dawn Service those many years earlier and 
his experiences overseas, combined with the awesome cost of lives and injuries, which inspired him to 
honour permanently the valiant men (both living and the dead) who had joined the fight for the allied 
cause. ‘Albany’, he is quoted to have said, ‘was the last sight of land these ANZAC troops saw after 
leaving Australian shores and some of them never returned. We should hold a service (here) at the first 
light of dawn each ANZAC Day to commemorate them.’
That is on Anzac Day 1923 he came to hold the first Commemorative Dawn Service.
21.12 As the sun was rising, a man in a small dinghy cast a wreath into King George Sound while 
White, with a band of about 20 men gathered around him on the summit of nearby Mount Clarence, 
silently watched the wreath floating out to sea. He then quietly recited the words: ‘As the sun rises and 
goeth down, we will remember them’. All present were deeply moved and news of the Ceremony soon 
spread throughout the country; and the various Returned Service Communities Australia-wide emulated 
the ceremony.
21.13 Eventually, White was transferred from Albany to serve other congregations, the first in South 
Australia, then Broken Hill where he built a church, then later at Forbes NSW. In his retirement from 
parish life, he moved to Herberton where he became Chaplain of an Anglican convent. However, soon 
after his arrival (on September 26, 1954) he died, to be buried so modestly and anonymously as ‘A 
21.14 White’s memory is honoured by a stained glass window in the all Soul’s Church at Wirrinya, a 
small farming community near Forbes NSW. Members of the parish have built the church with their own 
hands and have put up what they refer to as ‘The Dawn Service Window’, as their tribute to White's 
service to Australia.
Laying of wreaths 21.15
21.15 Flowers have traditionally been laid on graves and memorials in memory of the dead. Laurel 
and rosemary have been associated with Anzac Day. Laurel was used as a symbol of honour, woven 
into a wreath by the ancient Romans to crown victors and the brave. Rosemary is commonly associated 
with remembrance, but in recent years, the poppy, formerly associated with Remembrance Day 
(11 November), has become very popular in wreaths used on Anzac Day.
Wreaths of poppies 21.16
21.16 An early use of the poppy on Anzac Day was in 1940 in Palestine, where it grows in profusion 
in the spring. At the Dawn Service each soldier dropped a poppy as he filed past the Stone of 
Remembrance. A senior Australian officer also a laid a wreath of poppies that had been picked from the 
hillside of Mt Scopus.
Recitation during the commemorative services
21.17 In most ceremonies of remembrance there is a reading of an appropriate poem.
One traditional recitation on Anzac Day is the fourth stanza of the poem ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence 
Binyon. It was first published in The Times (London) in 1914 and later in many anthologies of war verse. 
Its use on Anzac Day may have originated with the Queensland Anzac Day Commemoration Committee, 
which placed it on the cover of a collection of sermons and addresses for Anzac Day published in 1921. 
It was also used at the laying of the Inauguration Stone of the Australian War Memorial in 1929.
21.18 ‘In Flanders fields’ by the Canadian officer J.M. McCrae is another popular recitation. McCrae 
was a professor of medicine at McGill University before the war. A gunner in the Boer War, he served 
as medical officer with the first Canadian contingent in the First World War and wrote this poem at the 
second battle of Ypres in 1915. It was published anonymously in Punch. The writer was wounded in 
May 1918 and died three days later.Ceremonial Manual
volume 1
Ode 21.19
21.19 The Ode comes from ‘For the Fallen’, a poem by the English poet and writer Laurence Binyon 
and was published in London in The Winnowing Fan; Poems of the Great War in 1914. The verse, which 
became the League Ode was already used in association with commemoration services in Australia in 
21.20 Binyon was a highly educated man and very precise in his use of words. There is no doubt that 
had he intended ‘contemn’, then it would have been used.
21.21 Dr John Hatcher, who in 1955 published a biography of Binyon, does not refer to any doubt 
over condemn/contemn, despite devoting a solid chapter to ‘For the Fallen’.
21.22 The British Society of Authors, executors of the Binyon estate, says the word is definitely 
‘condemn’, while the British Museum, where Binyon worked, says its memorial stone also shows 
‘condemn’. Both expressed surprise when told there had been some debate about the matter in 
Australia. The condemn/contemn issue seems to be a distinctly Australian phenomenon. Inquiries with 
the British, Canadian and American Legions revealed that none had heard of the debate.
For the Fallen
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children
England mourns for her dead across the sea,
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow,
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again,
They sit no more at familiar tables of home,
They have no lot in our labour of the daytime,
They sleep beyond England’s foam.
But where our desires and hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the night.
As the stars shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are stary in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
Each year after Anzac Day and Remembrance Day debate rises on the word ‘condemn’ or ‘contemn’. 
The Ode used is the fourth stanza of the poem ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon and was written in 
the early days of WW1. By mid September 1914, less than seven weeks after the outbreak of war, the 
British Expeditionary Force in France had already suffered severe casualties. Long lists of the dead and 
wounded appeared in British newspapers. It was against this background that Binyon wrote ‘For the 
Fallen’. The poem was first published in The Times on 21 September 1914 using the word ‘condemn’. 
Some people have suggested that the use of ‘condemn’ in The Times was a typographical error. 
However, The Winnowing Fan, published a month or two later and for which Binyon would have had 
galley proofs on which to mark amendments, ‘condemn’ was again used.Ceremonial Manual
volume 1
21.23 ‘Contemn’ is not used in Binyon’s published anthologies and the two volumes set ‘Collected 
Poems’, regarded as the definitive version of Binyon’s poems, uses ‘condemn’. The Returned and 
Services League of Australia (RSL) handbook shows ‘condemn’ and a representative of the Australian 
War Memorial said it always used ‘condemn’ in its ceremonies.
Sounding ‘The Last Post’ 21.24
21.24 ‘The Last Post’ is the trumpet or bugle call sounded in barracks and other military installations 
at 10.00 pm each night to mark the end of the day's activities. It is also sounded at military funerals and 
commemorative services to indicate that the soldier's day has drawn to a final close. During the sounding 
of the last post all members in uniform are to stand to attention and salute. Armed parties are to be given 
the command to present arms. During the sounding of ‘The Last Post’ all members in uniform are to 
stand to attention and salute. Armed parties are to be given the command to present arms.
Origin of ‘The Last Post’ 21.25
21.25 ‘The Last Post’ originated in medieval times, about the year 1622 and was known as the 
‘Retreat’. It was usually played at 2200 hr to call ‘the soldiers to retire for the night’ at the end of the day. 
It then became custom over the years to play ‘The Last Post’ at military funerals and commemorative 
functions where the closing sounds of the music sounds out the sad farewell to ‘Lights Out, Lights Out’.
Period of silence 21.26
21.26 Silence for one or two minutes is included in the Anzac Day ceremony as a sign of respect. It 
offers a time for reflection on the significance of the whole ceremony.
21.27 Observation of the two minutes silence occurred at 9.00 am in Adelaide, 1916, on the first 
anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli.
21.28 Edward Honey, an Australian journalist living in London during the First World War, is credited 
with originating the idea. He published a letter in the Evening News of 8 May 1919 appealing for five 
minutes silence among the celebrations of the first anniversary of the Armistice (11 November).
‘Rouse’ and ‘Reveille’ 21.29
21.29 Rouse. After the one minute silence, flags are raised from half-mast to the masthead as 
‘Rouse’ is sounded. Traditionally ‘Rouse’ called soldiers’ spirits to arise, ready to fight for another day. 
Today it is associated with ‘The Last Post’ at all military funerals, and at services of dedication and 
21.30 Reveille. In major ceremonies ‘The Last Post’ is normally followed by ‘Rouse’, except at the 
Dawn Service, when ‘Reveille’ is played. Ordinarily, ‘Reveille’ is played only as the first call of the day, 
while ‘Rouse’ may be used at any time. Historically, ‘Reveille’ woke the soldier at dawn, and the name 
of the ceremony is mentioned in sixteenth century books on war. Until a hundred years ago, ‘Reveille’ 
was performed on drum and fife. Today a solo bugle or trumpet is used.
‘Reveille’ or ‘Rouse’ 21.31
21.31 ‘Reveille’ originated in medieval times, possibly around 1600, to wake the soldiers at dawn; 
‘Rouse’ was the signal for soldiers to arise. ‘Rouse’ is the bugle call more commonly used in conjunction 
with the last post and to the layman is often incorrectly called ‘Reveille’. Although associated with ‘The 
Last Post’, ‘Reveille’ is rarely used because of its length.
Words to ‘The Last Post’
Come home! Come home! The last post is sounding
for you to hear. All good soldiers know very well there
is nothing to fear while they do what is right, and forget
all the worries they have met in their duties through the
year. A soldier cannot always be great, but he can be a
gentleman and he can be a right good pal to his comrades in
his squad. So all you soldiers listen to this—Deal fair by all
and you’ll never be amiss.
Be Brave! Be Just! Be Honest and True Men!Ceremonial Manual
volume 1
21.32 Today the ‘Rouse’ is associated with ‘The Last Post’ at all military funerals and services of 
dedication and remembrance. It is played on the completion of one minute’s silence, after ‘The Last Post’
has been sounded. It calls the soldier’s spirit to rise and prepare for another day.
21.33 The bugle call played after the ‘Silence’ during any Anzac Day ceremony is:
a. Anzac Day Dawn Service: ‘Reveille’.
b. Anzac Day services and Remembrance Day services at other times of the day: ‘Rouse’.
21.34 At 11.00 am on 11 November 1918 the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than 
four years continuous warfare. The allied armies had driven the German invaders back, having inflicted 
heavy defeats upon them over the preceding four months. In November the Germans called for an 
armistice (suspension of fighting) in order to secure a peace settlement. They accepted the allied terms 
of unconditional surrender. 
Figure 21–1: Cambrai, France. 11 November 1918.
Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig,
centre front, with British Army commanders
on Armistice Day (AWM H12241)
Words to ‘Reveille’
Rev-eil-lee! Rev-eil-lee is sounding
The bugle calls you from your sleep; it is the break of day.
You’ve got to do your duty or you will get no pay.
Come, wake yourself, rouse yourself out of your sleep
And throw off the blankets and take a good peek at all
The bright signs of the break of day, so get up and do not delay.
Get Up!
Or-der-ly officer is on his round!
And if you’re still a-bed he will send you to the guard
And then you’ll get a drill and that will be a bitter pill:
So be up when he comes, be up when he comes,
Like a soldier at his post, a soldier at his post, all ser-ene.
Words to the ‘Rouse’
Get up at once, get up at once, the bugle’s sounding,
The day is here and never fear, old Sol is shining.
The Orderly Officer’s on his rounds,Ceremonial Manual
volume 1
Figure 21–2: Sydney, NSW, 8 November 1918.
Crowds in Martin Place waiting with upturned
faces for the flag to be hoisted and bells to be
rung to mark the German agreement to terms for
an armistice to end the war. (AWM P1102/40/01)
21.35 The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month attained a special significance in 
the postwar years. The moment when hostilities ceased on the Western Front became universally 
associated with the remembrance of those who had died in the war. The first modern world conflict had 
brought about the mobilisation of over 70 million people and left between nine and 13 million dead, 
perhaps as many as one-third of them with no known grave. The allied nations chose this day and this 
time for the commemoration of their war dead.
21.36 On the first Armistice, 11 November 1919, the two minutes’ silence was instituted as part of 
the main commemorative ceremony at the new Cenotaph in London. The silence was proposed by an 
Australian journalist working in Fleet Street, Edward Honey. At about the same time a South African 
Statesman made a similar proposal to the British Cabinet, which endorsed it. King George V personally 
requested all the people of the British Empire to suspend normal activities for two minutes on the hour 
of the Armistice ‘which stayed the world wide carnage of the four preceding years and marked the victory 
of the Right and Freedom.’ The two minutes’ silence was popularly adopted and it became a central 
feature of commemorations on Armistice Day.
Figure 21–3: Melbourne, Vic, 11 November 1942.
All traffic stops and service personnel stand
to attention during the two minutes silence
on Armistice Day. (AWM 137060)
Figure 21–4: Canberra, ACT. 1946–11–11.
Wreaths cover the Stone of Remembrance
after The first Remembrance day ceremony
in Front of the Australian War Memorial.
(AWM132253)Ceremonial Manual
volume 1
21.37 On the second anniversary of the Armistice, 11 November 1920, the commemoration in 
London was given added significance when it became a funeral, with the return of the remains of an 
Unknown Soldier from the battle fields of the Western Front. Unknown soldiers were interred with full 
military honours in Westminster Abbey in London and at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The entombment 
in London attracted over one million people within a week to pay their respects at the Unknown Soldiers’ 
Most other allied nations adopted the tradition of entombing unknown soldiers over the following decade.
21.38 In Australia on the 75th anniversary of the Armistice, 11 November 1993, Remembrance Day 
ceremonies again became the focus of national attention. On that day the remains of an unknown 
Australian soldier, exhumed from a First World War military cemetery in France, were ceremonially 
entombed in the Australian War Memorial. Remembrance Day ceremonies were conducted 
simultaneously in towns and cities all over the country, culminating at the moment of burial at 11 am and 
coinciding with the traditional two minutes’ silence. This ceremony, which touched a chord across the 
Australian nation, re-established Remembrance Day as a significant day of commemoration.
Figure 21–5: Tomb of the Unknown Australian
Soldier in the Hall of Memory at the
Australian War Memorial.
21.39 Four years later, in November 1997, the Governor-General, Sir William Deane, issued a 
proclamation formally declaring 11 November Remembrance Day and urging all Australians to observe 
one minutes’ silence at 11 am on 11 November each year to remember those who died or suffered for 
Australia’s cause in all wars and armed conflicts.
Features of Remembrance Day 21.40
21.40 ‘The Red Poppy’. On and around 11 November each year, the RSL sells millions of red cloth 
poppies for Australians to pin to their lapels. Proceeds go to the RSL welfare work. Why a red poppy?
21.41 Colonel John McCrae, who was a Professor of Medicine at Mcgill University in Canada before 
WW1 (joined the Mcgill faculty in 1900 after graduating from the University of Toronto), first described 
the red poppy, the Flanders’ poppy, as the flower of remembrance.
21.42 Although he had been a doctor for years and had served in the Boer War as a gunner, he went 
to France in WW1 as a medical officer with the first Canadian contingent.
21.43 It was impossible to get used to the suffering, the screams, and the blood here, and MAJ John 
McCrae had seen and heard enough in his dressing station to last him a lifetime. As a surgeon attached 
to the 1st Field Artillery brigade, MAJ McCrae, has spent seventeen days treating injured 
men—Canadians, British, Indians, French, and Germans—in the Ypres salient.
21.44 It has been an ordeal that he had hardly thought possible. MAJ McCrae later wrote of it:
‘I wish I could embody on paper some of the varied sensations of the seventeen 
days….Seventeen days of Hades! At the end of the first day if anyone had told us we had to 
spend seventeen days there, we would have folded our hands and said it could not have been 
21.45 One death particularly affected MAJ McCrae. A young friend and former student, LT Alexis 
Helmer of Ottawa, had been killed by a shell burst on 2 May. LT Helmer was buried later that day in the 
little cemetery outside McCrae’s dressing station, and McCrae had performed the funeral ceremony in 
the absence of the chaplain.Ceremonial Manual
volume 1
21.46 The Next day, sitting on the back of an ambulance parked near the dressing station beside the 
Canal de I’Yser, just a few hundred yards north of Ypres, McCrae vented his anguish by composing a 
poem. At the second battle of the Ypres in 1915 when in charge of a small first-aid post, he wrote in pencil 
on a page from his dispatch book a poem that has come to be known as ‘Flanders’ Field’ which described 
the poppies that marked the graves of the soldiers killed fighting for their country. The major was no 
stranger to writing, having authored several medical texts besides dabbling in poetry. In the nearby 
cemetery, McCrae could see the wild poppies that sprang up in the ditches in that part of Europe, and 
he spent twenty minutes of precious rest time scribbling fifteen lines of verse in a notebook.
21.47 A young soldier watched him write it (written May 3, 1915 after the battle at Ypres). Cyril 
Allinson, a twenty-two year old sergeant major, was delivering mail that day when he spotted McCrae. 
The major looked up as Allinson approached, then he went on writing while the sergeant major stood 
there quietly. ‘His face was very tired but calm as we wrote,’ Allinson recalled. ‘He looked around from 
time to time, his eyes straying to Helmer’s grave.’ When he finished five minutes later, he took his mail 
from Allinson and, without saying a word, handed his pad to the young NCO. Allinson was moved by 
what he read:
The poem was exactly an exact description of the scene in front of us both. The word blow was 
not used in the first line though it was used later when the poem later appeared in Punch. But 
it was used in the second last line. He used the word blow in that line because poppies actually 
were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that 
it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene.
21.48 In fact, it was nearly not published. Dissatisfied with it, McCrae tossed the poem away, but a 
fellow officer—either LTCOL Edward Morrison, the former Ottawa newspaper editor who commanded 
the 1st brigade of artillery (4), or LTCOL J.M Elder (5), depending on which source is 
consulted—retrieved it and sent it to the newspapers in England. ‘The Spectator,’ in London, rejected it, 
but ‘Punch’ published it on 8 December 1915.
21.49 McCrae’s ‘In Flanders’ Field’ remains to this day one of the most memorable war poems ever 
written. It is a lasting legacy of the terrible battle in the Ypres salient in the spring of 1915.
21.50 COL McCrae was wounded in May 1918 and was taken to one of the big hospitals on the coast 
of France. On the third evening he was wheeled to the balcony of his room to look over the sea towards 
the cliffs of Dover. The verses were obviously in his mind, for he said to the doctor ‘tell them, if ye break 
faith with us who die we shall not sleep.’ That same night COL McCrae died.
21.51 Each Remembrance Day the British Legion lays a wreath on his grave—a tribute to a great 
man whose thoughts were always for others.
21.52 The wearing of the poppy to keep faith begun when an American, Miss Moira Michael, read 
the poem ‘In Flanders’ Field’ and was so greatly impressed that she decided always to wear a poppy to 
keep the faith. Miss Michael wrote a reply after reading ‘In Flanders Field’ entitled ‘We shall keep the 
In Flanders’ Fields
In Flanders’ Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders’ Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders’ Fields.
‘We Shall Keep the Faith’Ceremonial Manual
volume 1
21.53 Miss Michael worked for the YMCA in America and on Saturday 9 November 1918 hosted a 
meeting of YMCA wartime secretaries from other countries. When several of the secretaries presented 
her with a small gift of money to thank her for her hospitality, she said she would spend it on poppies 
and told them the story of McCrae’s poem and her decision to always wear a red poppy. The French 
secretary, Madame Guerin, conceived the idea of selling artificial poppies to raise money to help needy 
soldiers and their families, and she approached organisations among the countries of the world that had 
fought as allies in Europe to promote the concept.
21.54 In England in 1919, the British Legion was formed to foster the interest of ex-servicemen and 
their dependants, and the late Field Marshal Earl Haig, the first Grand President, sought an emblem 
which would honour the dead and help the living. He adopted the Poppy as the emblem, and since then 
the Red Poppy has been accepted as the Emblem of Remembrance. The day chosen for the wearing of 
the emblems was 11 November, a Day of Remembrance to honour the dead of both World Wars.
21.55 The Returned League and Services of Australia adopted the idea in 1921, announcing, ‘The 
Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia and other Returned Soldiers Organisations 
throughout the British Empire and Allied Countries have passed resolutions at their international 
conventions to recognise the Poppy of Flanders’ Fields as the international memorial flower to be worn 
on the anniversary of Armistice Day.’
21.56 ‘In adopting the Poppy of Flanders’ Fields as the Memorial Flower to be worn by all Returned 
Soldiers on the above mentioned day, we recognise that no emblem so well typifies the Fields whereon 
was fought the greatest war in the history of the world nor sanctifies so truly the last resting place of our 
brave dead who remain in France.’
21.57 ‘The Returned Sailors and Soldiers of Australian join their comrades of the British Empire and 
Allied Countries in asking the people of Australia to wear the poppy; firstly in memory of our sacred dead 
who rest in Flanders’ Fields; secondly to keep alive the memories of the sacred cause for which they laid 
down their lives; and thirdly as a bond of esteem and affection between soldiers of all Allied nations and 
in respect for France, our common battle ground.’
21.58 ‘The little silk poppies which are to be worn on Armistice Day are an exact replica in size and 
colour of the poppies that bloom in Flanders’ Fields. These poppies have been made by the war orphans 
in the devastated regions of France and have been shipped to Australia this year for Armistice Day.’
21.59 The League bought one million poppies from France to sell on 11 November 1921 at one 
shilling each. Five pence per poppy was to go back to France towards a fund for the children of the 
devastated areas of France, with sixpence per poppy being retained by each state branch and one 
penny going to the national office. The League kept up this practice for several years, and of course kept 
the tradition of selling poppies to mark 11 November and to raise money for welfare work, even when 
the poppies were no longer obtained from France. Poppies now sold in Australia are often made locally 
by League members themselves.
Oh! You who sleep in Flanders’ fields,
Sleep sweet— to rise anew;
We caught the torch you threw;
And holding high we kept
The faith with those who died.
We cherish, too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valour led.
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders’ Fields.
And now the torch and poppy red
Wear in honour of our dead
Fear not that ye have died for naught
We’ve learned the lesson that ye taught
In Flanders’ Fields.Ceremonial Manual
volume 1
21.60 Although the Red Poppy of Flanders is a symbol of modern times, legend has it that the poppy 
goes back even to the time of the famous Mongol leader, Genghiz Khan, as the flower associated with 
human sacrifice. In the 12th and early 13th centuries, the Mongol Emperor led his warrior hordes on 
campaigns south to the conquest of India, and west to envelop Russia as far as the shores of the Black 
Support assistance 21.61
21.61 The forms of assistance that may be approved are as follows:
a. guest speaker;
b. chaplain support;
c. marshals;
d. band/bugler;
e. catafalque parties;
f. flag orderlies;
g. armed (or unarmed) party of at least one officer and 20 other ranks;
h. signallers; and
i. vehicle support.
Dress 21.62
21.62 Service personnel attending Anzac Day ceremonies may only wear uniform if participating as 
a member of a formed body of troops in the ceremony, or march, or who are participating in any other 
official capacity in the activities (eg speakers, catafalque parties, unit armed (or unarmed) parties, bands, 
buglers, flag orderlies, marshals etc). All other personnel, including those personnel marching with unit 
associations etc are to wear civilian dress (with the appropriate decorations and medals).
Next of Kin orders, decorations and medals 21.63
21.63 Next of Kin (NOK) orders, decorations and medals are not to be worn by Army personnel with 
any military Orders of Dress. When worn with civilian dress, medals and decorations (worn as medals) 
are to be worn on the right side, as laid down in Army Standing Orders of Dress, volume 2, part 5, chapter 
2. Neck decorations and badges of orders are not to be worn.
Colours 21.64
21.64 Colours which have been laid-up, are not to be carried on Anzac Day marches or ceremonies. 
Colours which are to be laid up immediately following a service may be carried, with an appropriate 
21.65 Standards, Guidons, Colours (both the Queen’s and Regimental Colours), or a Banner may be 
carried under the following conditions:
a. the concurrence of the unit commanding officer is given,
b. the Colours etc are afforded a position in the parade in keeping with their status as a 
symbol of regimental identity and tradition, and
c. the Colour Party and Escort (company size group) are armed in accordance with 
chapter 5—‘Flags, Standards, Guidons, Colours and Banners’.Ceremonial Manual
volume 1
Ode 21.66
21.66 The Ode is the fourth verse of Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For the Fallen’:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them
Lest we forget
‘Lest we forget’ is not a part of the poem, however it has become accepted practice to say it at the 
completion of the Ode.
Bugle calls 21.67
21.67 The bugle call to be played after the ‘Silence’ during any Anzac Day ceremony is as follows:
a. Anzac Day Dawn Service: ‘Reveille’.
b. Anzac Day services (and Remembrance Day services) at other times of the day: 
Australian National Flag 21.68
21.68 Prior to the Anzac Day Dawn Service, the Australian National Flag (ANF) is raised to, or broken 
at, the top of the masthead and then immediately lowered to the half-mast position. Otherwise it is raised, 
or broken, at the normal laid down time and then immediately lowered to the half-mast position.
21.69 On Anzac Day during the playing of ‘Reveille’/‘Rouse’ the ANF is raised to the mast head, and 
at the conclusion of the ceremony the flag is brought back down to the half-mast position. At midday it 
is raised back to the top of the masthead.
21.70 For Anzac Day services conducted on other days and Remembrance Day services the ANF is 
lowered to the half-mast position immediately prior to the commencement of the service. It is then raised 
with the playing of ‘Rouse’, where it remains until sunset (or the appropriate laid down time for Retreat).
Flag Order of Precedence 21.71
21.71 The Order of Precedence for flags is as follows:
a. the ANF:
b. other nations in alphabetical order (eg New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United 
c. State flags (in order of population size);
d. other flags (eg the Australian Aboriginal flag, the Torres Strait Islander flag).
e. Joint Service Ensign;
f. Australian White Ensign;
g. Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Ensign; and
h. Merchant Marine.Ceremonial Manual
volume 1
Order of March 21.72
21.72 The suggested Order of March for an Anzac Day is as follows:
a. parade commander and party;
b. Flag Party and escort;
c. associations granted special status by the march organising authority (eg an association 
celebrating a significant anniversary);
d. Australian World War I (unit) associations (order of precedence: Royal Australian Navy 
(RAN), Army);
e. Australian World War II (unit) associations (order of precedence: RAN, Army, RAAF;
f. Australian post-World War II (unit) and Australian corps/regimental associations (order 
of precedence: RAN, Army, RAAF);
g. Australian peacekeeping associations;
h. Australian Service associations (eg RSL, police etc); and
i. other countries Service associations (eg France, Greece, Netherlands, Vietnam).
21.73 If no march is take place prior to the service at a memorial the Service associations form up at 
the ceremony site before the arrival of the guard, band, and the catafalque party.
21.74 Regimental associations take priority over unit associations (eg the RAR Association would 
march before the 3 RAR Association). 
Laying of wreaths 21.75
21.75 The order for the laying of wreaths is as per the Table of Precedence for the Commonwealth 
of Australia, as laid down in chapter 1—‘General instructions’. Where possible equivalent ranks of the 
three Services (or personnel representing them) should lay their wreaths together.
21.76 The suggested procedure for the laying of a wreath is as follows:
a. move up to the memorial with the wreath in the right hand;
b. halt, pause and then lay the wreath;
c. straighten up, step back a pace, pause and salute; and
d. pause again and then move away from the memorial.
Volleys 21.77
21.77 Volleys are not to be fired at Anzac Day (and Remembrance Day) ceremonies, without the 
approval of Army Headquarters.
Order of Service 21.78
21.78 The suggested Order of Service is given in annex A.
Anzac Day service 21.79
21.79 The procedure for an Anzac Day service is given in annex B.
A. Anzac Day/Remembrance Day Order of Service
B. Procedure for an Anzac Day/Remembrance Day service

Edited by Peter Trounson - 09 Oct 2012 at 17:02
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