10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Armistice Living Tribute performances, Saturday, October 13
Bass Coast will host three Armistice Living Tribute performances to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armistice.
The group Cultural Infusion will perform the musical and acrobatic shows, which pay tribute to some of the least known and least likely heroes of the World War One: Australia’s military musicians.
From 1914 until 1966, they had two roles to play – as members of the band and as stretcher-bearers and medics. It was a tradition that Australia inherited from the British army, but one the Anzac musicians made their own.
At Gallipoli, in the trenches on Walker’s Ridge, under the command of General John Monash, the 15th Battalion Band gave a concert. The bandmaster, William Crane, received three cheers. It was to be his last appearance before being wounded and returned to Australia.
By the end of the Gallipoli campaign, only eight of the original 31 members of the 15th Battalion Band remained. It was not their duties as musicians that caused them to be killed and wounded at such a high rate. It was their other job, as stretcher bearers.
The role of musicians as stretcher bearers continued until 1966, when the Brass Band of the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment went into battle in Vietnam as armed stretcher bearers and medics. Their band members became the last Australian musicians to serve as stretcher bearers in battle. When 5RAR returned to Australia in 1967, the band was able to lead the battalion in a parade through Sydney, despite suffering its own casualties.
Cultural Infusion will be supported by the Wonthaggi Citizen’s Band and members of the local RSL.