IT'S WAR: 100 years since Bendigo found out

BENDIGO will relive the moment the city found out Australia was at war on Wednesday. 

Britain declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914.

It was another two days before news Australia would join The Great War arrived in Bendigo. 

In Wednesday's re-enactment of the news breaking on Bendigo's streets, councillor Rod Fyffe will step into the shoes of the then mayor of Bendigo. 

He will wear traditional clothing and give a speech expressing what the news meant to the town and the nation.

"I’ll be declaring to people of Bendigo that we (Australia) are at war as well," he said. "And that we’ll be playing our part to support the allies in any conflicts that may happen."

Cr Fyffe will be applying his best acting skills to the job, though he lamented the lack of elocution lessons to accurately speak in the way typical of the day. 

"I hope there’ll be a lot of people there to witness this re-enactment and get a bit of a feel for how things were in those days," he said.

Cr Fyffe is one of many Bendigonians involved in re-creating the memorable day. Others will be dressed in period clothing and there will be vintage cars and paper boys handing out copies of the Bendigo Advertiser from August 6, 1914.

Event organiser Chris Earl said there would be a brass band playing typical tunes of the era. 

"A lot of those that enlisted marched off to Soldiers of the King, and that’s a tune we’ll hear a number of times tomorrow," Mr Earl said. 

"It's a commemoration that we hope will engage our community and provide a moment to honour with dignity those original Anzacs who enlisted in August and September 1914 and those of that same generation who followed in the four years later," he said. 

"It's an opportunity for our community to begin sharing the stories - the stories of our families and our ancestors."

The re-enactment will take place at noon on Wednesday in front of the town hall on Hargreaves Street.

All Bendigo residents are welcome to attend and watch the re-enactment. 


The Bendigo Advertiser will publish a special double sided poster in Wednesday's printed edition of pages from the August 6, 2014, edition that delivered news of war.


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