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Reflecting on our ANZAC ties
With the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli approaching, CFA members around Victoria will take time to reflect on the meaning of this occasion, particularly those with links to the First World War and the people who served.
In his blog, CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson notes that there is a striking commonality between CFA (and the then Country Fire Brigades Board) and the Australian Imperial Force (AIF).
“The AIF was a largely volunteer force, drawn from people of all walks of life from almost every settlement in the country,” he said.
“Volunteering was one of the characteristics of our diggers – and it continues to be part of the spirit of Australia. We, as a volunteer based fire and emergency service, should be proud of this connection,” he said.
“On this the centenary of the landing of Gallipoli, we should be ready to commemorate their service and our connection with their fire service history,” CO Ferguson said.
While CFA was formed in 1945, it was preceded by the Country Fire Brigades Board (from 1890) and prior to that, individual town fire brigades.
Between 1914 and 1918, 147 CFBB volunteers were killed in action and a further 191 were wounded.
Jim Kelly, a VFBV delegate and life member at Belgrave Heights & South Brigade, travelled to Gallipoli today (Wednesday 15 April). As well as attending the dawn and Lone Pine services, he has volunteered to carry plaques on behalf of both CFA and VFBV - which he intends to present to a nearby fire station.
Jim’s uncle served at Gallipoli, Belgium and France, and his son is an historian at the Australian War Memorial.
To mark the 100 year anniversary, CFA News & Media will feature stories from brigades and members, including Jim’s, who have connections to WWI. These will be listed below as they are published: