ANZAC PREPARATIONS: Rob Asquith, Ross Sillar, Keith Jackson and Paul Clark with Mr Jackson's collection of bugles. Mr Jackson holds Roy Winter's bugle.
ANZAC PREPARATIONS: Rob Asquith, Ross Sillar, Keith Jackson and Paul Clark with Mr Jackson's collection of bugles. Mr Jackson holds Roy Winter's bugle. Christian Morrow

Double commemorations

THIS year, the Anzac Day services in Byron Bay will commemorate two important centenary dates.

The Dawn Service at 5.30am at the Memorial Gates in Marvel Street will commemorate the October 31, 1917 Battle of Beersheba that culminated in the last great charge by Australia's Desert Mounted Corp.

The main service at 11am at the cenotaph, following the march from the Beach Hotel, will commemorate the centenary of Armistice Day, the moment when on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, hostilities ceased.

The date is now traditio- nally the time Australians pause to remember the fallen in all wars.

The address at the main service will be delivered by Ross Sillar, an Infantry Platoon Commander and National Serviceman during the Vietnam War.

At the dawn service Paul Clark, whose grandfather Roy Winter was in the 4th Brigade of the 12th Regiment of the Mounted Corp, will speak about the Charge at Beersheba.

This year, the Last Post and Reveille will be played by Pastor of the Byron Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church, Keith Jackson on the bugle that once belonged to Mr Winter.

Mr Clark, along with his grandfather's bugle, made the trip back to Israel for the centenary celebrations last year.

"It was an incredible experience to follow in my grandfather's footsteps and see the battlefield and other locations like Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the West Bank," Mr Clark said.

Pastor Jackson has been playing the bugle at Anzac ceremonies for the past 40 years and has a large collection of bugles.

"What fascinates me is the original authentic bugles and the original stories that are often lost," he said.

From 4pm on Anzac Day, the Seventh-day Adventist Church will be serving a simple meal of soup and bread on the lawn in front of their Manna Heaven Cafe in Jonson Street.

Free filtered cold water is also always available from their World War I vintage water cart or 'furphy'.

The significance of water in the middle east is not lost on Mr Jackson or Mr Clark.

"Water is so scarce in the Middle East, it was, and is still, seen as a gift from God- a deep spiritual significance is attached to water," Mr Jackson said.

"After a long march in the desert the horses of the Mounted Corps got the scent of the water at Beersheba and that's one of the things that drove them on so relentlessly in the charge," Mr Clark said.

The dawn service will be followed by breakfast at 6.15am. The main service will be followed by a lunch at 12.30pm, both at the Byron Bay Services Club.

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