As the hot sun beamed down, hundreds bowed their heads and stood in silence at the Shepparton cenotaph at the 11th hour on Saturday morning.
The Shepparton RSL held its annual Remembrance Day commemoration service on Saturday, with huge numbers turning out for the event.
‘‘The crowd was at least double the size because of the day being on a weekend,’’ Shepparton RSL president Bob Wilkie said.
Close to 400 people, including veterans, RSL members, ex-servicemen, dignitaries, families and children, gathered — overlooking a field of small white miniature crosses.
A field of remembrance.
Crosses etched with the names of hundreds of Shepparton and Mooroopna residents who have fallen and since departed.
Shepparton resident Travis Rosenow, from the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, spoke about his ancestral history.
He served in the Australian Defence Force for more than 16 years, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and great-grandfather.
‘‘My great-grandfather Henry Weight served in the infantry in World War I,’’ Mr Rosenow said.
‘‘When he returned my great-grandmother said he was ‘a stranger in her husband’s body’... he cried tears into a whiskey bottle.’’
Mr Rosenow joined the Army Reserve in 1993, first becoming involved through the Shepparton barracks as a 21-year-old.
He served in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and at a number of locations across Australia, honourably discharged after reaching the rank of Sergeant in 2008.
‘‘Today is a very significant day... it’s for all the ex and current ADF personnel,’’ he said.
‘‘Some of the troops that I’ve taught are deployed overseas now, so it’s an emotional day.
‘‘It’s about being there for one another.’’
More than 1.5 million Australians have served in defence of our nation and our values and more than 102000 have died.
Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice.