On 11 November 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after four years of continuous warfare. With their armies retreating and close to collapse, German leaders signed an Armistice, bringing to an end the First World War. From the summer of 1918, the five divisions of the Australian Corps had been at the forefront of the allied advance to victory. Beginning with their stunning success at the battle of Hamel in July, they helped to turn the tide of the war at Amiens in August, followed by the capture of Mont St Quentin and Pèronne, and the breaching of German defences at the Hindenburg Line in September. By early October the exhausted Australians were withdrawn from battle. They had achieved a fighting reputation out of proportion to their numbers, but victory had come at a heavy cost. They suffered almost 48,000 casualties during 1918, including more than 12,000 dead.

In the four years of the war more than 330,000 Australians had served overseas, and more than 60,000 of them had died. The social effects of these losses cast a long shadow over the postwar decades.


One Minute's Silence

Each year on this day Australians observe one minute’s silence at 11am, in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.

Although Remembrance Day is different this year, the Australian War Memorial’s website includes different ways to help us commemorate wherever we are – at home, school or work.

Remembrance Day National Ceremony

On 11 November 2020, the Australian War Memorial will hold a nationally televised Remembrance Day commemorative ceremony. In light of the restrictions resulting from the pandemic, the format of the ceremony has been altered to ensure it complies with COVID-safe rules and will be attended by a limited number of invited guests; and broadcast live across Australia by the ABC and available later on ABC iview.

As always, the service will include the laying of wreaths and a minute’s silence on the eleventh hour.  At this time, the Australian public will be encouraged to safely pause in their homes, schools or workplaces to observe the minute’s silence to remember not only those lost, but all who came home and also those who follow in their footsteps.

The Memorial will remain closed on the morning of Wednesday 11 November and will reopen to the public at the conclusion of the National Ceremony. Free timed tickets will be required to visit the galleries and will be available for sessions from 12.40 pm onwards. Tickets and visitor information can be found via the following link www.awm.gov.au/visit  

Last Post Ceremony

Each day the story of one of the fallen servicemen or women listed on the Roll of Honour is told at the Last Post Ceremony

Traditionally on the 11th of November, the eulogy for the Unknown Australian Soldier is read.


After-hours Commemoration

This Remembrance Day the Australian War Memorial is offering extended visiting hours to the Commemorative Area and Hall of Memory, allowing members of the public to pay a personal tribute. Visitors may also view the wreaths laid earlier in the day by dignitaries and members of the Diplomatic Corps as a gesture of a unified desire for peace and in respect of those men and women lost in all nations during war and other operations .

The evening opening will commence at  5.30pm and run until 7.00pm.  Visitors will not need to book a ticket for the after-hours visit but will need to provide name and contact details on arrival for contact tracing purposes.


Gallery Photographs from 11 November 1918

An unidentified cinematographer capturing the last shots to be fired before the armistice on 11 November 1918. Note the line of bare trees under which the guns are placed.

Sydney, NSW. 1918-11-11. Crowd in Martin Place celebrating the news of the signing of the armistice. This date was celebrated in later years as Remembrance Day

Cambrai, France. 11 November 1918. Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, centre front, with British Army commanders on Armistice Day. (Donor Imperial War Museum Q9690)

Adelaide, South Australia. 1918-11. A huge crowd at Parliament House for the Declaration of the Signing of the Armistice. (Donor W.S. Smith)

Remembrance Day 2019

Watch the video of the 2019 Remembrance Day ceremony below.