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History of Two Minutes Silence

This article was written for the South African Legion by Peter Dickens and later published in the Kenya Regiment Magazine, Mini Sitrep Kenya.  One of our members, Don Thompson kindly forwarded the publication:

 I wonder whether readers realise that the ‘ two minutes silence’ and its association to Armistice Day, Remembrance Day (or 11/11). has a South African origin?

 This is why South Africans should stand proud of what they have given the world and on Remembrance Sunday and on Armistice Day in November – when the Western world stands silent in remembrance for “two minutes”, remember also that the entire ceremony has South African roots.

 At 05.30 in the morning of 11th November 1918. the Germans signed the Armistice Agreement also known as the Armistice of Compiegne, in a railway carriage in a remote siding in the heart of. the Forest of Compiegne, 60 km north of Paris.  Soon wires were humming with the message – ‘Hostilities will cease at 11.00 today,. November 11th.  Troops will stand fast on the line reached that hour.’

 Thus, at 11.00 on 11th November 1918 the guns on the Western Front in France and Flanders fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare; warfare that had witnessed the most horrific casualties.   World War One (then known as the Great War) had ended.

 The time and date attained an important significance in post-war years and the moment that hostilities ceased became universally associated with the remembrance of those that died in that and su

When the first casualty lists recording the horrific loss of life in the Battles of the Somme were announced in Cape Town, Mr J.A. Eagar, a Cape Town businessman suggested, that the congregation of the church be attended, observe a special silent pause to remember those in the South African casualty list.  It was the church also attended by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick.  In May 1918, the Mayor of Cape Town, Councillor H. Hands (later Sir Harry Hands,) at the suggestion made by Mr. R.R. Brydon, a city councillor, in a letter to the Cape Times, initiated a period of silence to remember the events unfolding on the battlefields of Europe and the sacrifices being made there.    Mr. Brydon’ s son. Major Walter Brydon, was three times wounded and once gassed, was killed on April 1918.

 The pause would follow the firing of the Noon Gun, the most audible signal with which to co-ordinate the event across the city of Cape Town. The boom of the gun for the midday pause of three minutes for the first time on 14 May 1918, became the signal for all activity in the Mother City to come to a halt. Everything came to a dead stop while everyone bowed their heads in silent prayer for those in the trenches in Flanders.

 As soon as the city fell silent, a trumpeter on the balcony of the Fletcher and Cartwright’s Building on the comer of Adderley and Darling Streets, sounded the Last Post, the melancholy strains of which reverberated through the city. Reveille was played at the end of the midday pause.

 Articles in the newspapers described how trams, taxis and private vehicles stopped. Pedestrians came to a halt and most men bared their heads. People stopped what they were doing at their places of work and sat or stood silently. The result of the Mayor’s appeal exceeded all expectations. One journalist described a young woman dressed in black, who came to a halt on the pavement and furtively dabbed at her eyes with a handkerchief. ‘One could not but wonder what personal interest she had in the act of remembrance’, he wrote.

 A few days later, Sir Harry, whose son Captain Richard Hands, a member of Brydon’s Battery, had been mortally wounded in the same battle in which Major Brydon had been killed, decided to shorten the duration of the pause to two minutes, in order to better retain its hold on the people.

 In terms of the meaning of ‘two minutes’, it was also argued that the first minute is for ‘thanksgiving for those that ‘survived’, and the second is to ‘remember the fallen’.

 The midday pause continued daily in Cape Town and was last observed on 17th January 1919, but was revived in Cape Town during the Second World War. It had however, become a pause throughout the British Commonwealth from 11th November 1919.

 Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, author of the book ‘Jock of the Bushveld’, had been impressed by the period of silence kept in his local church after the horrific loss of life at Delville Wood became known and the casualty lists read out.  He had a personal interest in the daily remembrance as his son, Major Nugent Fitzpatrick, battery commander of 71st Siege Battery, was killed on 14th December 1917 by a chance shell fired at long range. Sir Percy was understandably deeply affected by the loss of his favourite son and was also so moved by the dignity and effectiveness of the two-minute pause in Cape Town, that the date and time of the Armistice inspired him to an annual commemoration on an Imperial basis.

 On 27th  October 1919, a suggestion from Fitzpatrick for a moment of silence to be observed annually on 11th  November. in honour of the dead of World War I, was forwarded to George V. then King of the United Kingdom, who on 7th  November 1919, proclaimed “that at the hour when the Armistice came into force. the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. there may be for the brief space of two minutes, a complete suspension of all our normal activities, so that in perfect stillness, the thoughts of everyone may be concentrated on reverent remembrance of the glorious dead.”

 11th November was the date in l918 that the formal end of combat occurred to end WWI.  Fitzpatrick was thanked for his suggestion of the two-minutes silence by Lord Stamfordharn, the King’s Private

Secretary who wrote:

 Dear Sir Percy.

 “The King. who learns that you are shortly to leave for South Africa, desires me to assure you that he ever gratefully remembers that the idea of the Two Minute pause on Armistice Day was due to your initiation, a suggestion readily adopted and carried out with heartfelt sympathy throughout the Empire”.

 Use the link below for more info on the Kenya Regiment.




Social Member Celebrated Birthday

One of our regular social Members, Pat Barlow celebrated her 70th surprise birthday at the weekly morning tea on Friday 8th September with other club members.  Pat turned 70 on Tuesday 12th September.  The President provided the cake which was prepared in the shape of a very hairy little dog.

 All members of the Kenmore-Moggill RSL wish her well.

Member’s Milestone


Keith Victorsen OAM, a long-standing member of the Kenmore-Moggill RSL recently celebrated his 90th birthday.  Pictured is Keith and his wife Barbara with a birthday cake presented by the RSL Club made by Julie Grey.

Keith was born in Brisbane on 3rd September 1927 and attended the Coorparoo State School between 1932 and 1942. He left school at the age of 14 and commenced working at the Truth Newspaper the day Singapore fell – 15th February 1942. 

At the age of 16 Keith joined the Air Training Corps for a two-year theory training course after which an automatic Air Force call up would happen.  Unfortunately, two weeks before his call up was due the Americans dropped the two bombs on Japan and all call ups and recruiting for the Air Force was terminated.  Following the end of the war Keith did attempt to enter the Air Force but due to recruiting restrictions limited to ex RAAF personnel and technical tradesmen, he was excluded.

Being despondent with the Air Force, Keith joined the CMF and spend most of his time at the Annerley Dudley Street Depot – Royal Australian Army Service Corp.  He spent six years with the CMF reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant, qualifying for the rank of Warrant Officer and missing out on securing a Commission due to the failure of one subject – Army Tactics.  Keith says: “that his view on tactics and his colonel instructor’s view widely differed” – hence no Commission.

 In 1947 Keith joined a new company -Equitable Probate and General Insurance Company and continued on with the company for 45 years working in Brisbane, Sydney (1961) and South Australia on a temporary basis.

 Following Keith’s retirement, he returned to Brisbane and took up voluntary work as a guide in Government House working for both Quentin Bryce and Penelope Wensley.   He did this for seven years while concurrently volunteering as secretary for the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) for some 13 years.  At the age of 90, Keith still volunteers his services to RSUI two days per week

 It was during the time Keith was volunteering at RUSI he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia – the Citation states (in part) “for services to the Royal United Services Institute and veterans”.

 Keith has stated that he thoroughly enjoyed his time at RUSI and made mention of the three wonderful presidents he had the pleasure of working with, they were: Major Generals John Hartley and Kevin Cooke and Group Captain Ross Clelland.

Everyone at Kenmore-Moggill RSL wishes you a very happy 90th birthday and wish you and Barbara well.

Australia’s War Animal Memorial


The Australian War Animal Memorial Organization (AWAMO) will be opening Australia’s War Animal Memorial at Pozières, France on 21 July 2017.

This Australian first, honours not only all Australian animals that served and died on the Western Front but all other animals from all nations.

Read the full account and history of war animals on the following link:

Aust War Animals


Qld Govt. Concessions to Vetreans and Seniors

The Queensland Government offers many concessions to veterans in possession of Gold and White Cards as well as seniors and pensioners in our community.  The link below provides a consolidated overview if the concessions available.  Further information can be obtained for the Department of Communities or by contacting the Pensions Officer at Kenmore-Moggill Sub-Branch Inc.


Qld Gov Booklet concessions-made-easy (004)


Vietnam Research Resource

Attached at the Web Link below is a very well constructed and in depth research document which may be of interest to Vietnam Veterans or anyone interested in the Vietnam era or those carrying out research projects. 

The effort that has gone into the production of this document has been considerable.

Select the link below:





News N Views February 2017

Join the League today to Support fellow Veterans

Join the League today to Support fellow Veterans

Read February 2017 edition of News n Views by clicking here:  News n Views Feb 2017

Non-Liability Health Care


DVA Factsheet HSV109 –  More information may be obtained by selecting one of the links or by contacting the Advocate’s office located at Kenmore-Moggill RSL Block 5, Fairview Aged Care Pinjarra Hills. Contact numbers are located on this site under Advocacy and Welfare.


This Factsheet is about non-liability health care treatment available to current and former members of the ADF, including who is eligible and how to apply to access treatment.

What is non-liability health care?

Non-liability health care allows former and current ADF personnel, depending on their eligibility, to receive treatment for the following conditions:

  • Cancer (Malignant Neoplasm);
  • Pulmonary Tuberculosis;
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD);
  • Depressive Disorder;
  • Anxiety Disorder;
  • Alcohol Use Disorder; and
  • Substance Use Disorder.

There is no need to establish that these conditions were caused by your service. However, the specific conditions for which you may be eligible to receive treatment depend on the period in which you served or, in some cases, the nature of your service (e.g. service on operational deployments).

Am I eligible?

All current and former members with continuous full-time service (CFTS) are eligible for treatment of the following conditions:

  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD);
  • Depressive Disorder;
  • Anxiety Disorder;
  • Alcohol Use Disorder; and
  • Substance Use Disorder.

Non-liability health care treatment of Cancer (Malignant Neoplasm) and Pulmonary Tuberculosis is available to those with the following types of service:

  • eligible war service under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA)
  • operational service under the VEA
  • warlike and non-warlike service under the VEA or the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA)
  • peacekeeping service
  • hazardous service; or
  • British Nuclear Test defence service as defined in the VEA.
  • completed 3 years CFTS between 7 December 1972 and 6 April 1994; or
  • were discharged on the grounds of invalidity or physical or mental incapacity to perform duties before completing 3 years CFTS between 7 December 1972 and 6 April 1994, but were engaged to serve not less than 3 years; or
  • were a National Serviceman serving on 6 December 1972 and completed your contracted period of National Service.

How do I apply?

To apply for non-liability health care for cancer of pulmonary tuberculosis, you need to fill out application form D9215 Application for Health Care for Cancer (Malignant Neoplasm) and Tuberculosis and return it to DVA using the directions provided on the form.

There is no need to lodge an application form for non-liability health care for PTSD, anxiety disorder, depressive disorder, alcohol use disorder or substance use disorder. However, you can complete form D9213 Application for Health Care for Certain Mental Health Conditions, if you wish to do so. Alternatively, you can email your request for non-liability health care for these conditions to [email protected], or apply over the phone by calling DVA on the General Enquiries numbers listed at the end of this Factsheet.

You may need to provide proof of identity, and your service records will be examined to check your service eligibility.

For cancer and pulmonary tuberculosis, a diagnosis by an appropriately qualified health professional is also required as part of the application process. A diagnosis of cancer (malignant neoplasm) or pulmonary tuberculosis can be made by your treating medical practitioner.

For mental health conditions, a diagnosis is not required at the time of application in order for treatment to be approved. However, a diagnosis is required within six months of the date of approval if treatment is to continue past that period. A diagnosis can be made by a psychiatrist, a general practitioner (GP) or a clinical psychologist.

What treatment is covered?

A range of treatments may be available to you. These could include treatment from a general practitioner, medical specialist, psychologist, social worker, occupational therapist, psychiatrist, hospital services, specialist PTSD programs, pharmaceuticals, or oncologist services as required to treat the condition

If you are found to be eligible you will be issued with a DVA Health Card – for specific conditions (White Card). More information on the treatment available can be found in Factsheet HSV61 DVA Health Card – Specific Conditions (White).

How will this affect my compensation claims?

Non-liability health care entitlements are entirely separate to the process of claiming compensation. Compensation for accepted conditions is paid on the basis that the condition is related to your service. Non-liability health care treatment is provided regardless of the cause of your condition. This means that if you claim compensation for a condition for which you are also eligible to receive treatment under non-liability health care and the compensation claim is not accepted, you may continue to be eligible for non-liability health care.


The information contained in this Factsheet is general in nature and does not take into account individual circumstances. You should not make important decisions, such as those that affect your financial or lifestyle position on the basis of information contained in this Factsheet. Where you are required to lodge a written claim for a benefit, you must take full responsibility for your decisions prior to the written claim being determined. You should seek confirmation in writing of any oral advice you receive from DVA.

Related Factsheets

Related Forms

More Information

DVA General Enquiries

Metro Phone: 133 254 *

Regional Phone: 1800 555 254 *

Email: [email protected]

DVA Website: www.dva.gov.au

Factsheet Website: www.dva.gov.au/factsheets

* Calls from mobile phones and pay phones may incur additional charges.

War Widows Pension and the Pension Changes 1 Jan 2017



You may have read reports in the media about some widows claiming to have lost their War Widows pension because of recent changes to the assets test.

Those reports are inaccurate.

The facts are that the War Widows pension is not means tested and is not affected by changes to the assets test which came into effect on 1 January 2017.  It is therefore not possible for a widow to lose their War Widows pension because of the recent changes.  (Please also note that the changes to asset testing is a Government initiative, not DVA).

However DFWA understands that some War Widows may have been affected by the changes, specifically those widows in receipt of a supplementary pension, which may have been affected as a result of the changes to the assets test.

By way of explanation, some widows were offered and elected to receive a lump sum compensation payment instead of an ongoing War Widows pension (this being dependent upon which Parliamentary Act was involved at the time of application).  Such widows then do not receive a War Widows pension, although are still classified as War Widow (and have a DVA Gold Card).  This is because the War Widows pension is classified as compensation and one cannot be compensated twice (because of having received a lump sum).  However – and this is where the confusion lies – they may still qualify for a supplementary pension.  Some widows mistakenly view that supplementary pension as being their “War Widows pension” – it is not, and unlike the full War Widows pension, is subject to asset testing.  Thus, the recent changes to asset testing mean that some widows may had had their supplementary pension affected (but retain their Gold Card).

All widows should be reassured that any widow who is affected by the recent changes to asset testing will have received a letter from DVA some time ago explaining their personal circumstances.

 Should you have any questions on this matter or your pension and entitlement payments, please contact the DVA and/or Centrelink, depending on your personal circumstances, noting that our advice is just that – advice, albeit given in good faith and to the best of our knowledge and understanding.

Advice provided through the VVAA.