A big contingent of Pony Club members on horseback were a feature of the march from the RSL hall to the war memorial on Anzac Day in York this year.

Fourteen riders joined the parade which included service men and women from as far back as WWII or their descendants along with members of volunteer groups, cadets, representatives of the WA Police and others. Ted Maziuk was parade marshal.

Earlier in the day about 300 people gathered on Mount Brown for the traditional dawn service and about 100 went on to the gunfire breakfast at the RSL.

Errol Smith was Master of Ceremonies for the 11.00am service at the war memorial. The singing of hymns and anthems was led by Nice 'n' Easy. Prayers were by Mrs Heather Brown from the Anglican Church, Lieutenant Carol O'Leary from the Salvation Army and Father Stephen Cooney from the Catholic Church. The Ode was recited by RSL president, Dave Jones.

Military historian, Dr Michael Galvin, was guest speaker. In his talk Dr Galvin thanked York Society archivist, Julie Rae and local librarian, Cindy Keeble who helped with research for his address.

The talk centred on the number of York men and women who served in WWI. It was apparent that 25 men from York volunteered initially for training as light horsemen. WA contributed the 11th Light Horse Battalion and part of the 12th to the first Australian contingent of 20,000 men sent to fight in WWI.

Rolls of honour originally housed in different places around York indicated that 596 people from York including one woman, Ethel Monger, enlisted over the course of the war. This was to change the structure of the York community for ever, Dr Galvin said.

Initially volunteers thought the war would be over before they got to the front but it went on for four blood soaked years. Of those from York 117 (about 20%) did not return. There are 73 names on the York war memorial and a further 44 should be, he said.

It was appropriate that everyone who served in military forces should be remembered on Anzac Day. He welcomed the decision to include peacekeepers killed in the course of duties on honour rolls.

During the ceremony wreaths were laid and there were short addresses and poems read by the York District High School head boy and head girl, Daniel Faulkner and Amber Goward-Bell. There was lunch and a social gathering at the RSL hall in the afternoon. 

Lindsay McNeill

ABOVE: Members of the Pony Club contingent bring up the rear of the Anzac parade in South Street as it nears the war memorial.

The Anzac parade moves along Avon Terrace on route to the war memorial; the parade turns into South Street at the Castle hotel; during the Anzac ceremony at the York war memorial