The Kalgoorlie RSL sub-branch will host its 2022 Anzac Day service at Kalgoorlie War Memorial on Monday morning, with this year’s dawn service highlighting the infamous Burma-Thailand Railway prisoner of war camp.
About 4000 Kalgoorlie-Boulder residents are expected to pay their respects at the annual dawn service, with local war veterans Royce Spencer and Bill Richie to attend the ceremony.
Mr Richie, aged 93, graduated from the WA School of Mines before joining the Royal Australian Navy in 1944, where he served for 39 years.
Mr Spencer, who is the RSL WA vice-president, also joined the Royal Australian Navy after growing up in Kalgoorlie and will give the commemorative address at the 11am service.
Kalgoorlie RSL president Robyn Steenbach said the club was honoured to welcome Mr Spencer and Mr Richie to attend its services.
“To have veterans that have grown up here, that were born here, and to come back to spend some time with us on Anzac Day is absolutely fantastic,” she said.
“We find that we get supported so well by the community, so to bring some old veterans back is absolutely wonderful.”
The dawn service will take place at 5.50am at Kalgoorlie War Memorial, followed by the gunfire breakfast at Kalgoorlie Ex-Serviceman’s Memorial Club on Dugan Street.
A commemorative march will step off at 11am from the Ex-Serviceman’s Club together with a flyover by the Royal Australian Air Force, followed by a service at Kalgoorlie War Memorial.
Four crew members of the Royal Australian Navy’s new ship Armadale will also be in attendance.
Mrs Steenbach said Anzac Day was an important opportunity for Australian and New Zealand people to acknowledge the sacrifice of soldiers who fought for their countries.
“It’s important for us to remember what all these veterans have done for us,” she said.
“The reason that we have the country that we have is because of what they put themselves through, and their families, they’ve lost their lives for us to have the great nation that we have now.”
This year marks the 80 years since prisoners of war started the building of the Burma-Thailand Railway and will be the focus of the dawn service.
Mrs Steenbach said the service would acknowledge suffering and sacrifice of the many soldiers who lost their lives in the camp.