Remembrance Day 2018: Brothers who never returned home from WWI remembered in poignant Raymond Terrace service

John and William Jackson were just 20 and 18 years old when the brothers from Raymond Terrace signed up to fight in the war to end all wars.

The pair enlisted to serve in the Australian Imperial Force within one month of each other.

First John in June 1915 then William in July 1915.

William was barely one month into his enlistment when he was discharged at his sister's request.

However, he re-enlisted again in September 1915, presumably after a pointed and heart-felt discussion with his sister.

The brothers died about one year later and within three months of one another.

Raymond Terrace brothers John and William Jackson who fought and died in WWI. A display honouring their service was set up in Anzac Park for Remembrance Day on Sunday.

Raymond Terrace brothers John and William Jackson who fought and died in WWI. A display honouring their service was set up in Anzac Park for Remembrance Day on Sunday.

John, a private, was killed in action in France in August 1916 and William, a lance corporal, in October 1916 from wounds he received while fighting in Belgium.

John was buried in the Australian National Memorial in Villers-Bretonneux, France.

William was buried in the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery in Flanders, Belgium.

On Sunday, as the nation paused to mark the centenary of the signing of the armistice which brought an end to World War I, the brothers were remembered during a poignant service in Raymond Terrace.

Poppies were placed beside the names of the brothers on the Raymond Terrace war memorial - two of 112 names of men from the district who fought in WWI.

A photo of each Jackson brother and their service history were also on display.

Raymond Terrace RSL Sub-Branch president Vic Jones RAR spoke about the brothers and their family during the Remembrance Day service in Jacaranda Avenue.

It was their family, the Peppers, that paid to have the fence installed around the war memorial.

Relatives of the Jackson brothers attended the service on Sunday.

Don Threlfo, nephew to John and William, and his wife Shirley made the trip to Raymond Terrace on Sunday morning from their home in Murrurundi.

Don Threlfo, nephew to John and William Jackson, and his wife Shirley from Murrurundi made the trip to Raymond Terrace for Sunday morning's Remembrance Day service which honoured the brothers' WWI service. Their names were marked with poppies on the Raymond Terrace war memorial.

Don Threlfo, nephew to John and William Jackson, and his wife Shirley from Murrurundi made the trip to Raymond Terrace for Sunday morning's Remembrance Day service which honoured the brothers' WWI service. Their names were marked with poppies on the Raymond Terrace war memorial.

Mr Threlfo, wearing his uncle's service medals for the first time, said the ceremony was “very moving”.

“It was a lovely service,” Mrs Threlfo said. “To have so many people here is lovely. It was lovely to have everyone hear about our family and John and William.”

Mr Jones said he was pleased to see a “great turn out” to Sunday’s service commemorating the centenary of Armistice Day.

As a special addition to the Terrace service, Mr Jones read the Table of Remembrance poem written by O.J Rushton.

The poem was inspired by the Table of Remembrance ceremony performed at an Anzac Day luncheon by Mittagong RSL Sub-Branch in 2014. The concept has been adapted for use by the RSL Rural Commemorative Youth Choir.

Raymond Terrace RSL Sub-Branch president Vic Jones RAR, right, reciting the Table of Remembrance poem written by O.J Rushton while a member of the sub-branch points to the item mentioned.

Raymond Terrace RSL Sub-Branch president Vic Jones RAR, right, reciting the Table of Remembrance poem written by O.J Rushton while a member of the sub-branch points to the item mentioned.

As Mr Jones recited the poem, a member of the Raymond Terrace RSL Sub-Branch pointed to items mentioned in the poem at a small round table set up in Anzac Park including a Bible, Australian flag, a single red poppy and a candle.

“We’ve set up a table here today in honour of those who have served,” Mr Jones recited.

“Each item is a symbol of remembrance. Their honour at this table is reserved.

“They won’t be joining us here today. They’re gone, but their spirit lives on. We will never forget their sacrifice. Their sunsets become our dawn.”

The Salvation Community Hope choir sang hymns during the service, Pastor Shane Henley delivered the prayer for the Commemoration of the Fallen and the Benediction and Salvation Army Envoy Ron Petterson the Prayer for the Nation.

Kylee Beasley was the bugler and Ron Baillie the piper.

In addition to the Remembrance Day service in Jacaranda Avenue, on Sunday afternoon a special international tribute was to be held at the newly installed flagpole in the roundabout of Port Stephens and William streets.

This was to begin at 5pm.

“At this time all around the world Australian and international pipe bands and pipers will play the tune The Battle’s O’er, composed a century ago to remember those who served and paid the supreme sacrifice,” Mr Jones said.

“Our sub-branch has arranged for solo piper Ron Baillie to mark this occasion. 

“All members of the public are invited to attend this short ceremony to commemorate the memory of all veterans and their families who served and sacrificed in that great war.”

Raymond Terrace Historical Society also held a centenary of armistice commemorative event at Sketchley Pioneer Cottage and Museum on Sunday afternoon.

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