Mat McLachlan talks with Dave as Matt spends the centenary of the Armistice at a moving commemorative service at the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux of this globally significant event.
At 11 am on November 11, 1918, the guns fell silent on the Western Front and the First World War came
to an end. And on this same day in 2018, Mat McLachlan will be the Australian expert Battlefield
historian, at the scene of the 100th anniversary of the day the fighting ended. The world will stand silent
to remember the many thousands of people who died including the 61,000 Australians who were killed
during the war.
Mat McLachlan has shared his knowledge, passion and sheer dedication for battlefield history for more
than twenty years, as an author, TV presenter and historical consultant, following in the footsteps of
troops who fought and died on battlefields across the globe.
And this year will be no exception, as he travels to the Western Front to stand where those who fought
and fell to tell the stories of the tragedy, loves, hardships and strength, of those who Served their
country. With his special gift of bringing battlefield history to life and to connect historical events with
people today, his mission is to educate and inspire us all, so that despite one hundred years passing,
people can learn and forever remember and never forget.
Australia lost 45,000 soldiers who were killed during fighting on the Western Front.
More than 65 million men from 30 countries fought in WWI. Nearly 10 million died.
Almost two thirds of military deaths in WWI were in battle as opposed to disease, which was the
major culprit in other battles.
Rememberance Day is often regarded as an opportunity to remember relatives from many years past
whom may never have been known to those alive today. However it is also a day to remember those,
who Mat describes as ‘contemporary veterans’ – more than 60,000 Australian service men and women
served in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and there are now more veterans in the Australian
community than at any time since the Vietnam War.