Sunset services warm families of the fallen
Paying tribute: The sunset service at Kings Park. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian

Enid Russell and nine other direct descendants of war hero Alfred Edward Gaby paid tribute to their fallen relative as the sun set over Kings Park last night.

The service, attended by about 200 people, was the first of five Anzac sunset services this week, hosted by the Returned and Services League to expand the Anzac Day experience.

Lt Gaby, who enlisted at Katanning in January 1916, fought bravely on the Western Front before he was killed by sniper fire near Lihons in 1918, aged 26.

He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross and was one of many soldiers in his family.
Ms Russell, of Bibra Lake, said the sunset service was a great way for her family to reflect on Lt Gaby’s life on a more personal level than the annual dawn service.

RSL State president Graham Edwards said: “I looked at what was going on at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and thought we could make it work here, because Anzac Day is getting so big.”

“People can feel a bit disconnected at the dawn service and others just can’t make it, so this is an opportunity for them to attend a service and to get involved,” he said.

For ex-navy member John Delaney, the sunset Anzac Day service provided the personal experience he had always wanted for his family.

Mr Delaney has been coming to a service for 35 years and this year held his daughter Mary-Jane’s hand as she laid a floral tribute.

“I have got a two-year-old and she came to her first Anzac service when she was four months old,” Mr Delaney said.

“We want her to see what is involved and to understand what it is all about, so nobody will forget.”
Armed forces representatives laid five wreaths in honour of fallen war heroes at last night’s service.

Sgt-Maj. Gary Browne, of ADF Reserve, read a tribute to Lt Gaby.

People stood for the Last Post and a minute’s silence during the short ceremony.
A sunset service will be held each night until Thursday from 5pm at Kings Park War Memorial.

The West Australian

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