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The Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Australia laid a wreath for Czech and Slovak servicemen

On Sunday 27th October 2019, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Australia, Tomáš Dub, took part in a commemorative service and laid a wreath at the Czech and Slovak memorial at the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne together with the Slovakian Honorary Consul, Ms Eugenia Mocnay, "to the memory of all members of the Czechoslovak Army and Air Force who fought as Allies and many died in battle for the liberation of Europe 1940 - 1945."

For this occasion, the Australian flag was raised together with the Czech flag – a show of immense respect. The dimensions of the flag itself are 2.3 x 4.5 metres, which likely makes it our largest flag in Australia, potentially even in the Southern Hemisphere.  

The ceremony was led by Colonel John Coulson, Governor of the Shrine of Remembrance, and the main speech was delivered by František Váňa, who remembered the Czechoslovaks and Australians who contributed to freedom on the battlefield in all wars over the last 105 years. He placed particular emphasis on the heroism of the volunteer Australian and New Zealand troops in the North Russian Relief Force - which was raised in Britain just after the end of the First World War. One of the objectives of this Force was to hold the port of Archangelsk and linking rail corridor to give the Czechoslovak Legion in Russia another option of escape. Mr Váňa mentioned Sergeant Samuel Pearce, an Australian volunteer from Mildura in the state of Victoria, who was posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross after he fell in action to open up the railway corridor leading south to the Legion, even though he did not even know of Czechoslovakia himself.


Melbourne Ceremony for Czechoslovak Soldiers