Ceremonial Protocols

Ceremonial Protocols

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs website contains useful information on the established and accepted protocols for conducting a commemorative event. The following provides some background on the various components of commemorative events.

The Ode of Remembrance

The Ode for commemoration services is the famous fourth stanza from For the Fallen, a poem by the English poet and writer Laurence Binyon, which was first published in London's The Times newspaper on 21 September 1914.

This compelling verse, which became the Ode of Remembrance in common usage across the Commonwealth, has been used in association with commemoration services since 1921:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.

Click here to download 'For the Fallen' in full

The Last Post

In military tradition, The Last Post is the trumpet or bugle call sounded at 10pm each night to mark the end of the day's activities.

At military funerals and commemorative services, such as Anzac Day and Remembrance Day, it is sounded as a final farewell and as a symbol that the duty of the dead is over, their day has drawn to a final close and they can rest in peace.

During the sounding of The Last Post all members in uniform are to stand to attention and salute. Armed parties are to be given the command to present arms.

At Remembrance Day ceremonies, The Last Post is to be sounded at 11am precisely.

Click here to listen to The Last Post

The Rouse

Get up at once, get up at once, the bugle's sounding, The day is here and never fear, old Sol is shining. The Orderly Officer's on his rounds. (words to Rouse)

After the minute's silence following The Last Post, the Rouse is sounded. The Rouse is traditionally the lively trumpet or bugle call to signal soldiers that it is time to rise and prepare for a new day.

The Rouse is played at Anzac Day services (except the Dawn Service), Remembrance Day and other commemorative services. As the Rouse sounds, flags should be slowly raised to the masthead.

Click here to listen to The Rouse

The Reveille

Reveille is the more extended call played to awaken soldiers. From as long ago as 1600, it has stirred them from their sleep. Today it is ceremonial more than practical.

Reveille is sounded instead of the shorter Rouse at Anzac Day Dawn Services, symbolising the awakening of the dead in a better world and calling the living to return to duty.

The Australian National Anthem

Advance Australia Fair is played to conclude commemorative ceremonies.
Click here to download the lyrics to Advance Australia Fair
Click here to listen to Advance Australia Fair