As a young boy, Reg Wilding knew his father was in the British Army during World War One, but not much more than that.
"My Dad and his generation never talked about the war, they bottled it up," the 99 year old said.
"He never said anything."
Therefore, when Mr Wilding joined the British Navy during World War Two, he had little guidance from his father about what he was signing up for.
First deployed to Iceland, Mr Wilding was involved in building military bases there, before he was sent to Italy where he rebuilt the cities that had been destroyed by the Nazis after their retreat.
But even though the Germans had left, war was not far away.
"The Stuka bombers bombing us, I'll never forget that," Mr Wilding said.
And while Mr Wilding was repairing power lines and infrastructure, the human cost of war was horribly apparent as well.
"There were all these little kids, their fathers and mothers had been massacred."
These memories were front of mind as Mr Wilding joined around a hundred others at a Remembrance Day ceremony at the Wollongong Cenotaph in Maccabe Park.
Wollongong RSL sub-branch President John Sperring said the turnout was the most the service had seen in years.
"It's a time that people remember, it's good to see."
Those in attendance marked a minute's silence at 11am, to remember all those who were lost in wars, as communities around Australia have done since the end of World War One.
Sub-branch chaplain and Lord Mayor the Reverend Gordon Bradbery led a prayer for peace, while vocalist Carmel Leonard led the crowd in 'Abide With Me' and 'Amazing Grace'.
Dignitaries including politicians, veterans and representatives of NSW Police, Vietnam veterans and war widows laid wreaths, before the Last Post.
With conflict once again in the Middle East, as well as the ongoing war in Ukraine, Mr Wilding said as we remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, it was incumbent on all to ensure any military commitments were made knowing what young people like himself were being sent into.
"Become political, study international affairs and then decide if you're going to support another war," he said.
"Don't leave it to the bureaucrats!"
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.