And the band played Waltzing Matilda


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Judith Baxter

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By Judith Baxter

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Remember Anzac

April 25th is a solemn day of remembrance here in NZ and in Australia.  It marks the sacrifices made by members of ANZAC (the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps)  when they joined  to fight alongside Britain in the first World War.

ANZAC day Dawn Service, State war memorial, Kings Park Western Australia (2009) - Photograph by Gnangarra...commons.wikimedia.org
ANZAC day Dawn Service, State war memorial, Kings Park Western Australia (2009). (Photograph by Gnangarra…commons.wikimedia.org)

Young men flocked to join up having no earthly idea of what they were getting themselves into, but filled with a fervour “For King and Country.”

Photograph of painting: "Anzac, the landing 1915 by George Lambert (1873-1930), 1920–22. The painting depicts the Australian soldiers of the covering force (3rd Infantry Brigade) climbing the seaward slope of Plugge's Plateau which overlooks the northern end of  Anzac Cove. The view is to the north, towards the main range. The yellow pinnacle is "The Sphinx" and beyond is Walker's Ridge which leads to Russell's Top. The white bag that each soldier is carrying contains two days of rations which were issued specially for the landing.
Photograph of painting: “Anzac, the landing 1915 by George Lambert (1873-1930), 1920–22. The painting depicts the Australian soldiers of the covering force (3rd Infantry Brigade) climbing the seaward slope of Plugge’s Plateau which overlooks the northern end of Anzac Cove. The view is to the north, towards the main range. The yellow pinnacle is “The Sphinx” and beyond is Walker’s Ridge which leads to Russell’s Top. The white bag that each soldier is carrying contains two days of rations which were issued specially for the landing.

The first deployment of the ANZACS  was at the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli.  The information the command  received about the terrain and an under estimation of the Turkish forces led to a disaster.  Nine months later the Allies withdrew leaving behind 46,000 dead.

“They shall not grow 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 shall remember them.”
From Ode of Remembrance, taken from Laurence Binyon’s
For the Fallen” first published in 1914.

This day is also commemorated in Turkey at Gallipoli where the cove has been renamed ANZAC Cove.  Many ex-servicemen and their families travel to Turkey each year.

And Waltzing Matilda?  This was the song played as the troops sailed out from Sydney, Australia at the start of that fateful enterprise.  Click here to hear John Williams singing “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”.

I have written in more detail on this day both in 2011 and 2012.  It is a sad commentary on the people of the world that even after this “War to End All Wars” we still send our young men and women out to be slaughtered by ‘the enemy’.

Last post being sounded at North Beach, Gallipoli. Photo Mike Bowers, Sydney Morning Herald
Last post being sounded at North Beach, Gallipoli. (Photo Mike Bowers, Sydney Morning Herald)

And now there are no more survivors from Gallipoli.
RIP all the fallen and

Alec Campbell
Last Gallipoli survivor from Australia
(died May 2002 aged 103)

Alfred Douglas Dibley
Last Gallipoli survivor from New Zealand
(died 18 December 1997 aged 101)

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Re-posted from I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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