Friday, April 24, 2015

LEST WE FORGET




Today is Anzac Day, and a very special commemoration, the centenary of the landings at Gallipoli during World War I.

On Anzac Day, April 25, we remember Australian and New Zealand service men and women, who served and died in all wars.

The landing on the beaches at Gallipoli, alongside the British and French forces, was the first major military action by the ANZACS (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) in the first World War.
It is often referred to as the time our nation 'came of age', just a few years after Federation, when we became the Nation of Australia.


Rosemary for Remembrance


This morning we attended our local Anzac Day Parade and Memorial Service, one of hundreds such events across Australia.
Hundreds lined the streets.




Frail veterans rode in lovely old vehicles.






My grandfather Cecil, and his two brothers, all farmers, enlisted in 1915:


My grandfather is the one on the right, looking so young, and a lot like one of my brothers.

They went first to Egypt, with the AIF (Australian Imperial Forces), where they trained for several months, in the vicinity of the pyramids.

Google image
Note the kangaroo: somebody brought him as a mascot!

Later Cecil and his brothers were deployed to the Western Front, serving near Ypres in the mud of Flanders.
30,000 Australians lost their lives there. 
They were very fortunate, as all three survived.


We visited the area a few years ago, and saw preserved trenches, wondering how anyone had lived through it all.



Mr Cardinal's family were less fortunate..
Two of his great-uncles perished in the same area.


We found the name of one brother on the Menin Gate...resting place unknown..


the other brother's grave we found in this little War Cemetery, near Ypres.


My grandfather's medals...

Grandfather went to England before he was repatriated to Australia after the war.  There he met and married an English girl, they returned to his farm and in 1920 my father was born to them.
This year he will be 95 years old.


I have made Anzac Biscuits, a favourite Australian delicacy, and a must on Anzac Day.  Might even give some to Dad on Sunday...



Lest We Forget

XXX


24 comments:

  1. Very lovely post - if talking about war can be called lovely. But I meant full of heart felt sentiment. As my parents always told me, with regard to both wars, it must never happen again.

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    1. My grandfather felt the same way, after his experiences. He kept my Dad on the farm (essential food production) during WWII .

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  2. I wanted to comment, but what can I say. You have told this story beautifully. Hope your dad enjoys his biscuits. We went to Northern France last year. To Vimy Ridge. Very powerful, for all of us, even my kids.

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    1. Thank you Katharine. I would like to see more of the Western front - I'm sure Vimy Ridge was very moving. Dad has a sweet tooth - he will the Anzacs!

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    2. I mean - he will LOVE the Anzacs!

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  3. We will never forget them, and are grateful for them forever. xx

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    1. Amy, I have been watching Princes Charles and Harry at the services at Gallipoli...clearly, they were moved by the occasion. The commemorations are important, aren't they. xx

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  4. Thank you for this post, Patricia. I've been to Vimy Ridge, and it was one of the most moving experiences of my life. Seeing those trenches in the surrounding area made the horror of what those men endured so close and real.

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    1. Yes, Kristie, I think seeing the actual trenches is a very profound experience. We see them in old black/white film, but the reality is another perspective entirely. Unbelievable the horror of it all.

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  5. A lovely commemorative post, Patricia. I've been to the graveyards in France, and they are very moving. It's great that you remember the dead in Australia this way. Wonderful!

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    1. The Centenary of Anzac was very special to Australia, and reports were of the largest ever crowds at the ceremonies right across the country. It is good to remember them, and to look forward to a better future. I would like to see more of the French battlefields, I'm sure we would find it very moving and interesting.

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  6. Thank you for the informative post about Anzac Day. I enjoyed seeing bits of your parade. I haven't seen a good old fashioned parade in a long time. The Anzac Biscuits (cookies?) look tasty.

    Darla

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    1. It has been quite a while since I have watched a parade too, Darla. Generally, I don't like standing out in the heat for a long time, but I wore a shady hat and sunscreen and it was OK, and enjoyable. The cookies were tasty, the essential ingredient being golden syrup, a by-product of our sugar industry. The recipe was developed as a long-lasting treat which could be mailed over to the soldiers at war, 100 years ago. It includes oats as well as flour.

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  7. Thank you for sharing us the history of the Anzac Day.
    Noticed the proud horses too!
    Here in Finland, we celebrated the National Veteran Day. There are still over 2000 war veterans alive. All very well taken care of. We owe them so much - our independency.

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    1. Yes, proud horses Mette, part of the Mounted Police contingent. They had lots of parades to cover, all over the country, on Saturday. Finland has a lot of war veterans, 2,000! I don't know what our numbers are, but they are declining. After the parade, we were standing near a man with medals indicating more recent service in Iraq. It goes on, doesn't it?!

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  8. Hi Patricia,

    I was very touched by this post. Young men going off to war. I enjoyed seeing the photos and knowing about yours and Mr. C's relatives. I 'm not sure if "enjoyed" is the right word, but the world must never forget about the sacrafices their generation made in serving their country bravely.

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    1. Thank you Debra. I know what you mean about 'enjoyed', but something from a century ago does make interesting history. Times and the way of warfare has changed a lot since then. Never again will Australia send 10% of its young male population off so willingly, with so little training. They were not career soldiers, but were unbelieveably brave and loyal.

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  9. A very fine and moving tribute to those who fought and died and those who remember, Patricia. I've seen quite a lot of online coverage of the centenary commemorations both at Gallipoli itself and on Anzac Day. As you know my grandfather and several great-uncles served on the Western Front in WW1 and next year I'll be visiting the area with one of my sisters on the centenary of one young great-uncle's death in action.

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    1. Thank you Perpetua, we too had a lot of coverage of the events, and I learnt a few new things, despite thinking I'd heard it all before. I understand Australia intends to place more emphasis on the Western Front campaigns now. There is much to learn. You will have a wonderful trip to visit the area - so many of us have relatives who were there. One can only wonder if they ever met each other.

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  10. A wonderfully told and illustrated post Patricia.
    Its wonderful how all the young people are now so interested in knowing the history of their families in the war.
    I didn't make Anzac biscuits this year - as I'm trying hard to shed some unwanted kilos before my trip!!!

    I meant to get a post up, however I had flu and just didn't get there in time.
    Next year I shall be better prepared!

    I see there has been a lot of rain overnight in Brisbane - I'm about to phone my dear friend there.
    I hope you two are OK and theres no property damage.

    See you Wednesday!
    Shane x

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    1. Thank you Shane. Know what you mean about the Anzac biscuits - I gave the remainder of mine to Dad, to keep temptation out of the house. Same reason. Yes, much rain overnight, and some nasty flooding and disastrous events. All fine and sunny today! We live on a hill so were luckily perfectly safe. The fun bit is the creek down below which always floods. Wednesday....x!

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