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ANZAC Day

Old 04-24-2013, 04:57 PM
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ANZAC Day

Today is ANZAC day here. It's kinda like Veterans Day...it's not a glorification of war, but it a remembrance of all who've served for our country and our freedom, and in some cases paid the ultimate price.

I always remember my uncle today - he went off to Vietnam a happy cheeky 21 year old and came back a sad morose angry man who struggled bitterly with alcoholism for the rest of his short life.

I wish his story could have ended like mine.


What is ANZAC Day?

ANZAC Day – 25 April – is probably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
What does ANZAC stand for?

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs, and the pride they took in that name endures to this day.
Why is this day special to Australians?

When war broke out in 1914, Australia had been a federal commonwealth for only 13 years. The new national government was eager to establish its reputation among the nations of the world. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The ultimate objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul in Turkey), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany.
The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated, after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. Over 8,000 Australian soldiers had been killed. News of the landing on Gallipoli had made a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in the war.
Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the Australian and New Zealand actions during the campaign left us all a powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as the “ANZAC legend” became an important part of the identity of both nations, shaping the ways they viewed both their past and their future.


The ANZAC Day tradition | Australian War Memorial
in memory of all who served their country - lest we forget.

D
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:53 PM
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Thanks for sharing, Dee.. Interesting history. I wasn't aware of Australia's role in WW1.. God Bless all the men and women in uniform!!
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:14 PM
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I went to dawn service this morning Dee
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:17 PM
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Dawn service this morning then parade. Felt good.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:47 PM
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I think Australian and New Zealand soldiers got lumped in with us Canadians all under Great Britain's flag in WW I; and thus maybe haven't gotten the recognition they deserve. I can only imagine how many veterans struggle with alcoholism etc. after war.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:58 PM
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Remembering the veterans - always
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:29 PM
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I've served alongside Diggers (Australian soldiers) and have had the privilege of taking part in their ANZAC Day ceremony. It really was quite moving and it's quite easy to tell where the Aussie heart resides.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:22 AM
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Glad you posted this Dee.

Similar experience (as your uncle) with my father. He came back a drunk, from WWII, and got worse and worse in the post-war years until his death (aged only 62) in the early 1980s.

I did quite a lot of fairly recent investigation on both his war service (all in New Britain / New Guinea in the last phase of the war..) and even paid to get his Dept of Veteran's Affairs / rehab medical history. All 400 pages of it, dating from just before my birth in 1955 through to his death.

Among other aspects, it was awful to see in those pages the years-long battle (unsuccessful) to have his poor health including TB recognised as due to war service. in order to get a full version of the pension. Hence, we lived with very little money when I was a child; as I grew, his drinking grew much worse, so Mum had to go out to work full time (unusual in the 60s).

On the alcoholic aspect: I was astounded to see in my reading of all his medical reports over those decades (nearly 40 years) that either he managed to fudge his drinking (lie) and / or that it was not as well recognised by most GPs or even staff in the rehab hospitals for veterans. Incredible!

And of course there was little in the way of even stuff like AA in Australia - even in Sydney, a big capital city - back then. And certainly no dedicated addiction services of any kind.

this has often made me wonder how many of our Diggers, from all the wars - except for the Vietnam vets, whose addiction and PTSD type problems slowly / belately became recognised - suffered, along with their families, with rampant depression, alcoholism, etc.

And of course, that's not including the almost 100% smoking during the wars and after! Dad's death certificate actually listed cause of death as respiratory failure, and I knew he'd been on the list just a few years before for a partial leg amputation due to pulmonary blockages. Ironic. He ostensibly died from the fags....but unspoken, unlisted as such, I know, also untreated chronic alcoholism.

Damned sad.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:32 AM
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BTW good on you, animalnurse and nigey, for both getting to your dawn services. I've never been to one....just watch the Melbourne march afterwards on ABC telly.

They pointed out today that - surprise surprise, and sadly - the ranks of the ex-WWII lot, my Dad's generation - are inexorably thinning. Makes sense. Most are now in their 80s and 90s!

It should be interesting to see how ANZAC day - and the RSL (Returned Servicemens' League) - develop in the next couple of years leading up to the 100th anniversary of the day. Virtually no WWII vets left, the ageing Vietnam and Korea vets, and no doubt, more and more (though they don't come in the same numbers as previous conflicts) of those younger souls who've endured Iraq, Afghanistan, Timor Leste, peacekeeping, etc etc.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:50 AM
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It was my first dawn service, being sober definitely helped we had only a very few real elderly veterans left too, but alot of younger veterans from the more recent wars and there was such alot of people, including young people there to remember our veterans, was great
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:40 AM
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Thanks.
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:18 AM
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last years bike crew trip to Europe took in some WW1 battlefields, we stopped here at the ANZAC memorial to pay our respects to the ANZAC lives lost in tunnelling under Hill 60.

The Hill was made virtually impregnable by the Germans, so tunnels were dug beneath the hill and stocked with explosives to set off as mines. The Germans also tunnelled to create a form of underground warfare. The site is significant for Australians as the 1st Australian Tunneling Division were responsible for the mines set under 'Hill 60'




thought this might be of interest.
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:39 AM
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correction to the above - have requested MODs to ammend

Hi, please can you ammend the text on this post as follows

last years bike crew trip to Europe took in some WW1 battlefields, we stopped here at the 14th Light Division Memorial at Hill 60 - to the left of the shot there is the 1st Australian Tunneling Company Memorial, the inscription on this memorial reads as follows:“In Memoriam of Officers and Men of the 1st Australian Tunneling Coy who gave their lives in the mining and defensive operations of Hill 60 1915-1918.

This monument replaces that originally erected in April 1919 by their comrades in arms. 1923"

I forgot that the monument in the pic is to the 14th Light Division and not the AZAC memorial which is actually to the left of the shot.
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:57 AM
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I think it's pretty clear as is, Nap, thanks to your amendment
Thanks for sharing that

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Old 04-25-2013, 05:38 AM
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"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives, you are now living in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours.

"You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 1934

Saw this posted on Face Book and thought it lovely sentiment.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:45 AM
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Thanks for sharing that too Kim - I read that for the first time today as well.

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Old 04-25-2013, 06:14 AM
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My grandfather fought at, and survived, the battle of Gallipoli. Hence why I chose this important day as my sobriety date, one year ago today, and why my sig line is what it is. I recall way back when I was knee high to a grasshopper that we traveled all the way to the South Island, to Invercargill, where he had the honor to lay the wreath at the Anzac day ceremony. He was a tough old bugger (a complement) but there was a tear in his eye that day.

R.I.P.
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Old 04-25-2013, 06:58 AM
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Here's to the memory of my uncle Clem who died in the battle at Ruin Ridge, July 1942, in the Egyptian desert.
I quote from a talk given at the Australian War Memorial by Peter Stanley on Sunday, 28 July 2002:

"The Australian unit selected to make the main attack was Major Lew McCarter's 2/28th Battalion, a Western Australian unit which had not previously seen action at Alamein. On the evening of 26 July its men rose from the sandy trenches, formed into long, loose lines, and walked southwards in the crisp air of a moonlit desert night towards the Axis-held ridge ahead.

Within minutes men began to fall, but the 2/28th continued to advance. Behind the infantry came the vehicles, the anti-tank guns carried on the trucks of the 2/3rd Anti-Tank Regiment, the 2/28th's Bren carriers and behind them the battalion's ammunition, wireless and stores lorries slowly grinding along in low gear. A Bren carrier was hit by an anti-tank shell, right on a gap in the minefield. In the flames of the burning carrier further shells hit other vehicles around the gap. Soon the flames from four, then eight and finally thirteen burning vehicles illuminated the scene.

Still, the 2/28th reached the objective and began to dig in. They were soon cut off from further aid by German troops filtering in behind them and, because the wireless truck lay burning at the gap, McCarter was unable to communicate with brigade headquarters. As they waited for the dawn they could hear the sounds of battle on their left, where the British 69th Brigade also advanced into a minefield."

Through the inability of reinforcements to relieve them, the diggers were isolated and lost 65 men, with 490 captured.

Here's to their memory.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:13 AM
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Thanks for sharing Dee! I know I like to know what is going on in places other that America
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:25 AM
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Lest we forget
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