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ANZAC Day


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DingBat
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« on: 24 April, 2010, 18:48 »




We're All Australians Now
A.B. (Banjo) Paterson

Australia takes her pen in hand,
To write a line to you,
To let you fellows understand,
How proud we are of you.

From shearing shed and cattle run,
From Broome to Hobsons Bay,
Each native-born Australian son,
Stands straighter up today.

The man who used to "hump his drum",
On far-out Queensland runs,
Is fighting side by side with some
Tasmanian farmer's sons.

The fisher-boys dropped sail and oar
To grimly stand the test,
Along that storm-swept Turkish shore,
With miners from the west.

The old state jealousies of yore
Are dead as Pharaoh's sow,
We're not State children any more
We're all Australians now!

Our six-starred flag that used to fly,
Half-shyly to the breeze,
Unknown where older nations ply
Their trade on foreign seas,

Flies out to meet the morning blue
With Vict'ry at the prow;
For that's the flag the Sydney flew,
The wide seas know it now!

The mettle that a race can show
Is proved with shot and steel,
And now we know what nations know
And feel what nations feel.

The honoured graves beneath the crest
Of Gaba Tepe hill,
May hold our bravest and our best,
But we have brave men still.

With all our petty quarrels done,
Dissensions overthrown,
We have, through what you boys have done,
A history of our own.

Our old world diff'rences are dead,
Like weeds beneath the plough,
For English, Scotch, and Irish-bred,
They're all Australians now!

So now we'll toast the Third Brigade,
That led Australia's van,
For never shall their glory fade
In minds Australian.

Fight on, fight on, unflinchingly,
Till right and justice reign.
Fight on, fight on, till Victory
Shall send you home again.

And with Australia's flag shall fly
A spray of wattle bough,
To symbolise our unity,
We're all Australians now.




From ANZAC Day Commemorative Committee:

Australian war historian C.E.W. Bean attributes the acronym ANZAC to a Lieutenant A.T. White, one of General Birdwood’s ‘English clerks’. The first official sanction for its use was at Birdwood’s request to denote where the Corps had established a bridgehead on the Gallipoli Peninsula. However, there is little argument that ANZAC was first used as a simple code in Egypt. A later historical work, Gallipoli, by the English historian Robert Rhodes James states:

"Two Australian Sergeants, Little and Millington had cut a rubber stamp with the initials ‘A & NZAC’ for the purpose of registering papers at the Corps headquarters, situated in Shepheard’s Hotel, Cairo. When a code name was requested for the Corps, a British officer, a Lt. White, suggested ANZAC. Little later claimed that he made the original suggestion to White. It was in general use by January 1915."

Whatever its origin, the acronym ANZAC became famous with the landing of the Corps on the Gallipoli Peninsula at the Dardanelles, on 25 April 1915. It has since become synonymous with the determination and spirit of our armed forces. The significance of the day, and the acronym, in Australia’s heritage is probably best stated by Dr. Bean in the following excerpt from his official war history:

It was not merely that 7600 Australians and nearly 2500 New Zealanders had been killed or mortally wounded there, and 24,000 more (19,000 Australians and 5,000 New Zealanders) had been wounded, while fewer than 100 were prisoners. But the standards set by the first companies at the first call - by the stretcher-bearers, the medical officers, the staff, the company leaders, the privates, the defaulters on the water barges, the Light Horse at The Nek - this was already part of the tradition not only of ANZAC but of the Australian and New Zealand peoples. By dawn on 20 December, ANZAC had faded into a dim blue line lost amid other hills on the horizon as the ships took their human freight to Imbros, Lemnos and Egypt. But ANZAC stood, and still stands, for reckless valour in a good cause, for enterprise, resourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship and endurance that will never own defeat.

The acronym survived Gallipoli. I and II ANZAC Corps fought in France and the ANZAC Mounted Division fought in Palestine. The decision to separate the Australian and New Zealand components of the ANZAC Corps was taken on 14 November 1917 when it was announced that the Corps would cease to exist from January 1918. An Australian Corps was then created to absorb the Australian divisions.

There was a brief period during World War 2 when ANZAC was resurrected. On 12 April 1941 in Greece, General Blamey declared I Australian Corps to be the ANZAC Corps, much to the delight of its Australian and New Zealand formations.

ANZAC was again a reality during the Vietnam conflict where, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, an ANZAC battalion served in Phuoc Tuy Province. These battalions were created by absorbing two companies and supporting elements from The Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment into a battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment (RAR). Our 2nd, 4th and 6th Battalions held the distinction of being titled, for example, 2RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Battalion.



The Importance to Queensland

Queensland has a vested interest in ANZAC. It is generally conceded that the first man ashore on 25 April was Lieutenant D. Chapman, 9th Battalion AIF, from Maryborough, Queensland. Sadly he was killed at Pozieres in 1916.



'ANZAC' should always be written in upper case.






A Tribute to ANZAC Day
Ken Bunker

With their hair a little whiter, their step not quite so sure
Still they march on proudly as they did the year before.
Theirs were the hands that saved us, their courage showed the way
Their lives they laid down for us, that we may live today.

From Gallipoli's rugged hillsides, to the sands of Alamein
On rolling seas and in the skies, those memories will remain.
Of airmen and the sailors, of Lone Pine and Suvla Bay
The boys of the Dardenelles are remembered on this day.

They fought their way through jungles, their blood soaked desert sands
They still remember comrades who rest in foreign lands.
They remember the siege of old Tobruk, the mud of the Kokoda Trail
Some paying the supreme sacrifice with courage that did not fail.
To the icy land of Korea, the steamy jungles of Vietnam
And the heroic battle of Kapyong and that epic victory at Long Tan.

Fathers, sons and brothers, together they fought and died
That we may live in peace together, while at home their mothers cried.
When that final bugle calls them to cross that great divide
Those comrades will be waiting when they reach the other side.





ANZAC Day Tradition - Australian War Memorial

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

When war broke out in 1914 Australia had been a federal commonwealth for only fourteen 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 to open the way to the Black Sea for the allied navies. The plan was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. They landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the 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 were killed. News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in war.

Though the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives of capturing Constantinople and knocking Turkey out of the war, the Australian and New Zealand troops' actions during the campaign bequeathed an intangible but powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as an "Anzac legend" became an important part of the national identity of both nations. This shaped the ways they viewed both their past and their future.
Early commemorations

The date, 25 April, was officially named ANZAC Day in 1916; in that year it was marked by a wide variety of ceremonies and services in Australia, a march through London, and a sports day in the Australian camp in Egypt. In London, over 2,000 Australian and New Zealand troops marched through the streets of the city. A London newspaper headline dubbed them "The knights of Gallipoli". Marches were held all over Australia in 1916. Wounded soldiers from Gallipoli attended the Sydney march in convoys of cars, attended by nurses. For the remaining years of the war, ANZAC Day was used as an occasion for patriotic rallies and recruiting campaigns, and parades of serving members of the AIF were held in most cities.

During the 1920s, ANZAC Day became established as a national day of commemoration for the 60,000 Australians who died during the war. The first year in which all the States observed some form of public holiday together on ANZAC Day was 1927. By the mid-1930s all the rituals we today associate with the day - dawn vigils, marches, memorial services, reunions, sly two-up games - were firmly established as part of ANZAC Day culture.

With the coming of the Second World War, ANZAC Day became a day on which to commemorate the lives of Australians lost in that war as well, and in subsequent years the meaning of the day has been further broadened to include Australians killed in all the military operations in which Australia has been involved.

ANZAC Day was first commemorated at the Australian War Memorial in 1942, but due to government orders preventing large public gatherings in case of Japanese air attack, it was a small affair and was neither a march nor a memorial service. ANZAC Day has been annually commemorated at the Australian War Memorial ever since.
What does it mean today?

Australians recognise 25 April as an occasion of national commemoration. Commemorative services are held at dawn, the time of the original landing, across the nation. Later in the day ex-servicemen and women meet and join in marches through the major cities and many smaller centres. Commemorative ceremonies are held at war memorials around the country. It is a day when Australians reflect on the many different meanings of war.
Dawn Service

The Dawn Service observed on ANZAC Day has its origins in an operational routine which is still observed by the Australian Army today. The half-light of dawn plays tricks with soldiers' eyes and from the earliest times the half-hour or so before dawn, with all its grey, misty shadows, became one of the most favoured times for an attack. Soldiers in defensive positions were therefore woken up in the dark, before dawn, so that by the time the first dull grey light crept across the battlefield they were awake, alert and manning their weapons. This was, and still is, known as "Stand-to". It was also repeated at sunset.

After the First World War, returned soldiers sought the comradeship they felt in those quiet, peaceful moments before dawn. With symbolic links to the dawn landing at Gallipoli, a dawn stand-to or dawn ceremony became a common form of ANZAC Day remembrance during the 1920s; the first official dawn service was held at the Sydney Cenotaph in 1927. Dawn services were originally very simple and followed the operational ritual; in many cases they were restricted to veterans only. The daytime ceremony was for families and other well-wishers, the dawn service was for old soldiers to remember and reflect among the comrades with whom they shared a special bond. Before dawn the gathered veterans would be ordered to "stand to" and two minutes of silence would follow. At the end of this time a lone bugler would play the "Last Post" and then concluded the service with "Reveille". In more recent times the families and young people have been encouraged to take part in dawn services, and services in Australian capital cities have seen some of the largest turnouts ever. Reflecting this change, the ceremonies have become more elaborate, incorporating hymns, readings, pipers and rifle volleys. Others, though, have retained the simple format of the dawn stand-to, familiar to so many soldiers.
The ANZAC Day ceremony

Each year the commemorations follow a pattern that is familiar to each generation of Australians. A typical ANZAC Day service contains the following features: introduction, hymn, prayer, an address, laying of wreaths, recitation, "The last post", a period of silence, "The rouse" or "The reveille", and the National Anthem. At the Australian War Memorial, following events such as the ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day services, families often place red poppies beside the names of relatives on the Memorial's Roll of Honour.
Features of a commemorative ceremony

Commemorative ceremonies such as ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day share many customs and traditions. Here is more information about common features of a commemorative ceremony:

    * Laying of wreaths
    * The recitation, including The Ode
    * Sounding the "Last Post"
    * A period of silence
    * The "Rouse" and the "Reveille"
    * Red poppies
    * The Unknown Soldier
    * Reversed Arms
    * A Lone Charger
    * The Gun Carriage
    * Rosemary
    * Flags at Half Mast
    * Rifle Volleys and Gun Salutes
    * The Lone Piper and Flowers of the Forest







Not a Hero
Clyde Hamilton

The ANZAC Day march was over - the old Digger had done his best.
His body ached from marching - it was time to sit and rest.
He made his way to a park bench and sat with lowered head.
A young boy passing saw him - approached and politely said,
"Please sir do you mind if I ask you what the medals you wear are for?
Did you get them for being a hero, when fighting in a war?"

Startled, the old Digger moved over and beckoned the boy to sit.
Eagerly the lad accepted - he had not expected this!
"First of all I was not a hero," said the old Digger in solemn tone,
"But I served with many heroes, the ones that never came home.
So when you talk of heroes, it's important to understand,
The greatest of all heroes gave their lives defending this land.

"The medals are worn in their honour, as a symbol of respect.
All diggers wear them on ANZAC Day - it shows they don't forget."
The old digger then climbed to his feet and asked the boy to stand.
Carefully he removed the medals and placed them in his hand.
He told him he could keep them - to treasure throughout his life,
A legacy of a kind - left behind - paid for in sacrifice.

Overwhelmed the young boy was speechless - he couldn’t find words to say.
It was there the old Digger left him - going quietly on his way.
In the distance the young boy glimpsed him - saw him turn and wave goodbye.
Saddened he sat alone on the bench - tears welled in his eyes.
He never again saw him ever - but still remembers with pride,
When the old Digger told him of Heroes and a young boy sat and cried.





LEST WE FORGET




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smiliekiwi
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« Reply #1 on: 24 April, 2010, 20:53 »

Each ANZAC day  I remember the stories of an Uncle (great great?) of mine who had a crazy sense of humour that never returned from war.  I think of the family he never had.

The sacrafices they made.....
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« Reply #2 on: 25 April, 2012, 09:08 »


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