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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

ANZAC Day...

Today is ANZAC day in Australia and New Zealand . This day commemorates the anniversary of a battle fought at Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, which has been described as the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand soldiers in World War 1 (WW1). Over the years it has come to mean so much more...it now honours all people who 'served  their country' in any military engagement right up to the present day.  The day pays homage to their sacrifices  and remembers those who paid the ultimate sacrifice...their lives.


An old WW2  gun emplacement at Fort Lytton here in Brisbane

My grandfather was still in his teens in WW1 and like many young Aussies of that time he so wanted to join the army to fight for his country...or rather, fight for the British Empire in the case of WW1. He was too young, so he lied about his age and was able to join up. His enlistment papers show his occupation before he joined as a 'groom'...he was 16. He was sent on a troop ship to France, but by then his real age had been discovered. He was given the job of looking after the horses, which of course were used in that war...so the groom from Warrnambool, Victoria became a groom in a battle area in France.




My Pa was gassed (the Germans used mustard gas to thwart the allies) during his time in France and this was to give him health problems the rest of his life. According to my cousins who grew up living very close to my grandparents, Pa didn't really talk about his wartime experiences, but I think we can assume it was a pretty horrific time for him.

Years later, when in her late teens, my mother joined the army part way through WW2. She did not go overseas but trained as an army cook and worked in a number of army camps in Victoria and New South Wales. Unlike Pa, she would reminisce about her army days to all and sundry...she really enjoyed the life. 


A huge Thank You to all those who have served this country...'Lest We Forget'....

6 comments:

Marilyn said...

It is so good to hear stories of our service men and women. Thank you for sharing.

Janice said...

What a wonderful story about your grandfather. I can imagine his great grandson loving the story, especially if you combine it with the Michael Morpurgo book "War Horse"....and the film. I loved the book before the stage show ( which was stunning), and thought the film was ok...but Morpurgo's words, along with the story of your grandfather will be amazing.
Jx

allotmentadventureswithjean said...

It was good to see so many Brisbane folk honouring the ANZAC's yesterday. A big turn out at the ceremony I attended.

angela said...

A big thank you to your grandparents and all who serve.
Lest we forget

Noela said...

A lovely post Maria. Hugs....

debbie said...

Maria, Thank you for passing on the lovely history stories. I found it all very interesting. xx debbie