Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Aust and NZ

ANZAC Day  (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) April 25th

New Zealand and Australia remember all those who served and died in all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

Dawn services are held in both countries and there are remembrance ceremonies in cities, small country towns, hospitals. schools and institutions.

All the blog posts from downunder this morning  included memories, dedications and ceremonies attended.  My brother in Australia attended the dawn service with my sister-in-law, as they do most years.  In Athens and Crete there will be wreath laying at the Commonwealth war cemetaries.

My cousin Jennifer wrote to me about her memories of ANZAC day in her small rural NZ community after WW1

"...... reading from a book called " women at War  
 Describing the effect the war had on the women and families left behind. And I shall remember Harry, Frank, my father, and the many families of our district who gathered together on Anzac Day in the middle of the fruit season. One day off  between January and May.We dressed up on Anzac Day, made wreaths of ferns and Autumn flowers, and went to the service at local Mapua. After lunch, we had the afternoon off, regardless of what day of the week it was. 

Here there will be brass bands, the Sallies (Salvation Army) will play...."

The programme for ANZAC day service, 2015, at Aotea Village where Jennifer lives

Look at the poppies around that doorway
Residents have knitted and crocheted over 2,000 poppies

Harry was my father, served in the Fleet Air Arm (a branch of the British Royal Navy) in WW11 and spent months in Greece towards the end of the war helping the Greeks to dig out and capture the last German forces on the Greek islands.

Frank was his brother, killed at the battle of Monte Cassino in Italy.

Her Father, Richard (Dick ) Little served in the NZ Army in the Western Desert.

My Uncle George also served in the NZ Army and was captured in Greece when the Germans invaded.  He wrote his memoirs which I am trying to get hold of.  They are in the NZ Army archives.   I would love to read about his participation in the Greek campaign.  He visited me soon after I arrived in Greece on a journey around the areas he had fought but of course back then I was young and in love and wasn't interested in his tales.

In Flanders Fields
by John McCCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
        In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
        In Flanders field

Written at the battlefront at Ypres, Belgium, May 3 1915


Fields of Rembrance Botanical Gardens
Wellington New Zealand

5,270 white crosses


  1. Here too we remember the ANZAC day,In the city of Beersheba there is a large cemetery where the New Zealand and Australian soldiers who protected the city are buried.

    1. There must be a few hundred soldiers graves there. I must Google and read about what happened there

  2. We will remember them. in Flanders Fields is a beautiful and such a sad war poem.

    1. I don't remember ever seeing this poem before. It is a moving piece of poetry and written there on the front. I guess that's why it's so expressive

    2. I have read it and heard the poem many times. My favourite First World War Poet is Wilfred Owen. We once found his house: Plas Wilmot where he was born in Oswestry.