ANZAC Day – 25th April 2013

Posted on Thu 04/25/2013 by

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The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps The badge shown in the image is the original Rising Sun Badge worn on the hats of serving army personnel at the time. The badge has since been updated while at the same time retaining a similar look, with the removal of the word ‘Commonwealth’.

WHY THIS SPECIAL DAY IS COMMEMORATED IN AUSTRALIA

Australian Rising Sun Badge

ANZAC Day is the most important day on the Australian calendar. It is the day all Australians remember those who have fallen in all the Wars that Australia has fought in, and especially for one 8 month action in 1915, when Australia announced that it was no longer a Colonial Force as part of the British Commonwealth, but as an Australian fighting force in its own right.

At 4.15Am on the 25th April 1915 an untried Corps of Australian soldiers waded ashore from the longboats that had brought them there from the large troopships further out to sea. As they came ashore in the Dawn’s half light they were mowed down in droves by the Turkish soldiers who had the high ground.

The Place – an insignificant little Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula, part of Turkey, near a small place known as Ari Burnu, now forever burned into every Australian, and known forever as ANZAC Cove, a small piece of Australian Sacred Ground on a foreign shore.

Those coming ashore who survived this murderous onslaught regrouped and started to fight back. This campaign lasted for eight and a half months. In that time, Australian soldiers announced to the World that they were now no longer an untried group of colonials, but a magnificent fighting force, and one to be reckoned with.

Each year from then forward, Australia has recognised that day as the most solemn of days on our Calendar, when we, as a nation, pay reverent homage, not only to those brave men at Gallipoli, but to our Military forces who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in times of War, and for all our current serving men and women in Australia’s military forces.

Services are held across the Country timed for 4.15AM local time at memorials in the large Capital cities, and across cities and towns all over Australia, literally thousands of such places. While in the early morning at that time, still these services are always attended by masses of people.

Later that same morning, marches are held in many of these places as well. Some marches have literally thousands of men and women marching, with only veterans and current serving members from the three armed forces, and some marches may only have a handful of men marching, as numbers now thin out with the passing of years.

None of those original men who landed at Gallipoli remain now, and even numbers from the Second War are thinning out, as they too age.

While those people march, many thousands line the length of the march and pay solemn tribute to those old men who fought so that we actually could line those streets to salute them, and to also pay silent tribute to those who did not come home.

One of the best attended Dawn services these days is actually at ANZAC Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula, where thousands of Australians go every year to just stand at one of the most revered places in Australia’s history.

Preparations are under way for the 100 year commemoration in 2015, which will be one of the largest ANZAC commemorations in our history. As there are no veterans from this original campaign left, and even now, those veterans from the Second World War are thinning considerably, marches have been becoming smaller and smaller over the years. Because of that, and the growing pride in our currently serving Military service men and women, those marches are now including more and more currently serving members from all the military bases here in Australia. In Brisbane alone, the main March today included more than 2000 men and women from Enoggera Barracks, the largest Army base in South East Queensland, and this number roughly equates to nearly all the serving personnel from that Base, which is situated in one of Brisbane’s suburbs. Also attending the Brisbane March today were more than 1000 members of the Royal Australian Air Force from the largest base closest to Brisbane, Amberley. The streets where the March took place were crowded with people stacked deeply on both sides to pay homage to all the marchers. While Brisbane itself is the State Capital, marches were held all across the State in major cities, and even smaller towns as well, and all of those Marches bring out the people to watch in their droves.

What was heartening was the huge crowds attending Dawn Services, not only in Capital Cities, but in every city and town throughout Australia. What was most noted by officials was the number of young children now attending these services. I distinctly remember attending many of these Dawn Services over the years, starting as far back as the early 1960’s and, in the main, other than for those veterans, and serving members, as I was at those times when I was attending, the crowds were not very large. All that has now changed as these Services have now become so important, not only to veterans and to serving members, but to all the people as a whole.

This is a small selection of articles from Australian media outlets detailing this morning’s services.

ABC News: ANZAC sacrifice commemorated at Dawn Services. This link has a short video, the second one down on that page showing a recent Victoria Cross recipient for bravery in Afghanistan, Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith detailing some of the things he felt whilst in Afghanistan and also reading some of the correspondence from servicemen in Afghanistan during this last few years.

ABC News: Live Blog of ANZAC Day services and marches with images and video.

The Australian: Soldiers children honour their own

Brisbane’s Courier Mail: An image gallery of images from ANZAC Day Dawn Service around Brisbane and South East Queensland.

Brisbane’s Courier Mail: An image gallery for the March in Brisbane and other areas as well.

Rockhampton: Australians band together to remember our fallen heroes. This is from where I live here in Rockhampton.

Over the five years I have been contributing at this site, I have detailed the four previous ANZAC Days, and I have also detailed the landing, and the withdrawal, and for further information, I will include those links here.

ANZAC Day – 2012  In this Post, I also added some information about Albert Jacka, the recipient of the first Victoria Cross in World War One for his heroism at Gallipoli.

ANZAC Day – 2011  In this Post I have added information about a subsequent action during the Gallipoli Campaign, that of the assault on the trenches at Lone Pine by the Australians.

ANZAC Day – 2010

ANZAC Day 2009

The Birth Of A Nation. This details the landing at Ari Burnu, now known as ANZAC Cove.

Troop Drawdown. This details the withdrawal of troops from the Peninsula.

I also have a Post about a Brigade Commander from Gallipoli, John Monash, who went on to become a General and who was instrumental in the conclusion of the First World War, and that is at the following link.

General Sir John Monash

Each of those Posts also has further links to other sites, and each Post details aspects of this 8 month campaign.

anzacoz