AN ZAC DAY P AGE.
Australian & New Zealand Army Corps
Lest we forget...
They shall grow not old...
Each year Australians commemorate the anniversary of Anzac Day on the 25th of April.
It is the day when Anzacs landed on the beaches of Gallipoli.
The courage, honesty, endurance, resourcefulness and loyalty of the Anzac forces became an inspiration to us all.
It is celebrated by firstly - a dawn service. The light overcoming the dark.
Next is the laying of wreaths at the foot of the memorial stones which most townships have.
Poppies are often incorporated in the wreaths and all the local societies, schools, RSL and clubs contribute one.
A veterans march is held proceeding the wreath laying. Members of the Land Army, the women who took on the men's work while the men were away, also march.
Returned service men from other wars ie Korea, Desert Storm, Bosnia, Somalia, East Timor and from other countries are there also.
To boost the often small band of older veterans the march is joined by boy/girl scouts, the ambulance brigade, local army attachments, the town band etc.
Diggers who have died may be replaced by their children or grandchildren in the march. They wear the medals they carry in remembrance on the right to distinguish themselves from the younger army marchers, who wear them as is proper on the left.
ANZAC Day is the only time it is legal to play two-up in Australia. After the mid day wreath laying service men and women often retire to the RSL to drink, reminisce and play their once a year national sport.
There is an evening service as well, to watch the going down of the sun. Hymns, speeches and the national anthem make an appearance at these ceremonies, and the Australian flag is flown at half-mast.
"This day of days again we keep -
In memory of those who sleep
Away beyond the quiet sea...
Away in far Gallipolli.
'Tis Anzac Day - 'tis Anzac Day...
Our soldier comrades far away,
They died in war - that we in peace
May live and love that war may cease".
Simpson and his donkey Murphy are famous for helping hundreds of injured men from the battlefields. My Great Grandad remembered him, and was incensed that after six goes, they still got his uniform wrong on the statue they made in his honour!
For Simpson's story, see here:
Anzac Biscuits Recipe
1 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons boiling water
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup sugar
1 cup plain flour125g (4oz) butter
11/2 teaspoons bicarbonate soda
1 tablespoon golden syrup
Combine rolled oats, sifted flour, sugar and coconut.
My ANZA C Day s.
Since I was small I have journeyed, as most Australians have, to the memorial set up in every town across this wide brown land, to honour the dead on ANZAC Day. I have eaten ANZAC Biscuits with milk, watched the older folk play two-up, waved my freely distributed Australian flag and watched the often small, but never anything but fiercely proud, veterans parade.
I have been touched as the years went by and the parade became thinner, that it swelled again as children and grandchildren took up the task. I have heard a father say to his young children at such a time not to worry about keeping to the beat of the band, just so long as they walked with pride.
I have stood in the sun and listened, felt my heart swell with pride, and as I grew older, felt sadness and regret for the lives lost as well. I have listened, in the remembrance silence, to the sounds of young children, unaware of the solemnity of the occasion and doing what comes natural to all kids - playing. What more fitting tribute is there, for surely freedom for children to be children is what the fallen had fought for.
Today for the first time I lay a personal remembrance on the war memorial, two poppies. One each for my grandfathers Bill Parke and Roy Shawyer.
Lest we forget.
Back to Index
Fire Frog's other Memorial page.
Includes links to Great Grandad Browning's exploits.
Australian Commemorative Days -
Rochedale State School
Australian Culture & Recreation Access - Anzac Day