ANZAC Day - Let's Pause to Remember...

As we head into the ANZAC long-weekend can I simply say…

Let’s all take the time to pause and reflect on the military service Australian men and women have given to our country.

To remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and to think of the family left behind with no-more than memories to hold on to; to remember the Australian men and women who are currently serving in theatres of war and in peace keeping roles around the world.

To remember all our good friends here at ExplorOz who are or have been serving members…

I’m sure if anyone of us was to stand quietly on the beaches of Gallipoli; at the top of Isravu Hill along the Kokoda Track; or in the rubber plantation of Long Tan in the muddy quagmire of an Asian Jungle – we would hear the familiar drawl that is uniquely ours, Australians’ laughing, engaging in banter, as only Australian’s can, trembling in the face of adversity, but above all else I’m sure our mind’s eye would see a scene of mates, looking out for their mates.

Lest We Forget…

Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Ron N - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 10:01

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 10:01
What an excellent post, Baz. Too many people today only see Anzac Day as a great long weekend break to party and drink and tear around the countryside.

They need to be reminded that they have the freedom and ability to do what they like, because it was paid for at a great price by many selfless others.

One story in particular touched me deeply yesterday - the story of Lt Col Charlie Greens widow. She never remarried and spent all the rest of her life pining over the loss of the love of her life.

I can't imagine the loneliness and heartache she has endured over the last 65+ years. This widow and her daughter are the hidden cost of War and there are hundreds of thousands like them.

Think of them this Anzac Day and attend an Anzac ceremony to respect their fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties and mates sacrifices - and the widows and childrens hidden sacrifices as well.

The WW2 veterans are nearly all gone, the Korean War veterans are very thin on the ground and even us Vietnam Vets are thinning rapidly in numbers. Soon, there will be only a handful of Australians with actual War experience.

Fortunately, there does appear to be a strong core of Australians who haven't forgotten, and who encourage the kids to recognise the sacrifice of war veterans and their families.

Every Anzac Day when I march down St Georges Terrace, it's pleasing to see the 30,000 men, women and children, who make the effort to show up and cheer on the veterans.

To me, the most touching performance during the entire march was the little old lady who stood on the median strip holding a little home-made cardboard sign, which read - "Thank you for your service".

She was there every year for many years - but I haven't seen her for several years now, so I presume she's died. Her simple little sign said it all. Lest We Forget.

War widows story of her love and loss

Cheers, Ron.

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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 10:10

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 10:10
Ron...thanks for sharing that!

The ranks of the "little old ladies" (and I say that with the greatest of affection), who stand quietly at our local Memorial with their little posy of flowers, waiting for a quiet moment that they can move forward to place, too remember, is thinning.

The look on their faces betraying a life-time of pain... God Bless them All

Cheers, Baz
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Reply By: Blown4by - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 11:05

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 11:05
Both posts very eloquently put and a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by those before us and in more recent times in Afghanistan and Iraq. I simply say if it wasn't for all those service persons protecting our beliefs and way of life, in the first instance we may not be relaxing here on forums such as Exploroz. Secondly we may not have the opportunity or freedom of speech to be debating the machinations of which 4WD to buy or which ratchet strap to use among the myriad of interesting topics raised and discussed on here by persons with far more knowledge and expertise than many of us have (me anyway) Lest We Forget.
AAF Anthem
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Reply By: Genny - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 14:18

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 14:18
I was raised in the 60's with that iconic Australian drawl. Compare old recordings of Australians speaking, with the way Australians sound now. Our accent has changed a lot! Sadly most/many of the old recordings available are fro m the ABC, and it was necessary for those old newsreaders to sound very British.

My dad was a sapper, and in Darwin when it was bombed, and some of my friends fathers were in New Guinea.

Lest we forget.
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 18:57

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 18:57
Our eldest child (only 15) is a member of the Army Cadets and holds rank of Corporal. Cadets is an important part of our child's life, attending weekly training, and numerous camps, courses and activities over weekends and an annual 9 day camp at the Bindoon Army Reserve in Sept school holidays (which means missing the Perth Royal Show). Last weekend, they marched at the annual Nollamara RSL ANZAC march. This weekend, will be the 3rd year our kid has camped out holding vigil at Kings Park (Perth) prior to the dawn service and will be involved in the dawn service. We had no involvement in introducing our child to the army cadets - it just happened socially through school acquaintances but we are very impressed to see the commitment and to see so many youth participate in army cadets in our area of suburban Perth. There are a few local army cadet units and the work they do is excellent. From time to time the cadets do volunteer community work too, however we observe lots of good old fashioned camaraderie, team work, night training, first aid & rescue scenarios, peer teaching opportunities, opportunity for promotion and a fair and structured hierarchy - something probably lacking in schools for this generation but obviously the kids like it. If you ask what they like most, the number one response is "drill". So don't believe it when you hear that today's kids don't understand the ANZAC tradition. There is plenty of opportunity today and some of them are embracing it.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:51

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:51
TomO, the crown prince, has been in Cadets since he was able to join and can't get enough of it.

Cadets has assisted him in developing basic, but strong and important life skills.

And it enables him to interact with mates, working to gather to achieve outcomes.

He spent the first week of this school holidays at Singleton Army Base on camp, lots of activities and fun (wish I could have been there!).

He is going through the leadership course presently and is aiming for entry into the Australian Defence Force Academy...but one step at a time!

Cheers, Baz

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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 17:08

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 17:08
Isn't that a coincidence that both of us have kids in cadets!
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Follow Up By: Member - Trevor_H - Sunday, Apr 24, 2016 at 19:39

Sunday, Apr 24, 2016 at 19:39
I can't recommend Army Cadets enough. A couple of years ago we had a foster child in 128 ACU Unit at Yandina on the Sunshine Coast. He worked his way up through the ranks with my wife and I providing support as AVs (Adult Volunteers). This Unit bases its operation on the Regular Army Infantry, so all the activities are as per the Regular Army. On an overseas trip we bought back a dozen sets of Indonesian cam uniforms to make their exercises more authentic Not sure where else a group of young teenagers would be able to be creeping through the scrub at midnight "attacking" another group. Their pride at achieving a full weekend bivouac, living under hutchies and cooking their own meals with a 50mm rainfall over that weekend was amazing. So many went on to become current members of the Army, serving overseas today.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Apr 24, 2016 at 21:00

Sunday, Apr 24, 2016 at 21:00
Our grandson is an Army sniper currently serving in Afghanistan after a stint in Iraq last year, he has seen things a kid of his age should never have to,but he seems to take it all in his stride, I guess time will tell, as it did with our Vietnam Vets.

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Follow Up By: Blown4by - Sunday, Apr 24, 2016 at 21:11

Sunday, Apr 24, 2016 at 21:11
I have fond memories of Army Cadets when at high school in Northam 1965-67 and I still polish my brass belt buckle and boots/shoes in the army taught spit & polish way. Less fondly remembered are the roo ticks at Bindoon army camp. I could never understand why the education department pandered to the 'bleeding hearts' and disbanded their cadet units for some time although the private schools always maintained theirs. Plenty of young ones today would benefit from the discipline, respect for authority, self-respect, teamwork and mate-ship but I suppose some parents would simply 'write a note' requesting that little Johnny be excused from such physical activity.
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Reply By: Member - ACD 1 - Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 21:58

Friday, Apr 22, 2016 at 21:58
Thank you!

I was in Canberra visiting the War Memorial when I was taking my boys for a tour through the VC Gallery.

We were looking at the display of the kit Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG was wearing during the action for which he was awarded his Victoria Cross. I was saying to my boys what a large man he was.

Later on we where at the Canberra Mint when my eight year old kept saying "Yeah, your right he is huge Dad, he's even bigger than you!" When I asked him who he was talking about, I turned around to seeand and walked straight into him - now I'm 6'4 1/2" and he towered over me.

I'm not one to get star struck, but I was absolutely lost for words.

The only thing I could get out was "Thank you!" Shook his hand and walked off with a tear in my eye.

That is my simple message for everyone who went before him and to everyone who will go after him.



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Follow Up By: Member - ACD 1 - Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 12:35

Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 12:35
I have just returned from the Dawn Service And ANZAC March in Perth.

Pouring with rain and quite cold. I watched as the younger spectators slowly dissipated. Yet the 70, 80 and 90+ year olds still marched on. A glint of steely determination and a flash of pride in their eyes.


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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 18:10

Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 18:10
Anthony, you're not wrong there! We got absolutely soaked!! That has to be the wettest and most miserable Anzac Day march, for probably 25 or 30 years!

As I said to my mate in Engineers, "the worst part about this, is, we're not even getting paid to stand in the rain, today!! They all had a good laugh.

The crowds were very thin compared to previous years, and I was surprised to see the number of "dignitaries" seats empty.
Not sure if that's because they put out too many chairs - or if a serious number of dignitaries didn't show up!

However, the people who did make the effort to show up were as enthusiastic as any other Anzac Day - and we do appreciate the effort they put in to show up and cheer us on!

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: dad1340 - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:10

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:10
Well written Baz, you captured the scope of Australia's involvement in the theatre of war and the unsung hero's, the wives and families who go through so much.

The spirit of ANZAC will live on through our kids and their kids hopefully.
My son (42) has marched with me since he was 10yo and now bestowing the medals to the War Museum in Canberra including my grandfathers Gallipoli medals. My family has been involved most conflicts including Gallipoli, France, The Desert Rats, Z Force and of course, Vietnam.

We will remember them

Lest we forget


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Follow Up By: dad1340 - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:13

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 08:13
..... Oops, so I don't get into trouble; New Guinea (sorry Jason)


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Reply By: Member - Witi Repartee - Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 19:57

Saturday, Apr 23, 2016 at 19:57
ANZAC. Australia and New Zealand. Lest we forget.
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Reply By: Member-Heather MG NSW - Sunday, Apr 24, 2016 at 07:06

Sunday, Apr 24, 2016 at 07:06
Thank you Baz.
It is an emotional time for me.
I am spending the weekend in Canberra with a daughter, and yesterday we visited the Garden of remembrance in Woden cemetery to find the plaque with John's name on it, erected by the office of Australian war graves, following his sudden death in November last year.
This year I am the War Widow of a Vietnam Veteran, something I am still finding quite surreal.
Tomorrow we will attend the Dawn Service.
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Sunday, Apr 24, 2016 at 09:02

Sunday, Apr 24, 2016 at 09:02
And we'll keep you, John, and your family in our thoughts as we stand in silence tomorrow, to remember...

Take care, Baz
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 13:25

Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 13:25
Great thread, Baz.

A bit late with my contribution. For those with relations that served in The Great War, and those with an interest in our military past, there is an interesting, and informative website called Discovering Anzacs that can trace one's relations.

My great uncle W. E. Perkins served in the 2nd Lighthorse in Gallipoli(invalided out in late 1915 to Malta, then England with enteric) and later France.

While serving near Bony, in France, he was mentioned in dispatches and awarded the Military Medal. These and many other records of service are all on the above website.

Uncle Wally married an English girl, returned home where he was a baker on Northern Rivers of NSW.

Thanks Baz,

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 14:08

Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 14:08
Attended a very humbling dawn service at Canungra this morning.
A great crowd with many youngsters there paying respects.

Then went for a quiet solo bushwalk nearby for a couple of hours.
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Reply By: Sir Kev - Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 17:46

Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 17:46
Having only just made it home in time for the Dawn Service this morning after my 2 week trip away in the Snowy Mountains doing a Horse trek with Mates4Mates and Cochrane Horse Treks, it was very inspiring to be driving in the wee hours this morning heading for home (did 1300km in 15 hours). I made it home with enough time to get a couple of hour sleep then surprise the kids with waking them up for the Dawn Service.
I found this great Poem which I think is well worth the read :)

Not a Hero

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.

Clyde Hamilton

Cheers Kev

Russell Coight:
He was presented with a difficult decision: push on into the stretching deserts, or return home to his wife.

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Reply By: Ivan68 - Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 21:10

Monday, Apr 25, 2016 at 21:10
Would just like to mention that I attended a great Dawn Service at Normanton this morning. Very well organised and conducted. Whilst there were only a few veterans it seemed the whole town turned out. After the event we were all invited to the Albion Hotel where the publican provided a free fully cooked breakfast for anyone that attended. Full marks to him and the kitchen staff who were run off their feet to provide this service in the true Aussie spirit.
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