Saturday, 25 April 2015

Lest We Forget

Cover of Service

ANZAC, a terminology ingrained into all Australian and New Zealanders. 

Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. 

The first campaign of war that led to major casualties for both countries during WW1.

Along with several other nations, the ANZACS were to storm the beaches and regain Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. The campaign lasted 8 long months. Thousands were killed, and more were maimed. 

The campaign was a total failure. 

The Dawn Service honours and remembers the men who never came home.


Dawn Services are held in the major cities to the smallest country town in Australia and NZ, and indeed all over the world wherever there are Australians and New Zealanders. The timing of the service respects the time the soldiers landed at Gallipoli. 

This year is the 100th Anniversary and the services are bigger and more important than ever - the world is still at war, and sadly we still need our military personnel to protect us, and we still loose too many men and women not only too early to their graves, but to physical and mental disabilities sometimes too horrendous to even think about.

This morning, far from home, we met several Irish servicemen and women who wore their ancestors and their own medals with honour and pride. MissM asked a few of them what their medals were for and each one took great pride and time in explaining them. 

There were dignitaries from the Australian Defence Force, and the NZ Defence Forces; there was senior representation from the Turkish Embassy to Ireland. 

The service consisted of hymns  and prayers and one or two spoke about the events at Gallipoli 100 years ago, and the battles fought between and even today. 

Regardless of religious beliefs, when we were invited to bow our heads for a minutes silence, everyone did. 

We all want peace.

MissM was invited by the Australian Ambassador to Ireland to participate in the service, alongside 11 other little Aussies and NZ'ers. 

The National War Memorial in Canberra had 20,000 small wooden crosses made and distributed them to school children in both countries. The kids wrote messages of thanks and hope, and the crosses were shared amongst the Australian and NZ embassies and consulates around the world. Our Ambassador thought it would be a lovely idea to have the children participate in the Dawn Service as they are the custodians of the future. 

After the official service, the children stood up were handed a microphone that they passed on after they named each of the ANZAC's buried here.

There are 10 ANZAC's buried at Grangegorman Military Cemetery in Dublin. Six of them died during the sinking of the RMS Leinster in October 1918. Of the survivors, three were from NZ, the remaining 7 from Australia. 

At the end of the Service, everyone was invited to breakfast with the Ambassador, but not before she joined the children and the Australian and New Zeald Defence Force Representatives and laid one of the crosses on each headstone. 

Private George Bardon, fro the 19th Battalion's
final resting place with the small cross planted by
MissM and the Representative of the
Australian Defence Forces. 
The cross MissM was given was written on by a little girl at Hornsby South Public School in Sydney. When we got home, we Googled the school and found their email. We've sent the Principal an introduction to ourselves and explained that the little girls cross made it all the way to Dublin, Ireland and that MissM placed it on Private George Bardon's headstone. 

I am sure she will be a very happy little Aussie, just like MissM to know she participated in the 100th Anniversary of Gallipoli and that if we're really focused and good human beings, there might not be a need for a 200th.


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