ANZAC Day

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Cutaway, Apr 25, 2005.

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  1. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Today is the nintieth anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli, probably the most important national day in the calendar of both Australia and New Zealand.

    Seen by some as a sideshow to the european theatre it was a hard fought campaign against well trained and motivated Turkish troops.

    Hopefully there'll be some footage of the commemorations at Gallipoli on the news this evening, if so take a look at the number of young Aussies & Kiwis that make what is to them a pilgrimage. The antipodean youth are intensely proud of their fallen and show their appreciation for the sacrifice.

    Whenever I see the turnout there I reflect on the relatively few youngsters that pitch at Remembrance Day.

    Where did we go wrong in teaching our children ?
     
  2. BBC World has been showing the footage all day. I saw the dawn ceremony & as with all Remembrance ceremonies it made me well-up. Apparently all Turkish television channels showed the event live and it will be repeated throughout the day. I've no idea how we've allowed our 'national treasures' to be forgotten, but it is indeed shocking that so many young Antipodeans made the journey to Turkey to pay tribute to the sacrifices of their forefathers yet we can't even get a decent turn-out at the local cenotaphs on Remembrance Sunday.

    I know that in terms of population Gallipoli was a massive loss of life for the ANZACs, but we mustn't forget our 21,000+ troops that perished there too.
     
  3. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    Very true Cuts. I’m living in oz at the moment and attended the service in Sydney this morning. I then got to watch the Gallipoli dawn service live on TV. Very emotional, especial as there are no longer any veterans of the campaign left.

    The young of Australia have embraced the day as it has come to symbolise the formation and identity of the nation. If you get to watch the service you will see that almost 20,000 people travelled there to see it for themselves. Also out on the streets today the old diggers commented about the huge amount of young people that were there. I myself had a few beers with the old diggers down the pub. I had a fascinating talk with a Vietnam veteran – great blokes and a real privilege. He was very upset about how they were treated when they returned home back then but feels much better about it today. I told him it should only be the opinion of his peers that really counts and that will always be good. I wore my medals and was asked by more than a few people about them – different to the ozzies of course – felt very strange answering questions rather than asking them. I am now about to raise a few more glasses at home to their and others spirit and memory. Lest we forget – they never will here that much is obvious.
     
  4. Easy there Cuts old chap...the sweeping generalisation about the cobbers down under and the equally sweeping one about our own youngsters is a little bit hard to take. Having spent a couple of ANZAC days in Oz and one at Jolly-polly, I think you need to look harder at the demographics. Nicely brought up young Kiwis and Aussies do head to Gallipolli, student types or young professional/tradesmen too. However back in Oz you don't get a massive turn out of Indonesians, Greeks, Poles, Croats et cetera on ANZAC day - it's just a holiday like any other for some. Of course ANZAC day has a powerful place in the Australian and New Zealand identities, as a sort of coming of age as a nation:-

    "That is surely at the heart of the Anzac story, the Australian legend which emerged from the war. It is a legend not of sweeping military victories so much as triumphs against the odds, of courage and ingenuity in adversity. It is a legend of free and independent spirits whose discipline derived less from military formalities and customs than from the bonds of mateship and the demands of necessity."Former Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Mr Paul Keating, at the Entombment of the Unknown Soldier at the Australian War Memorial, 1993

    Now the young people of Britain are pretty much reviled for failing to turn out on Rememberance Sunday. However the youth organisations still attend. Schools are hosting interest days where veterans visit schools and meet the kids to talk about the war. The trouble is that youth attendance at church is spasmodic and the history they get taught is prettty weak on crunchy bits about the importance of the war - most syllabi for history equip our kids with a knowledge of the size of sugar ration but not the awful Battle of the Atlantic which underpinned the economic issues.

    Also there is no generally appreciated sense that the two world wars meant something big or something important for us as a nation but even a mere history graduate like myself is aware that both wars were critical watersheds in the decline and reconfiguration of Britain as firstly an imperial power and latterly as a world force.

    As an RBL branch we will be seeking to involve local youngsters in a VE/VJ Day celebration of some sort and we will hopefully get a few more of our "old and bold" in to talk to them for qwuite a few years to come. We have an ex-Chindit and an ex-RAF Pathfinder to tell them stirring stuff. We also have a very good database of our "names on a war memorial", to ensure that these people never become just that. I particularly like the human aspects of some of these stories of the Fallen, like the lad who was run-over in the blackout in Palestine. The words "and I wrote in my diary "bugger"" come to mind but we all know people who died in absurd and not heroic ways and they are still remembered and still our mates.
     
  5. I Live in Ypres, Belgium. There is a special ceremony this morning under the Menin Gate at 11am to commemorate ANZAC day. I am sure it will be well represented. I dont know if it was reported on Arrse but Fri 22nd April was a landmark anniversary over here as it was the 90th anniversary since Germany defied the Hague convention and used poison gas / chemical weapons during the First World War. Also on Friday 22nd April just south of Ypres across the French border 4 Australian soldiers were laid to rest at Outtersteene cemetary. They were killed during WW1 and their bodies were discovered over the last 2 years. I believe one was identified and had surviving members of family at the funeral.

    FM
     
  6. It's worth remembering who sent the ANZACs, amongst others, to almost certain death on what would appear to be a whim - 1x Winston Churchill. Not his finest hour, and his actions then smack of our Dear Leader's inept and illegal prosecution of another conflict not so far away in more modern times.
     
  7. Worth remembering, maybe. But today should be to remember those who went and what they achieved.

    Attended several ANZAC parades in the 70s when there were still a lot of veterans around. Better men than any of us.
     
  8. Churchill came up with the idea, he didn't implement it. Sitting 3000 miles away how was he to know that the troops were not scaling the highground during the first couple of days of the landings?

    Had it worked, and it easily could have if that critical tactical mistake hadn't been made, Churchill could have been the genius that won the war in 1915/16 and saved close on 10 million lives.

    Hardly inept.
     
  9. Whim is a bit harsh Queenie. There was a sound strategic argument behind the Gallipolli campaign but sadly the execution was poor - the only thing that got there in numbers were the Toms, Diggers and Indian forces. They were badly supplied, poorly planned for and ultimately betrayed by the manner in which the campaign fizzled out.

    If they had had better C3I then the whole thing might have been quite different but then again if my uncle had tits...
     
  10. Rumour has it that the turkish govt have put a ban on the maori haka because it has movements that are deemed 'innapropriate' for display in an islmaic country.

    Obviously the New zealand contingent are not best pleased. :?
     
  11. Glad to see the BBC doing coverage. Having walked along those beaches and up the hills, I would have liked to have been there today.
    I fully intend to make it to ANZAC day one year, maybe the 100th my children will be old enough to come as well.
     
  12. [quote="Little Jack H.] ...today should be to remember those who went and what they achieved. [/quote]

    Heavens Yes - Remember the poor souls. But what did they achieve? They endured 8 months of pure shite only to be withdrawn in what effectively was defeat.

    Back to friend Churchill - didn't he do the same thing to our colonial chums during the next World War? I think of Dieppe and tying in the Canadians at enormous cost in human lives for little military gain, despite what the apologist pundits will tell you.
     
  13. ANZAC's brothers in arms and to be remembered.

    Thanks ANZAC's
     
  14. Back to Churchill happily. Losses on D-Day, coming out of the sea against the strongest military defences the world had ever seen, were 15% casualties.
    Compare that to the first day of the Somme, a meticulously planned conventional land battle, with 50% casualties. Dieppe was a raid, not an invasion, and the lessons learnt led directly to the outstanding success of D-Day. Which was the plan all along.

    Instead of knocking our nation, perhaps today would be better spent remembering the British, Indian, Anzac, French and Turkish soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice ninety years ago today.

    Now, how do I get off this pulpit....