ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day falls each year on April 25th, it commemorates the landing at Gallipoli on that day in 1915, this ill fated landing had been planned to quickly knock Turkey out of the war became a battle that lasted eight months at a cost of over 8000 Australian and 2700 New Zealand soldiers lives.
Oldest Anzac Digger Dies.
Eric Abraham, from Brisbane, died at the age of 104 years in a Nursing Home on the 19th March, 2003. (This was the day Gulf II started)
Eric attended the last Anzac March and also reclaimed the bugle that went missing during World War I and was recovered and presented on his 104th birthday.
He joined the Army at the age of 17 years and was an original soldier of the Anzac campaign.
Those are the bare facts that make ANZAC Day one of our most solemn anniversary dates, it speaks of the pride we feel for the brave young men who left their homes to fight in a war on the other side of the world, and our sadness that so many of them never returned home.
There is a dawn service in every city and almost every and town in Australia when even now, 94 years on, men, women and children pay homage to our armed forces from this battle.
In Flanders stands the ancient town of Ypres. Once a centre of the flanders wool trade, it became one of the most important European city-states of the 13th Century. In 1260, Ypres had a population of some 40,000 - more than the population today. At the same time another great city, Oxford in England, had a population of only 4,200.
The area has been fought over, through the centuries by the Dutch, the French, the Spanish - no wonder that the area was called "The Cockpit of Europe." But it was the Great War which resulted in the destruction of the town, and the loss of its priceless medieval architecture.
The Menin Gate Memorial is perhaps the most visited Great War Memorial on the Western Front. (The only other serious contender is the Newfoundland Memorial Park near Beaumont-Hamel, on the Somme.)
The Menin Gate marked the start of one of the main roads out of Ypres towards the front line and tens of thousands of men must have passed through it and onwards along the infamous Menin Road, so many of them never to return.
Menin Gate at Midnight, Will Longstaff, 1927. [oil on canvas, AWM ART09807]
The painting was an instant success and even scored a private viewing at Buckingham Palace by King George V and his family. Thereafter, following showings in major British cities, it was bought by English aristocrat, Lord Woolvington, and given to the Australian government and people. Shipped to Australia it was quickly added to the growing art collection of the proposed Australian War Memorial.
I'm sorry that this post became a little dis-jointed in trying to cover the things that are important to us on this very special day.