Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere tend to forget how much the Aussies, Kiwis, South Africans, and colonial troops contributed in WWI, WWII, and to later conflicts.


Today, April 25th, is ANZAC Day. It honors the men and women who served in the Australian and New Zealand forces in wars ranging from the Boer War to Vietnam, the East Timor conflict, and other fields of battle.

Members of the Albert Battery shoot a volley of fire during the Anzac Day dawn service held by the Currumbin RSL on the Gold Coast on Monday, April 25, 2016. Australians and New Zealanders today honour those who died on the 101th anniversary of the battle of Gallipoli in WWI. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Why April 25? Gallipoli began that day, in 1915.  The Australian War memorial, which is an amazing museum and highly, highly worth visiting, has an excellent history of ANZAC Day.  We in the US don’t often realize just what a terrible percent of their military-age young men Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and other parts of the Commonwealth have lost in WWI, WWII, and other conflicts.

Lest We Forget.


11 thoughts on “ANZAC Day

  1. “And the band played Waltzing Matilda’ …”
    No, the lyrics get too sad. Bless ’em all.
    I saw the cenotaphs, on both Islands; enough to burst and break your heart simultaneously.

    • The official march of the 7th Marine Regiment is “Waltzing Matilda”, in honor of the historic ties between the Regiment and ANZAC forces.
      “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”, is, of course, the unofficial song; hated by the brass, and regularly belted out by groups of drunken grunts.

      I’ll hoist a glass tonight, and leave the last sip.

    • I have a book printed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. It has a picture of some Australians on a Pacific island. They had just landed after being transported from Italy, where they’d come from North Africa, where their predecessors had shipped from Australia. They were the replacements for the replacements for the replacements, having almost completely circled the world, at the staging area for Olympic, where they were to make yet another attack against emplaced defenses.

      Their faces gave me the creeps for days. “The porch light is on, but nobody is home.” Those guys had moved past “shell shock” to “walking dead.”

  2. They say that it was WWI and Gallipoli that formed the Australian identity and gave them a sense of nationhood, of no longer being a colony.
    I’ve read a claim that Australia has fought alongside the US in more wars than Britain has – Do you know if that is true? I know they were in Vietnam with us and I don’t think Britain was.

    • The Aussies were definitely in Vietnam with the US – I’ve run into a few Aussie vets of that conflict online. And unlike Britain (or even Canada), there have been no wars between Australia and the USA.

      • My Dad mentioned hanging out with Aussie troops when he was in Vietnam. Also ones from Turkey.

        Funny how many Vietnam War histories I’ve read don’t mention any allies…

    • I don’t know if they have fought alongside us more than the British, but I know that most vets that have served with foreign militaries respect the Aussies more than about any other military except the Israelis, certainly much more than any European ones.

      And Unlike Britain as far as I am aware Australia has never fought on the other side in any conflict we were in.

  3. There was a sunrise celebration this morning in Jacksonville, attended by a number of our active duty folks, including the Rear Admiral. They will be toasted tonight at the dinner.

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