Sunday, April 25, 2010

ANZAC memories

My family has a military tradition as do many Australian families. My childhood memories are strong with attendances at ANZAC Day parades and dawn services. As an adult living in Canberra my best memory of a dawn service was around this reflection pool at the Australian War Memorial..
That was in the days when only a few hundred people turned up. Now there are thousands and it has to be held outside.
I grew up knowing the excerpt from the poem For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon (1869 - 1943), that is always recited on this day that commemorates Australian and New Zealand soldiers who landed on the beach at Gallipolli in Turkey on 25 April 1915...

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
...which always ends with everyone saying 'lest we forget'. 
I have my mother's photo album that she lovingly compiled when her father returned from the Middle East at the end of World War 2. 
It's old and battered just like it should be. My father served in the Army enlisting as a very young man and fought in Papua New Guinea...he still suffers from recurring bouts of malaria.  My sister was in the Army, her husband served in Vietnam...twice, I was in the Army but thankfully long before the time women were allowed to serve in combat zones. I wouldn't want either of my children placed in harm's way like that but I honour and respect those who do, today, yesterday and unfortunately tomorrow. 
But...I need to put that outside and go and clean up from last night's dinner party...oh you should see the mess... and make some ANZAC biscuits for the first born...she insists and who am I to argue!


  1. Wish I was there for some of your Anzac biscuits. I still use your recipe (on occasion). Enjoy the rest of your day!

  2. That album is such a family treasure, an important part of your familiy's history. Thanks for sharing. I think I might make some Anzacs too.

  3. Dear Kerry,
    It's lovely to see this post, remembering those who fought at Gallipoli.
    We have Remembrance Day in November and 'For The Fallen' is always recited. I did a similar post in November with a British feel. My Grandad fought in the First World War and actually played in the famous Christmas Day football match, and my Dad was in the RAF in the Second World War.
    Are you getting any help with the clearing up ? Probably not !!!!
    Make lots of those biscuits. I think that many people will be eating them. XXXX

  4. What an amazing family tradition of military service Kerry, your family should be so very proud. Your Mum's album is something quite special indeed!! I have to say that growing up in Canberra, I have lost count of the number of times I have stepped foot into the War Memorial, my Grandfather's name is on the honour wall there, which makes me very proud, but also very teary - an emotional kind of day... Enjoy those Anzac bikkies, my husband is so jealous!! We are sticking to scones with jam & cream this afternoon:) Hope you enjoy your Sunday ~ Tina xx

  5. I hope that you enjoy those ANZAC biscuits.

    Beautiful post, Kerry.

    Best wishes,

  6. I cheated and got mine from Coles. Bloody marvellous. Just like homemade. But I did play 2up today at the local pub. Unfortunatley came away with less money than arrived with but had a great Anzac Day. xxNick

  7. Oh New Guinea, I wonder if he knew my Pa-Pa? 2/2nd battalion? I am so proud... what brave men they were...and to read the war memorial blog today... when they were shot and wounded, they were annoyed that their bodies were not strong enough to keep fighting!!!... they looked past the pain.... true heroes. A-M xx

  8. Great post Kerry. What a special photo album, you family has such strong ties to the ANZAC tradition, something to be very proud of. x

  9. That photo album is priceless...full of history, memories and images of a special someone. Thanks for sharing. I love photos.

  10. Very touching post, Kerry. The war memorial is very solemn yet beautiful. Today I read two other blogs which posted about ANZAC. Thanks so much for sharing. I would love to try one of the biscuits!


  11. I really enjoyed this post and learning a little about your country's history. Your family's record of serving is very impressive and something to be proud of. Enjoy those biscuits!

  12. I love learning about other countries' history through my blog friends. Truly, it is one of the best parts of blogging thank you for posting!

  13. Such proud memories and a beautiful old album!

  14. What an amazing part of your family history to have in that photo album. A very touching post. By the way, what are Anzac biscuits, why do you make biscuits for memorial day, and we need photos and a recipe!

  15. What an amazing military record your family has... I'd love to leaf through that album - you're so lucky that history has been saved. My grandfathers barely spoke about the war to my parents. Thank you for visiting my Villa Life - a work in progress...! A x


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