Tag Archives: War Memorials

ANZAC Day

On April 25th each year, Australia stands still. This is ANZAC  Day, ANZAC being  an acronym for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. Across New Zealand and Australia tens of thousands of people will proudly remember all those countrymen who gave their lives in military service. While April 25th marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. On this date in 1915  the ANZACs went ashore in Gallipoli, to fight the Turks. ,  the commemoration has now been broadened to recognize not only the Gallipoli fallen, but those from both nations who have served in all theatres of war. 

A feature of ANZAC day is the Dawn Service. At the State War Memorial in Kings Park ,Perth, Western Australia, a crowd of 50,000 is expected, making it the world’s and Australia’s  largest dawn event, beginning at 4.30 am. Across the nation, in small towns and capital cities a nation will remember its military as the sun rises.

Gallipoli Day is also remembered in Ireland as it is estimated that some 3,000 Irishmen lost their lives in that awful place, many of them in the 10th Irish Division fighting alongside their ANZAC comrades, according to historian Jeff Gildea  “Overall, the Irish lost more men than New Zealand at Gallipoli throughout the course of 1915,” Mr Kildea told the Irish Echo in 2010.

One of our best known and loved folk singers, the late Liam Clancy, brought the Gallipoli story to many thousands who would not otherwise have known of this awful episode.  His memorable and moving rendition of Eric Bogle’s The Band Played Waltzing Matilda can be heard by clicking on the link. A grim reminder of the awful cost of war.

It is estimated that more than 6,000 Irish-born men and women served in what was known as the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War, with about 1,000 of them dying in action or  as a result of their battle wounds.  There is no doubt but that many thousands of Irish-born have followed them since. It is appropriate that we join our ANZAC friends in remembering this day too.

On a recent visit to Australia, I visited the Queensland State Memorial at Anzac Square in Brisbane and share some of the photographs below in remembrance of them.

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Shrine of Remembrance in Brisbane’s ANZACs Square

 

Another view - with the Eternal Flame burning in the centre, the  18 pillars represent 1918 .

Another view – the 18 pillars represent 1918

 

World War 2 Memorial

World War 2 Memorial

Detail from the World war 2 Memorial

Detail from the World war 2 Memorial

Vietnam Memorial

Vietnam Memorial

My favourite memorial honours participants in the South West Pacific campaign. A Papua New Guinean helps a wounded Australian soldier descending the Kokoda Trail ….

 

..while a fresh and resolute soldier forges on into battle..

The Korea Borneo Malaya Memorial

The Korea Borneo Malaya Memorial

The Eternal Flame at ANZAC Square Brisbane

The Eternal Flame at ANZAC Square Brisbane

As WB Yeats wrote in his poem An Irish Airman Foresees His Death:

“Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,

Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,

A lonely impulse of delight

Drove to this tumult in the clouds.”

References:

http://www.irishecho.com.au/tag/gallipoli

http://www.historyireland.com/revolutionary-period-1912-23/anzac-day-irish-perspective/

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