Saturday, April 25, 2009

Anzac



Today is Anzac day, the day we honour those who died fighting wars for our country. Monuments to the fallen are a centrepiece in nearly every country town. Erected after World War 1 these are especially poignant because of the the huge number of young men listed.

The memorial in Cudal is unusual with it's plaque for the South African War as it is most often referred to as the Boer War and pre-dates World War 1 when the Anzac tradition emerged.

4 comments:

  1. Yes, interesting the language used here. But it was erected in 1930 and maybe they were factoring other issues. I am particularly chilled by the "When the Empire calls". There are three prominent memorials to the Boer War in Sydney that I have experienced just in the last few weeks.

    On Observatory Hill there is a very large plinth that gives numbers of nurses and horses, even.

    On South Head there is a memorial to the scion of a wealth local family who gave his all in South Africa.

    And on the sandstone escarpement that rises from the forecourt of the SOH up to the Tarpeian Way around Government House, there is a plaque to the troops that embarked from that point to fight in South Africa.

    I agree about the plethora of memorials in country towns. They are frequently the emotional centrepoint. I grew up in Denman in the Hunter Valley and have clear memories of my father laying wreaths at the memorial in the local park just opposite the RSL.

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  2. Interesting facts on the Boer War memorials you have discovered.

    I agree about the war memorials being the emotional centrepoint of the towns. I saw my old home town on TV the other day and sure enough the first thing the camera homed in on was the war memorial.

    With both of my parents serving in the forces during the war Anzac day was a big thing in our family. When we were kids the RSL ladies auxilliary put on a party for the RSL kids after the march (babysitting so our parents could attend the RSL lunch over at the CWA). The kids lunch was a huge country spread, quite quite memorable ... we went home absolutely stuffed with food and soft drinks.

    I know the townsfolk will have put a red poppy on my father's grave today.

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  3. I value that memory, Joan. It is wonderful what two strangers can share in a single paragraph.

    It brings to memory the times I helped my mother work at the CWA refreshment room at the Denman sale yards. Must return up there and see how things have changed. That is always a painful process ...

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  4. I don't know which I enjoyed most, the post of the exchange between the two of you. I would have sworn you knew each other.

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