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Dawn Service

Looking at one of the many wonderful dioramas at the War Memorial

I woke to the strains of the Last Post and Reveille. Dad had switched on the wireless, which was replaying the dawn service from Anzac Square in Brisbane. Cups and saucers were clicking in the kitchen. Mum and Dad were back home from the dawn service held at the local cemetery. Graves of the servicemen would now have red poppies on them. It was eerie lying in bed listening to the bugle and realising we children has been left alone in the house by ourselves, in the dark while we were asleep.

Mum popped her head around our bedroom door to make sure we were alright. She was wearing her best blue woolen suit with a soft white georgette blouse and smart pill-box hat that I only ever saw her wear to the Anzac service. I knew Dad would be wearing his blue double-breasted suit with his medals on.

Dad rarely wore his suit. Preparations for Anzac Day started a week before. Mum took his suit from the wardrobe and brushed it down with a clothes brush as she examined and picked at any small marks, making sure the wool grubs hadn't got it since last year. Then she hung it out to air on the clothesline on the front verandah. Next she rummaged through the overstuffed drawers of her dressing table to make sure that his medals were where she remembered last putting them.


  1. I can picture the scene with your Mum looking lovely in her blue woolen suit and white georgette blouse - your Dad proud and important in his double breasted suit. Another time! but wonderful recollections of a different era.

  2. Beaut to read of your family's tradition and preparations in regard to Anzac Day.
    Back then, the wireless always seemed to be central to morning sounds didn't it.

  3. Dianne and Susan, I'm glad you are enjoying the trip to a past world.

    In my home the wireless was not always on in the morning .. Dad preferred to blast us with music from his tape recorder instead ... from 6am onwards. However the wireless was always tuned to Blue Hills at lunch time and the Argonauts Club and news in the evening. We had no TV.

  4. This is very evocative writing, Joan. Combined with your photo of Ian, with the light behind him. So easy to imagine your parents.


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