Anzac Day 2016 in Wangi Wangi

April 25, 2016 at 4:47 pm | Posted in Australia, History, Reflections, Society, Special Occasions, War and Conflict | 14 Comments
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ANZAC means Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

As we do every year, today we celebrate Anzac Day here in Australia and in New Zealand.

The landing by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) on Turkey’s Gallipoli peninsula on 25 April 1915 was Australia’s first major action of the Great War. These soldiers quickly became known as Anzacs, and the pride they took in that name endures to this day.

When they landed they faced fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated from the peninsula, with both sides having suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. More than 8,000 Australian soldiers died in the campaign.

Gallipoli had a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who died in the war.

I have written before on Anzac Day – herehere and here.  And Here is more background.

Here in Wangi Wangi, NSW, there was a dawn service. At 10 o’clock we had a parade down Wangi’s main street, consisting of past and current servicemen and women, school children, and members of various public services and voluntary organisations. The R.A.A.F. provided the armed service contingent this year.

The large and growing contingent of vintage army vehicles is a always popular drawcard for everyone. It ended at the memorial in front of the RSL (Returned Services League) Club, where a half hour ceremony was conducted.

We also had a flypast by three BAe Hawk fighter jets from the RAAF base at Williamtown, Newcastle.

I took photos of the parade and the later display of vehicles, but I could only get one partial shot of the people conducting the ceremony as I wasn’t tall enough to see over those in front of me. Here are some of the highlights of the morning.

01 Hardware sign

02 RAAF lead parade

03 salute

04 K9 unit

05 Wangi school

06 Full tracks

07 Jeeps

08 Ambulances

09 Old blitz trucks

10 Half-track truck

11 Crowd heads to the ceremony area

12 Ceremony blocked by crowd

13 Part of vehicle display

14 Looking to lake

15 Looking from jetty

16 Flags

 

Lest we forget

 

I have heard people who are quite opposed in their views about occasions such as ANZAC Day, Remembrance Day and others. Do you think they really commemorate those who served and suffered for a righteous cause? Or are these occasions really glorifications of nationalistic pride?  I would be interested if you could share your views.

 

(c) Linda Visman,  25th April 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANZAC Day 2013

April 25, 2013 at 8:17 pm | Posted in Australia, History, Society, War and Conflict | 13 Comments
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ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The term Anzac originated in World War I, when our countries’ combined forces landed on the beaches of Gallipoli, Turkey,  on the 25th April 1915.

The Anzacs land on the Gallipoli beaches, under fire from the Turks who hold the high ground.

The Anzacs land on the Gallipoli beaches, under fire from the Turks who hold the high ground.

This campaign, in which many hundreds of men lost their lives, was the first real test of the armies of these two new nations; their “Baptism of Fire”.

anzac-day-2013

Nowadays, ANZAC day is celebrated by the people of Australia and New Zealand on the 25th April, the day the first forces landed on the beaches of what is now called Anzac Cove. From the beginning, they faced extremely strong opposition from the Turks, who had the high ground. They dug in and both sides endured many months of warfare under terrible conditions.

Gallipoli trenches

Anzac Day has come to rival Remembrance Day (11th November) as a reminder of the sacrifice that so many made in the service of their country. All wars in which Anzacs served since that initial campaign are remembered, right up to the present Afghanistan campaign that is still going on. Every city and almost every town with a population of more than a few hundred has its parade and its ceremony of remembrance.

Here are some pictures of Anzac Day in my little town, Wangi Wangi, on the shores of Lake Macquarie, New South Wales.

The parade is led by a lone piper and a single drummer.

The parade is led by a lone piper and a single drummer.

Ex-servicemen march along the main street of Wangi behind the piper & drummer

Ex-servicemen march along the main street of Wangi behind the piper & drummer

Children from local primary schools also participated.

Children from local primary schools also participated.

A small selection of the many old army vehicles that participated in the march.

A small selection of the many old army vehicles that participated in the march.

A section of the crowd heads towards the memorial for the remembrance service.

A section of the crowd heads towards the memorial for the remembrance service.

Some of the officials and veterans.

Some of the officials and veterans.

On Anzac Day, and only on that day, a traditional Aussie gambling game called two-up is allowed by law. It is played by tossing two old pennies off a small strip of wood, and bets are called as to how the pennies will land: two heads; two tails; or one of each. Large amounts of money can be wagered on this game, so it’s probably a good thing it is banned for the rest of the year! The crowd also becomes very noisy as the game progresses.

The crowd at the two-up game.

The crowd at the two-up game, held in the garden of the Wangi RSL (Returned Services League) club.

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(c) Linda Visman (text & photos)

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