Resting Places; a Trio

Resting Places; a Trio, in which I continue the theme of   resting  places.

This Friday, April 25th, we will be commemorating  Anzac Day , which, in many respects, may be more widely and generously honoured in New Zealand than our national day,  Waitangi Day.

Looking back through my blog posts, I see that I have made Anzac or Gallipoli references in at least 8  of my posts and zero references to Waitangi Day, which, although a tad shameful on my part, would be  representative  of how large the events of Anzac Day loom in the general psyche of our nation.

Be that as it may, here is my small tribute to Anzac Day; a trio of resting places.

1. For the Sons of Gallipoli

2.For Captain Charles Hazlitt  Upham, probably New Zealand’s most famous soldier, who was “Modest and selfless,…  and…. keenly aware of the sacrifices his generation had made to ensure that New Zealanders could live, as he put it, ‘in peace and plenty’.” http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/5u2/upham-charles-hazlitt

If you could spare one minute and 56 secs, I would highly recommend a listen to the wonderful message by Charles Upham, following the award of  his Victoria Cross in 1941. His selflessness and concern for others are evident. I especially like the way he ends his speech with a very New Zealand,  Kia Ora. http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/speech/54/charles-upham-discussing-his-1941-victoria-cross-award

Resting Place https://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2013/10/27/3252/of Captain Charles Hazlitt Upham V.C. and Bar

Resting Place   of Captain Charles Hazlitt Upham V.C. and Bar

3. For many nations at the Commonwealth War Cemetery ,El Alamein, Egypt. ( My son inspects “the guard of honour”.)

Commonwealth War Cemetery, El Alamein, mid 1990s

Commonwealth War Cemetery, El Alamein, mid 1990s

A final note  on a great project:

“An ambitious project will be launched on Anzac Day to photograph all surviving World War II veterans.

The Veteran Portrait Project is being run by the Institute of Professional Photographers in conjunction with the RSA.

There are about three thousand WWII veterans still alive, all now in their late 80’s, 90’s and a few over a hundred.The aim is to photograph as many as possible on Anzac Day, wearing their medals down at their local RSA.”

Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

© silkannthreades

 

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74 thoughts on “Resting Places; a Trio

  1. Marylin Warner

    What a lovely tribute you’ve written. It’s through you I’ve learned about Anzac Day as I’d never heard of it here. We have special Memorial Day and separate veteran tributes.
    The photographs are wonderful. Whether the headstones are shaded by lush trees, or a boy walks under the sun through the rows, there is a special and beautiful remembrance.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am fascinated by the contrast between the two resting places; one close to home and one in the desert. Both very peaceful but they raise the old dilemma/heartache of where those troops would really want to be…with comrades or on home soil? Your Memorial Day is next month, I think?

      Reply
  2. Cath at Lizzie Rose Jewellery

    I always remember when ANZAC Day is as it’s my brothers birthday today too. This was particularly helpful in my History exams at school as we were always asked the date as one of the questions. Thank you for making it a bit more meaningful 🙂

    Reply
  3. shoreacres

    So much here I knew nothing about. I remember hearing of “Gallipoli” in the past, but I have absolutely no recall of the context – whether it might have been in a history class in school, something that my grandparents and their friends talked about, or simply publicity about the film (which I never saw).

    I didn’t know about Anzac Day, either. Now, I do. What I do recognize here is the stylized poppy, so similar to those always purchased and worn on our Veterans’ Day. I fear that custom is falling out of favor. I haven’t seen poppies sold for a year or so. But I still remember “In Flanders Fields”, which we were obliged to memorize in school. The image of the poppy here makes your remembrances seem familiar and close.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      When I was younger Anzac Day, for me, was associated with sitting in class, knitting blanket squares (for good causes) in the morning and an afternoon off school. Little, if anything, was said about the real purpose of Anzac Day that I can remember. And I don’t recall wearing a poppy. It has only been in more recent times that Anzac Day has matured (or we have matured in our attitude) and become a day of such national importance. So, it doesn’t surprise me that it was unknown to you. I have been trying to find out how many poppies were sold this year but have failed to find an answer. Perhaps the data is not yet available. I know in previous years I have bought virtual poppies which is a good way to donate but, of course, doesn’t offer the visibility of a real poppy. Thank you for your interest in our time of remembrance. I do appreciate it.

      Reply
  4. Leya

    Great post, honouring the men who fought bravely. Sweden has not been to war for many, many years so we really do not know of all those sacrifices done in a war. But we can imagine. We are much concerned just now about what is happening in Ukraine.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank goodness for peaceful Sweden. And, yes, the situation in Ukraine is very concerning. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, one day our descendants select a day and honour it as the anniversary of so many hundreds of years of peace, instead of the anniversary of such and such a battle? One of my favourite places in the world is the Isaiah Wall in New York. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Bunche_Park. If only those words would come true. https://silkannthreades.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/658px-issiah_wall_rbp_sunny_jeh.jpg

      Reply
      1. Leya

        I agree. Thank you for the links – I love that quote too, but didn’t know it had been put on a wall for everybody to see. You always have great answers to everything!

        Reply
  5. mmmarzipan

    Great post! Love the image of your son. I am sure that photo project will move me to tears.
    I remember Anzac day in 2002 so vividly. I was at a design conference in Melbourne (as a uni student) and literally fell in love across a crowded room/auditorium with the man who has now been my husband for 9 years and is the father to my children. After smiling stupidly at each other across the room, not even exchanging a single word, I left to catch a train. I sat alone, pondering love and life when a text message suddenly appeared on my mobile phone (thanks to Telstra), “Lest we forget”… And I never have.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh my, what a romantic story; one to tell the grandchildren. 🙂 And it’s lovely to have a positive memory associated with Anzac Day. Gave me a happy smile on a day when I tend to get a bit teary.

      Reply
      1. mmmarzipan

        Yes, it is a teary kind of day if we truly stop to reflect. I am going to make Anzac biscuits (sugar-free!) for the children and tell my son a little bit about the Anzacs (in the gentlest, most 3 year-old friendly way, of course)

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Lovely. Have you ever posted about sugar free Anzac Biscuits? I think perhaps you have. I didn’t get to make any this year. Very slack!

  6. restlessjo

    Steve’s comments clarified things for me. I was never totally sure who the ANZACs were. If only we could draw a line under it all and never send people to war ever again.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, if only! Today, April 25th, 2014 we are reminded that “Anzac Day this year is the centenary of the last time that 25 April was just a day like any other day – before it became a signature date in New Zealand history.” http://ww100.govt.nz/the-centenary-of-the-last-ordinary-25-april#.U1m_t6LdzB2 Today we are at peace, just as we were on 25 April 1914. Incredible to think about what has happened over the last 100 years in terms of war and peace.

      Reply
  7. Su Leslie

    What a lovely post. It got me thinking about my own blogging and how I talk a lot about ANZAC day and not Waitangi Day. That must be true for so many of us. I didn’t know about the RSA photographic project but it sounds wonderful and a bit overdue.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The project does sound wonderful but I’m wondering if some of the veterans will be camera shy. I can’t imagine my father wanting his photo taken. 😦 I was listening to an interview on Radio New Zealand this morning (Nine to Noon) with Eric Bogle. http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/2593566 I thought it was interesting that he said he looks forward to the day when we are mature enough to allow our sense of nation hood to come from something greater than the dreadfulness of a terrible war. That is my rough paraphrasing but ,perhaps, for us it would eventually mean Waitangi Day gaining more prominence. Who knows, but his interview is worth listening to, if you haven’t already heard it.

      Reply
      1. Su Leslie

        I haven’t but I will now! I used to be quite disturbed by how we defined ourselves so much by our participation in war – not least because it marginalises women. In the last couple of years I’ve been so engrossed in my family history project that war and military service has come to the gore again, but you’ve made me re-think that and I’m veering back to my original position. Thanks 🙂

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          It’s an interesting dilemma isn’t it? But the encouraging thought is that national identity doesn’t need to be static; it can and does evolve.

  8. Steve Schwartzman

    I had to do some looking to remind myself what ANZAC was. In reading the article at

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_and_New_Zealand_Army_Corps

    I came across this statement: “Despite being synonymous with Australia and New Zealand, ANZAC was a multi-national body. In addition to the many British officers in the corps and division staffs, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps contained, at various points, the 7th Brigade of the Indian Mountain Artillery, Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps troops, the Zion Mule Corps, four battalions from the Royal Naval Division, the British 13th (Western) Division, one brigade of the British 10th (Irish) Division and the 29th Indian Infantry Brigade.”

    The reference to the Zion Mule Core caught my attention, so I looked that up and found the article at

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zion_Mule_Corps

    about the Jewish Legion. All of this was new to me, so I learned a lot.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thanks for adding these links, Steve. I confess the Zion Mule Corps was new to me, too. We do tend to focus on Australian and New Zealand troops at this time but, even amongst those troops, I am not entirely sure how NZ or Australian they felt. My great uncle, who died of wounds sustained at Gallipoli, may well have considered himself Scottish. His older brother certainly did and yet he and his younger brother were both born in New Zealand. The other main nationality we consider on Anzac Day is the Turkish one. http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/ataturk-memorial-wellington

      Reply
  9. cindy knoke

    So moving! I want to see more of your son!! Of course, he most likely is very glad I can’t. I have a son too, laughing. Gallipoli just gives me shudders and goosebumps when I hear the name. My uncle Keith, just died leaving his wife, my aunt after 65 years of marital joy. He was a pilot, shot down during the war and was a pow in Germany. Lost 50 pounds. The heroism and sacrifice in this war on every side, in every country, is beyond heartbreaking. All the dead and devastated people who have no choice when their country decides, ‘hey let’s start a war…..” Lately it is my country that is doing this and I so wish, like so many citizens, from time im-mermorial, from every county, that my country would just STOP already. What is wrong with peace?

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Beyond heart breaking indeed it is. The thing we must remember on every Anzac Day is that we are not ‘honouring’ or ‘celebrating’ war, but we are honouring and commemorating our brothers and sisters and families who were part of war. We are saying “let there be no more of this insanity.” Gallipoli was a terrible disaster. And, as you say, What is Wrong with Peace? And if one needs any more persuading on that score, here is a video clip which is also beyond heartbreaking. I will think of your Uncle Keith tomorrow. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, it will be great. The sad thing about the Gallipoli veterans documentary I was listening to is that the names of some of the veterans weren’t recorded by the documentary maker. So we have the wonderful sound recordings but we don’t have names to put to the voices.

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Glad you could visit. I know, with your empathetic heart, you will have great feeling for the terrible situations that our armed services endured.

      Reply
  10. Tiny

    What a great project for the Anzac Day! My dad would be right at home there. He’s one of the ‘not so many’ WWII veterans still alive in Finland. Nice video too.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I see that National Veterans’ Day is on 27 April in Finland. So April is an important memorial month for both Finland and New Zealand. Do you think your father will participate in any commemorations?

      Reply
      1. Tiny

        I don’t think he’ll go somewhere because his health is not 100%, but I’m almost sure some people from the local veterans association will come and see him at home. They have been very nice and brought him flowers & small gifts for holidays and for special occasions like this upcoming one. I know he feesl his service (from 16 years of age and up until the end of war) is appreciated.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          It is lovely to know that he is appreciated. I am always touched that someone (from the Services Association, maybe?) always puts a poppy (for remembrance) on my grandfather’s grave each year.

  11. Brenda

    A dark time for the world remembered well. To often we focus on the notorious bad guys and forget the valor of each individual man. This was lovely and moving.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Brenda. Each individual was special. The valour of each man came through strongly in the radio interview I linked to in my comment to GPCox.

      Reply
      1. Brenda

        Yes, his speech was very moving, the love for his men shone through. I hope his men received lots of NZ Tobacco. I didn’t even know NZ grew it. Of course we know its dangers better now, but it’s hard to see the relevance of that in wartime. Hugs, lovely lady.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Glad you were able to listen to his speech. New Zealand did grow tobacco and still does, but no longer on a commercial scale. I assume that New Zealand tobacco was sent to the troops but I am not completely certain of that.

        2. Gallivanta Post author

          I have read that the New Zealand POWs were sent 400 cigarettes a month. I don’t know if that number changed at any time during the war. And I don’t know if they actually received that number of cigarettes. I wonder if anyone has written articles on the influence of tobacco on war. Most likely they have.

  12. Mrs. P

    Beautiful post! I DO hope they are successful in the photography project and would very much enjoy seeing the results!

    Reply
  13. YellowCable

    Great post. I like the picture of your son inspecting “the guard of honour”. It expresses emotional concern or intense of interest by your son. Very good picture for this post.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thanks YC. I expect the place was rather a puzzle to him. I should ask him what he remembers about it. It is one of my favourite photos from our visit to Alamein. It is a hauntingly beautiful place.

      Reply
  14. KerryCan

    Do you know the folksinger, Eric Bogle? He has a song called “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda,” which is about the ANZAC and Gallipoli–I can’t hear the song without tearing up . . .

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh, Kerry, thank you for reminding me of that song. I had forgotten about it. It’s a beauty. I wanted to add the video clip of it to this comment but some of the comments on the video clip are just too vexing 😦 .

      Reply
  15. gpcox

    A wonderful tribute to the men, Gallivanta. The video was perfect. [my next posts are Thursday and Saturday, so I’ve chosen Sat. to post my tribute to the men. I hope a day late will not be an insult in NZ’ers eyes?]

    Reply
  16. Katrina Lester

    Lovely commentary Mandy. It’s reassuring to know that indeed we have not forgotten. The sacrifices made by our brave soldiers still move us today. My brother is in Gallipoli now celebrating the 99th anniversary of that terrible battle. Our grandfather was there, pulled out of some rubble and, while he survived, his life was never the same again.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      How lovely to know your brother is there at the moment. Perhaps I will catch a glimpse of him on Facebook.My brother and his wife were there last year and were very moved by the experience. They were able to see the memorial with our great uncle’s name on it. I didn’t know your grandfather was at Gallipoli. It’s easy to understand how that would affect him for life. Have you seen this link? https://www.facebook.com/WW100NZ

      Reply
  17. dadirri7

    we do need reminding every year of the futility of war, the sacrifice of lives made by so many … so sad and yet we do not fully appreciate what our world would have been like had they not fought … so much to be grateful for .. thank you Gallivanta

    Reply
  18. Clanmother

    A wonderful tribute!

    “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” G.K. Chesterton

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The video gives me goosebumps and tears. I am not sure if Anzac Day should be more prominent in our psyche than our national day, but it does seem that is so. It wasn’t always like that, of course.

      Reply

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