Tag Archives: Gallipoli

Love Handles ~Love in ten lines

I am not one for blog challenges. I undertake very few ( too lazy, I am ūüėČ ). But what’s a girl to do when¬† the lovely blogger you persuaded to find a special totem pole in Oregon, nudges invites you to get busy on the ‘Love in Ten Lines ‘ challenge.¬† Well, not much you can do, except hop to, and fall in line.

Here are the rules for the challenge

  • Write about love using only 10 lines.
  • Use the word love in every line.
  • Each line can only be 4 words long.
  • Nominate others who are up for the challenge.
  • Let them know about the challenge.
  • Title the post: ¬†Love in Ten Lines
  • Include a quote about love ( this can be your own)
  • You may write in any language

And here , Britt Skrabanek,¬† is Gallivanta’s response to your gauntlet. It’s a photo poem ( phoem?) , called Love Handles.

When you choose love

When you choose love

or love chooses you

or love chooses you,

 

Remember love has handles

Remember love has handles,

 

for love needs holding.

for love needs holding.

Love is not froth
on the chai. Love

is earthy, love is

is earthy, love is

the china cup, love
is the pot, love

 

pours the tea; love

pours the tea; love.

 

Yesterday, I spent some time at the Canterbury Province Field of Remembrance in Cranmer Square, where our Anzac Day will be commemorated on April 25th.  In the Field are 632 simple, white crosses, one for each man and woman from our region, who was a  casualty of war in 1914-1915.

Canterbury Province Field of Remembrance, Cranmer Square, 2015

Canterbury Province Field of Remembrance, Cranmer Square, 2015

As I walked around the rows, I thought of the unprecedented grief which sat at family tables that year. The cup not used, the plate not laid, the tea not poured, the meal not cooked, the empty chair, the hand not there to tousle a child’s hair….. there was grief; there was love with nowhere to go*.

Grief has softened with the years, and love has found a place again. Some of that love is in these crosses, all with handles;  most not known to us personally, but handles which we can whisper quietly, and hold faithfully  in our collective soul.

For those of you reading in New Zealand, you will know  there are many ways in which we are being encouraged to remember the centenary of the Gallipoli landings. One way which I have found meaningful is to place a virtual poppy on my relatives listed in the Auckland War Memorial  Cenotaph Online Database.  Perhaps that is something you would like to do for your family, if you have not already done so.

*¬† “grief is just love with nowhere to go” ; a saying I read this week in an interview with Cambridge author, Helen Macdonald. It is my love quote for Love in Ten Lines.

© silkannthreades

 

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, ‚Äėin peace and plenty‚Äô.” 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

 

A small Last Post

I didn’t feel that I had the emotional energy to write another post about Anzac Day, but my son took some photos of our dog, Jack, wearing a Red Poppy……

and the very sweetness of them has inspired me to write one small, last post. It is a tribute to the animals who were as much a part of the Gallipoli campaign, and the First World War, as any human being.  There are some wonderful Anzac stories about these animals. One particularly famous animal is a donkey, used for bearing the wounded from Gallipoli. The donkey was awarded a RSPCA Purple Cross for animal bravery in war.

However,  it is the inscriptions on the  Animals in War   Memorial situated on the eastern edge of Hyde Park, London, that best sums up my feelings about the contributions our animal friends  have made to our man-made wars

This monument is dedicated to all the animals
that served and died alongside British and allied forces
in wars and campaigns throughout time” (First inscription)

They had no choice“(Second inscription)

Many and various animals were employed to support British and Allied Forces in wars and campaigns over the centuries, and as a result millions died. From the pigeon to the elephant, they all played a vital role in every region of the world in the cause of human freedom.
Their contribution must never be forgotten.“(At the rear of the Memorial)

I have not seen this Memorial, unveiled in 2004, but I would certainly like to, one day. In the meantime, my little Jack, will honour his fallen comrades.

Lest we forget

P1020382Footnote: Jack is a diminutive form of the name John.  The soldiers at Gallipoli were referred to as Johnnies and Mehmets by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in his famous words written in 1934.  Anzac soldiers were also known to refer to their Turkish enemies, at the time, as Johnny Turk.

© silkannthreades

Rosemary for Remembrance

In my previous post, I wrote about the Red Poppy which is an international symbol of remembrance for all those who have fought and died in war.  Another flower, which symbolises remembrance, is rosemary.

On our Anzac Day, we often combine poppies and rosemary in the wreaths, or floral tributes, we place on our war memorials or on headstones in cemeteries for service personnel. This is my table centrepiece with rosemary from my garden. I plan to add some poppies tomorrow on Anzac Day.Remembrance

According to Philippa Werry’s beautiful book on Anzac*, rosemary grows wild on the Gallipoli peninsula.¬† She writes that a wounded soldier brought home a rosemary cutting from Gallipoli, and a hedge from that cutting grows to this day in the Waite Arboretum near Adelaide, Australia. Also included in the book is a beautiful poem by New Zealand poet Alistair Te Ariki Campbell called ‘Gallipoli Peninsula’. Some of you may be able to access it on¬† this link¬† http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVzC47BEcyQ.¬† It begins “It was magical when flowers appeared on the upper reaches….. ”¬† This poem has also been set to music. This link will give you a brief sample of the music¬† being sung by the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ Choir ( http://sounz.org.nz/works/show/20973 )

Rosemary, or Rosmarinus officinalis, is member of the mint family.¬† Rosemary derives from the Latin for ‘dew’ (ros) and ‘sea’ (marinus) and can be translated as ‘dew of the sea’. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosemary).¬† I think “dew of the sea” is a perfect description for the gentle blues and greens and sea foamy hues of rosemary.

* Anzac Day, The New Zealand Story by Philippa Werry

© silkannthreades

Poppy Day

Yesterday, 19th April, was Poppy Day in New Zealand. The Red Poppy is ‘an international symbol for remembrance for all those who have fought and died in war’*.¬† We celebrate Poppy Day on the Friday before Anzac Day ( 25th April).Recipes to Remember

When I was at our local Mall yesterday afternoon,¬† I noticed that many people were wearing red Poppies.¬† The sight of the Poppies reminded me that I had yet to buy my Poppy, but I couldn’t find anyone in the area who was supplying them. I expect it was a bit late in the day for the volunteers to still be at their posts,¬† with their boxes of artificial poppies , patiently waiting for people to offer a donation in exchange for the honour of wearing a Poppy. The money raised is for the use and work of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association which was founded in 1916.

Although I didn’t find a Poppy, I did find a wonderful new book called Anzac Day, The New Zealand Story by Philippa Werry. ( http://www.newhollandpublishers.co.nz/display.php?id=1709)¬† It is written for young readers but it is a book that can be enjoyed by all age groups. Here is a quote from the book about the origins of Poppy Day in New Zealand.

” While the Anzacs were fighting at Gallipoli, a Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, was caring for the wounded at Ypres (modern-day Ieper) in Belgium. One of his friends was killed in battle, and afterwards he scribbled down a poem on a bit of paper. Another officer found it and sent it to a magazine in England. The poem,‘ In Flanders Fields’ was published on 8 December 1915. It described how the red poppies quickly grew back between the rows of crosses marking the graves of dead soldiers.

John McCrae died of pneumonia in January 1918…….his poem lived on and was translated into many different languages. Today the red poppy is an international symbol of remembrance for all those who have fought and died in war*.”

Philippa Werry goes on to explain that the New Zealand RSA  placed an order  in 1921 for thousands of hand-made silk poppies from France to be sold on Armistice Day ( 11th November). The shipment arrived too late for Armistice Day so the Poppy Appeal Day was postponed until 24 April 1922, the day before Anzac Day. Since that time Poppy Day in New Zealand has always coincided with Anzac Day.

On Poppy Day, I happened to make Skype contact with my brother and sister-in-law at Heathrow Airport. They were waiting to board their flight to Istanbul. They are on their way to attend the Dawn Service at Gallipoli on Anzac Day. It is one of the most remarkable gatherings in modern history. Thousands of Australian and New Zealanders make the pilgrimage to the service each year.  Along with those who attend memorial services at home, they honour those who went to war and they dwell a while in the sadness and futility of war. In military terms, the Gallipoli campaign was a resounding defeat for the Allied Forces, yet, today, that defeat unites us in bonds stronger than anyone could possibly have imagined on the terrible day of the Gallipoli landings, on 25 April 1915.

ANZAC is an acronym introduced during the First World War. It stands for the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.  My grandfather and several of my great uncles were Anzacs. Two of my great uncles lost their lives at Gallipoli.

Here are some statistics:  2721 New Zealanders died during the Gallipoli campaign. 1669 have no known grave and 252 were buried at sea. One of those 252 was my great-uncle.   Australian deaths were 8587 and Turkey suffered 86,000 deaths.  French and British casualties were also in their thousands.

Fellow blogger, Rebecca, has some lovely blogs on the Red Poppy and its significance in Canada. (http://ladybudd.com/2012/11/06/the-remembrance-poppy/#comments)   If other bloggers would like to  comment on my blog  with Poppy photos/links I would be very grateful.

© silkannthreades