25 April 2009

ANZAC Day Adelaide 2009

The photo on the right is of the Adelaide War Memorial on North Terrace. Not today though, and the photo is not by me. (see acknowledgement in the foot of this post)

ANZAC Day observations began for us last night at the footy match (at which Port Power were soundly trounced by St. Kilda unfortunately) with a small ceremony with The Last Post and the Rouse being played, the Australian flag lowered and raised, and the Ode spoken.

The person speaking the Ode To the Fallen must have been a bit nervous and will long be remembered, probably to his eternal embarassment, for "at the going down of the morning, and in the sun".

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Today in Adelaide is a bit damp and overcast.
My account is through the eyes of a camp follower of the Enfield Brass Band. It began for us with the Dawn service at the Walkerville Cross of Sacrifice, followed by a gun-fire breakfast at the Walkerville RSL.
Today the Mayor of Dernancourt in France was with us, so the band played the Marseillaise as well as the Australian National Anthem. [I wrote last year about our close association with French towns like Dernancourt, after which a nearby suburb is named, and Villers Bretonneux.]
The gun-fire breakfast consisted of bacon, eggs, a meat patty, and baked beans, and the gun-fire part, a tot of rum in our coffee. Gerdt, Enfield Brass Band's Belgian import, had never come across it before, but that didn't inhibit his enjoyment.

We have just come back from the 2 hour Anzac Day March through the streets of Adelaide. Enfield Brass had to play and march twice, and it rained lightly from time to time, and at one stage an F-111 roared overhead.
Just now we've been watching the dawn service at ANZAC Cove in Gallipoli on television, and now the service at Villers Bretonneux, with the Unley Concert Band as the band.

Last year I posted about some fiction associated with World War One.
The books I wrote about in that post were
  • THE FIRST CASUALTY by Ben Elton. My rating 4.6
  • MURDER IN MONTPARNASSE by Kerry Greenwood. My rating 4.6
  • THE SHIFTING FOG (aka THE HOUSE AT RIVERTON) by Kate Morton. My rating 4.7
  • BIRDS OF A FEATHER by Jacqueline Winspear. My rating 4.6
  • PARDONABLE LIES by Jacqueline Winspear. My rating 4.6
In that posting I also listed a couple of films to look out for, and a play to hunt down.
Read the post to learn more.

I haven't read a lot since then set in the period, but I have read the first 10 Agatha Christie novels and have come to recognise in her an astute observer of the relief, social dislocation, and general fear that followed the cessation of hostilities at the end of 1918.

For example THE MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR AT STYLES, published in 1920, is set towards the end of World War One, and Christie makes a number of observations about the privations of life in England during the war, rationing, and shortages, and a style of living that is fast disappearing. The house at Styles once had a much larger domestic, household and garden staff, but is now "making do". The Cavendish brothers have inherited money, John lives the life of a country squire, and Lawrence, the younger brother is delicate and follows literary pursuits. Other members of the family are working in "acceptable" occupations, for war time that is, a nurse, the land army, and a companion. The War features not only in Hastings' convalescence, but also in the fact that one of the characters is a German spy.

More links to check out:
  • A new resource has been released this week for Anzac day by the ABC
    It is an interactive 3D exploration of Anzac Cove and the events around 25 April 1915.
  • The Australian Department of Veteran Affairs has a page called Commemorations and the Australian War Memorial has a page with, among other things, the sound files for the Last Post and the Rouse.
  • Another page to check is the Anzac Site, a government sponsored page of resources.
  • Check also ANZAC - newly created by SouthOzSue.
  • Visit the The London War Memorial site. Click on Australians in World War I and hear the Last Post, World War II and you hear O God Our Help in Ages Past. Search for the name of your town on the wall.
  • There is also an edna theme page which contains a number of customised search links drawing on the edna database.
  • More on ANZAC DAY at Wikipedia.
Just some stats:
  • 46,000 Australians died on the Somme
  • 62,000 Australians died altogether in World War One
  • 18,000 Australians who died on the Somme have no known grave.
  • 113,000 Australians were wounded on the Somme.
Photo courtesy http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2044/2303609908_696f7daea7.jpg


Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks for posting this Kerrie. We do appreciate the sacrifices made by Australia and New Zealand [and other Commonwealth countries] for Britain in the world wars even if our political leaders have forgotten.

Peter Rozovsky said...

Didn't John Buchan set his Hannay stories around Wolrd War I: The Thirty-Nine Steps, Greenmantle, and so on?
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Kerrie said...

Thanks Norman. ANZAC DAY suffers a bit here because the schools don't know how to handle it. It falls in the school holidays.

Kerrie said...

You are right Peter.
Hadn't thought of them
1. The Thirty-Nine Steps (1915)
2. Greenmantle (1916)
3. Mr Standfast (1918)

Read the first 2 when I was at school (and disliked them, although I do reember Mr. Blenkinsop in GREENMANTLE (I think) who had a stomach ulcer and had to drink warmed milk


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