Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Our Anzacs

Hi everyone, Rick here, greetings to you all.

Today, April 25, is Anzac Day in New Zealand and Australia and it is a public holiday in both countries. It is a day of remembrance that commemorates all Australian's and New Zealander's who served and gave their lives in all wars, conflicts and peace keeping operations as well as the contribution and suffering of all those who have served. I suppose it is comparable to Veterans Day in the US and Remembrance Day in Canada and the UK.

I would like to give a little background to the day and its signifigance to New Zealanders and Australians.

ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps whose soldiers were collectively known as Anzacs.  Anzac Day originated to honour the Anzacs who fought at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire during World War 1.

In 1915 the Anzacs were part of an allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Penisula in accordance with a plan by Winston Churchill to open the way to the Black Sea for the allied navies.  The objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey) - who were supporting Germany.

The Anzacs encountered fierce resistance from the Ottoman Army and the campaign lasted 8 months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and hardships.  Casualties included 8,709 from Australia and and 2,721 from New Zealand.  The landing at Gallipoli had a profound affect on Australians and New Zealanders and April 25 became a day on which they remembered the sacrifice of those who died. The day was officially named Anzac Day in 1916.

In Turkey, the name Anzac Cove commemorates the place where the Anzacs landed and was officially recognised by the Turkish Government on Anzac Day 1985. Commemorations are held there every year.

With the advent of the second world war Anzac Day became a day on which to commemorate the lives of Australians and New Zealanders who lost their lives in that war also.  Today, we commemorate all those who gave their lives and all those who served in all military operations in which Australia and New Zealand have been involved in since.

In both countries dawn services are held on Anzac Day with symbolic links to the dawn landing at Gallipoli.

Today, Roz and I are thankful for those who have served and those who continue to serve in our military forces so that we may be safe and protected.

Today, we remember those who gave their lives in service.

Lest we forget


  1. Thank-you for the great history. And thank-you for all those who serve. Happy Anzac Day, Terps

  2. Thank you for the history lesson. Years ago, I watched a movie about Gallipoli (actually I think that was the name) could be wrong.

    Also, a big thanks for being our allies through thick and thin. I
    will say a prayers for those who have served and continue to serve.

  3. Thank you for reminding me why they were showing Gallipoli on the TV yesterday. Sad to say Anzac Day is often forgotten here in the UK as our remembrance day focuses on the Western Front. Excellent history lesson.

  4. My wife was on Skype with her kiwi friend chatting. After I read your post, I wished her a happy Anzac Day. It brought a big smile to her face and a stunned look from my wife who said, "where did you learn that?"

    "The Internet, of course."

    So, thank you Roz.

  5. DelFonte is right, Anzac Day isn't mentioned here.

    Rick, thank you for sharing this.

    "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".

    Always brings tears to my eyes. We shall not forget them.


  6. Thanks for explaining this, very nice to read about other countries and their histories and traditions!

  7. Thanks Rick, this was really very interesting. History is a favorite subject in our home.

  8. I love visiting your blog, so very informative and interesting. Thank you for letting us share a part of your history :)

    Lots of love to both of you x

  9. Thanks Rick for sharing that is something I didn't know about and I loved history in school but never knew this.

  10. Thanks so much for sharing with us Rick. I will now have to check FB and see what my family member visiting New Zealand shared about their 1st Anzac Day!

  11. Thanks for that interesting piece of history, Rick. I knew about Gallipoli but not that Anzac Day was started from that and that it was commemorated by Turkey, too. Nor did I even know that today was Anzac Day!

  12. God bless the Anzacs. They have served their countries and the world bravely and honorably. Hopefully we will never forget them and their allies.

  13. Thank you for sharing. The Duke and I always feel we should honour those who fought for us. We have no idea today all that they truly did for us.

  14. What a beautiful tribute. It is so important to remember. Thanks for sharing and for the reminder.

  15. Thank you Rick.
    I live in the US and I miss the poppies that we always wore in Canada on Remembrance Day because that was always very meaningful to me. I need to bring some down so that I have them.