ANZAC Day - 25th April

Slouch Hat proudly worn by Australian soldiers (Diggers) bearing the Rising Sun emblem!
Slouch Hat proudly worn by Australian soldiers (Diggers) bearing the Rising Sun emblem!

ANZAC Day

All around the world Anzac Day is celebrated on the 25th day of April.

"Anzac" is an acronym signifying the joint force of the "Australian and New Zealand Army Corps" and was originally coined to mean someone who took part at Gallipoli but over the years it has come to mean any Australian or New Zealander who has seen action in any theater.

Anzac Day the 25th April, is a day set aside each and every year on which we can commemorate the lives lost in wartime regardless of the side.

War itself is not being honored here, in Anzac Day marches and services we see men and women that were once enemies marching side by side to honor their fallen mates.

Personally I abhor war and the waste of human life and resources but I can honor the men and women that have fallen defending what they thought was correct.

Anzac Day marchers circa 1955
Anzac Day marchers circa 1955

Old Contemptibles

My father saw service in the first world war and he can be seen proudly marching in the Anzac Day March, along Swanston Street in Melbourne the year would have been around 1955.

Although he spoke very rarely of his war experiences I do know that he was proud of belonging to the small group of soldiers dubbed the "Old Contemptibles" by a top ranking German Officer.

Anzac Day was the one day in the year on which he could get with his old buddies and chat about times that they had shared.

Although he 'never' discussed with us his experiences during the war, this was one time of the year that he took great care. He would lay out his 'Sunday' best suit, polish up his Medals and his shoes and head off very early in the morning to meet his mates. We may not see him again until the next day.

Gallipoli-Turkey Dawn Service attended by many Australians
Gallipoli-Turkey Dawn Service attended by many Australians
 The Last Post at sun-down in 1941.
The Last Post at sun-down in 1941.

The Ode and The Last Post

At dawn on Anzac Day 25th day of April every year, people gather in groups all around the world reaching from the Suburbs of New Zealand, Australia, England wherever there is an Aussie or a Kiwi .

One of the largest services is held at the beach of Gallipoli , where the spirit of the Anzac first came to light.

Many Australians and New Zealanders, some old, some young, many relatives of the fallen, and Government officials, make the trek to this place, which has been turned into a Monument to the fallen troops of both sides of the combat. I have never been there but I have been told by some that once you have experienced this Dawn Service you will never forget the atmosphere created during this sombre service!

And when they gather they hear the prayers for lost ones and a reading of the Ode then finally the sad refrain of the Last Post.

From the Fallen

The Ode :

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.

The line "Lest we forget" is then added by those listening.

The Image is a picture belonging to F.Hurley and taken in 1941 near Hammana. The Battalion bugler playing the Last Post as the troops return to their camp.


The Anzac Day rivals enter the arena!
The Anzac Day rivals enter the arena!

ANZAC Day in Melbourne

Officially there is no entertainment allowed in the mornings of this day but afternoons is a completely different matter.

Australian Rules Football:  What has become now a traditional match between Collingwood (Magpies) and Essendon (Bombers) both suburbs of Melbourne.

This game generally attracts crowds of close on 100,000 spectators, all ready to let out the pent up emotions of the mornings commemorative service. This match is opened solemnly with a small commemoration and at the end of the game a medal is awarded to the most brave player.

Two-up : this game invented by Aussies ( I know the Kiwis will argue differently) involves the spinning of two 'Pennies' thrown in the air from a small board and bets are taken on which way the Pennies will land. This game once declared illegal (government could not take their grab from the illegal two-up schools) can now officially be played only on ANZAC Day. Don't we have some great things here in Australia?

Aussie Flag flying high!
Aussie Flag flying high!

Before the big game starts there are ceremonies to commerate the day as a special one and to honor the fallen men and women to whom we owe so much.

The Photo was taken at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in 2006 at the Anzac Day AFL Football match between Essendon and Collingwood during the pre game entertainment.

The Last Post

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Comments 26 comments

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Interesting holiday. I don't know that much of anyone "like" war. To most of us it is a necessary evil, but part of the reality of life.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 6 years ago from Australia Author

dahoglund, thanks for your interesting comment. I find it hard to call ANZAC Day a 'holiday'? People who go to Gallipoli refer to it more of a Pilgrimage to get a feel for the atmosphere of what these young men and women were put through by their superiors, and for what?

It actually makes my blood boil!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

I remember the ANZAC acronym but never knew what it represented. Thanks for this edifying hub.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 6 years ago from Australia Author

drbj, thanks for dropping in :-)

I'm pleased that I was able to edify you! You seem a bit like myself in that we have a desire to learn something new every day?

Thanks again for dropping in to my Hub on what Anzac day means to me!


Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

I associate ANZAC with cookies! Thanks for this enlightening hub, oh noble fox! :)


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 6 years ago from Australia Author

G'day my FFF, thanks for dropping in and saying hello :-)

As a matter of fact I have a packet of ANZAC biscuits that my wife bought for me in my cupboard!


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Thanks for this great hub agvulpes ANZAC day is close to many Australians and New Zealanders. I was pleased to discover my grandchildren all learn about it in school.

A very informative article.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 6 years ago from Australia Author

earnestshub, thanks for your great comment. These days the children in schools are getting a much better education about Australia's history, especially ANZAC Day which really was a disgusting tactical decision by the leaders of the Army. Presumably British Officers?


salt profile image

salt 6 years ago from australia

Very special. I have my great grandfathers photo, career army, Boer War, ww1 and some of ww2. I learnt a lot about my personal history from learning more about him and his life. And the men that went to war. I often send a secret picnic or bbq to the men who stayed on the somme. I cant say its pretend, as I like to think they got a good aussie bbq or roast dinner, a drink of something soft or a beer, a dance and some music of the time.. to cheer them on..

To dahogland, it is not so much a holiday as a day of respect for those who went to war and those who are not home yet. Its to say thankyou and to show that we appreciate them.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 6 years ago from Australia Author

salt, WOW what a moving comment, it brought a tear to my eye!

I would consider it an honor if you would permit me to include the top part of your comment in the top content with acknowledgment to you of course? I am deeply touched by your comment! My father served on the German Front!


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Wonderful and insightful, how fun, thumbs up....


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 6 years ago from Australia Author

Darlene Sabella, thanks very much for your kind thoughts, I appreciate the thumbs up... :-)


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 6 years ago from Southern California, USA

This is an informative and timely hub considering ANZAC day is coming up soon!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 6 years ago from Australia Author

SweetiePie, thank you for your lovely comment. Anzac Day is a very special day in Australia's history.


oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia

Agvulpes. Hi there. This hub is an absolutely wonderful tribute to our Anzac's.

The sombre service held on the beaches of Gallipoli is so very very moving. also the Ode and The Last Post send goose bumps through me and bring tears to my eyes.

These men and women suffered, as no human being ever should.

They were and still are extraordinary people and we should thank them for the sacrifices that they made for us.Thank you for writing their story. :) :)


Jonesie201 profile image

Jonesie201 6 years ago from London, England

That's a very interesting hub and great photos as well


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 6 years ago from Australia Author

Jonesie201, yes ANZAC Day is now a very important day in the History of Australia!

Thank you for taking the time to read my Hub and leaving a nice comment :-)


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 6 years ago from Australia Author

oliversmum, thank you for you lovely comment.

Yes all over Australia and in fact many places throughout the world the "Ode" will be read and the mournful tones of the bugles will sound out "The Last Post" to commemorate the efforts that our men and women endured so that we can live in this great country.

Let us all hope and pray that these wars are never repeated and we and our Grandchild can live in a world full of peace!

:-)


Aussieteacher profile image

Aussieteacher 6 years ago from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

This year I had an extra ordinary experience on Anzac Day. (At home we usually go to a local dawn service or the city march) but this year I was in Shanghai at the Anzac service at the residence of the Australian Consul General!!!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 6 years ago from Australia Author

Wow that would have been some experience for you!

I'm wondering if the Chinese population in general would know much about our ANZAC tradition?


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 19 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

In memory of all who we lost at Gallipoli and other battles: We do not forget your courage. Blessings to all who honor ANZAC.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 19 months ago from Australia Author

@Phyllis Doyle , Anzac Day in Australia is always a special day for me!

This particular Anzac Day is 'extra special' as it is the 100 th Anniversary of Remembering our fallen brothers and sisters.

Thank you for Remembering you bought another lump to my throat?

Lest we forget :)


Anne Harrison profile image

Anne Harrison 19 months ago from Australia

My uncle used to march as part of The Old Contemptibles in memory of his father (my grandfather) and also my great-uncle (who died at Ypres).

This is a special year, being the centenary, but we still remember.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 19 months ago from Australia Author

@Anne Harrison today was a very poignant day for me ! The older I get I am realizing more that wars are a huge 'waste' in more ways than one !

Do you think that 'mankind' will ever learn the lesson ?

My father used to bring a lot of his 'Old Contemptible' friends home and talk about the 'old country' and the good times that they were having here in Australia but I can never remember them discussing their war time experiences ! It must have been just too traumatic !


Bronwyn Joy Ellio 13 months ago

Thank you for a Hub remember the ANZACS. My Great Grand Uncle was killed at Gallipoli on 26 Aug 1915. His name was recently displayed on the exterior of the Australian War Memorial as part of the Centenary Commemorations. Sadly I wasn't able to travel up for the occasion.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 13 months ago from Australia Author

Bronwyn it always saddens me to hear of a loss of a Relative in such circumstances! Our involvement in Gallipoli, the origination of the name ANZAC, should never have happened !

I'm also not convinced that our 'men' serving overseas have been placed there for the 'right' reasons!

Thanks for taking the time to share the sad story about your Great Grand Uncle making the ultimate sacrifice as an ANZAC !

---{ Lest We Forget }---

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