Saturday, April 26, 2014

ANZAC DAY 25th April. Every Year.

As the sun rises the dawn services begin and Australians bowed their heads in silence.
It's a sad day as we remember those who died fighting for our country.

ALL present recite the following.... 
At The Going Down of the Sun
And in the Morning
We will Remember Them
LEST WE FORGET...

ANZAC, stands for Australian and New Zealand ... but of course... it is in memory of all soldiers world wide who have died to help us, the living, enjoy a freedom we may not otherwise have.

I always become emotional on that day...
I cry for my father who served in the Middle East and on the Kokoda Trail P.N.G.
He never spoke of the war and his suffering, but like many, it changed him.
In and out of Mental Hospitals with the condition we now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, he couldn't cope with every day life.
I lost touch with him for many years, and finally found him again when I was eighteen...
He died in 1982 from lung cancer, among other physial complaints. So he is now free.
My grandfather also served in the Great War of  1914-1919, also known as World War 1.
Of strong Christian convictions, I am unsure if he suffered the same as my father. 

Wars continue and more of our men and women die or are left with internal scares forever.

So in honour of them.... we keep a day aside every year in respect of them.
It is a somber time, and everything shuts down across the land.

At the dawn services...thousands attend.



Hymns were sung.... and prayers said.

The Royals, the Duke (Prince William) and Duchess attended this year. 





 



John 15:13.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.



The Forgotten ANZAC on The Wall 

                             I wandered thru a country town, 'cos I had some time to spare,
                              Went into an antique shop to see what was in there.
                               Old Bikes and pumps and kero lamps, but hidden by it all,
                                       A photo of a soldier boy, an Anzac on the Wall.

'The Anzac have a name?' I asked. The old man answered 'No.'
The ones who could have told me mate, have passed on long ago.
The old man kept on talking, and according to his tale,
The photo was unwanted junk bought from a clearance sale.

'I asked around', the old man said, 'but no-one knows his face,
He's been on that wall twenty years, deserves a better place.
Some-one must have loved him, so it seems a shame somehow.'
I nodded in agreement, then said, 'I'll take him now.' 

My nameless digger's photo, well it was a sorry sight
Cracked glass pane and broken frame, I had to make it right
To prise the photo from its frame I took care just in case,
Cause only sticky paper held the cardboard back in place. 

I peeled away the faded screed and much to my surprise,
Two letters and a telegram appeared before my eyes
The first reveals my Anzac's name, and regiment of course
John Mathew Francis Stuart of Australia's own Light Horse.

This letter written from the front, my interest now was keen;
This note was dated August seventh 1917
'Dear Mum, I'm at Khalasa Springs not far from the Red Sea
They say it's in the Bible, looks like a Billabong to me. 

'My Kathy wrote I'm in her prayers, she's still my bride to be
I  can't wait to see you both, you're all the world to me.
Mum, you'll soon meet Bluey, last month they shipped him out,
I told him to call on you when he's up and about.' 

'That bluey is a larrikin, and we all thought it funny
He lobbed a Turkish hand grenade into the CO's dunny.
I told you how he dragged me wounded, in from no man's land
He stopped the bleeding, closed the wound, with only his bare hand.'

'Then he copped it at the front from some stray shrapnel blast;
It was my turn to drag him in and I thought he wouldn't last.
He woke up in hospital, and nearly lost his mind
Cause out there on the battlefield, he'd left one leg behind.' 

'He's been in a bad way Mum, he knows he'll ride no more.
Like me he loves a horse's back, he was a champ before.
So Please Mum can you take him in, he's been like my own brother,
Raised in a Queensland orphanage he's never known a mother.' 

But Struth, I miss Australia Mum, and in my mind each day
I am a mountain cattleman on high plains far away.
I'm mustering white-faced cattle, with no camel's hump in sight
And I waltz my Matilda by a campfire every night

I wonder who rides Billy, I heard the pub burnt down,
I'll always love you and please say hooroo to all in town.'
The second letter I could see, was in a lady's hand
An answer to her soldier son, there in a foreign land. 

Her copperplate was perfect, the pages neat and clean.
It bore the date, November 3rd 1917.
'T'was hard enough to lose your Dad, without you at the war
I'd hoped you would be home by now; each day I miss you more'

'Your Kathy calls around a lot since you have been away
To share with me her hopes and dreams about your wedding day.
And Bluey has arrived, what a godsend he has been.
We talked and laughed for days, about the things you've done and seen'

'He really is a comfort, and works hard around the farm,
I read the same hope in his eyes you won't come to harm.
McConnell's kids rode Billy, but suddenly that changed.
We had a violent lightning storm, and it was really strange.' 

'Last Wednesday, just on midnight, not a single cloud in sight,
It raged for several minutes, it gave us all a fright.
It really spooked your Billy, he screamed and bucked and reared
Then he rushed the sliprail fence, which by a foot he cleared' 

'They brought him back next afternoon, but something's changed I fear.
It's like the day you brought him home, for no one can get near.
Remember when you caught him with his black and flowing mane?
Now Horse breakers fear the beast only you can tame,'

'That's why we need you home son.'  Then the flow of ink went dry.
This letter was unfinished, and I couldn't work out why.
Until I started reading, the letter number three,
A yellow telegram delivered news of tragedy,

Her son killed in action: oh what pain that must have been
The same date as her letter, 3rd November 1917.
This letter which was never sent, became then one of three
She sealed behind the photo's face, the face she longed to see. 

John's home town's old timers, children when he went to war
Would say no greater cattleman had left the town before.
They knew his widowed mother well, and with respect did tell
How when she lost her only boy, she lost her mind as well. 

She could not face the awful truth, to strangers she would speak:
'My Johnny's at the war you know, he's coming home next week.'
They all remembered Bluey he stayed on to the end.
A younger man with wooden leg became her closest friend.

He would go to find her when she wandered old and weak,
And always softly say, 'yes dear, John will be home next week.'
When she died, Bluey moved on, to Queensland some did say.
I tried to find out where he went, but don't know to this day.

And Kathy never wed, a lonely spinster some found odd.
She wouldn't set foot in a church. She'd turned her back on God.
John's mother left no Will I learned, on my detective trail.
This explains my photo's journey, of that clearance sale.

So I continued digging, cause I wanted to know more.
I found John's name with thousands, in the records of the war.
His last ride proved his courage, a ride you will acclaim
The Light Horse Charge at Beersheba of everlasting fame.

That last day in October, back in 1917
At 4pm our brave boys fell , that sad fact I did glean.
That's when John's life was sacrificed, the record's crystal clear
But 4pm in Beersheba, is midnight over here. 

So as John's gallant spirit rose to cross the great divide,
Were lightning bolts back home, a signal from the other side?
Is that why Billy bolted and went racing as in pain?
Because he'd never feel his master on his back again? 

Was it coincidental? same time, same day, same date?
Some proof of numerology, or just a quirk of fate?
I think it's more than that you know, as I've heard wiser men,
Acknowledge there are many things go beyond our ken

Where craggy peaks guard secrets 'neath dark skies torn asunder,
Where hoof-beats are companions to the rolling waves of thunder
Where lightning cracks like 303's and ricochets again,
Where howling moaning gusts of wind sound like dying men. 

Some Mountain cattlemen have sworn on lonely alpine track,
They've glimpsed a huge black stallion, Light Horseman on his back.
Yes Sceptics say, it's swirling clouds just forming apparitions
Oh no, my friend, you can't dismiss all this as superstition. 

The desert of Beersheba , or windswept Aussie range,
John Stuart rides on forever there. Now I don't find it strange.
Some gaze upon this photo, and they often question me
I tell them a small white lie, and say he's family.

'You must be proud of him.' they say. I tell them, one and all,
That's why he takes the pride of place, my Anzac on the Wall.

By Jim Brown


16 comments:

  1. I had heard of Anzac Day, but did not have an appreciation for it. Great tribute! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. I'm glad to see that you folks still honor your veterans there. The tide seems to have turned here, as far as the citizenry's attitude, but there's still little ceremonial interest and definitely no respect from the government.

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  3. This honestly shocks me.. But everyone of us that do remember, make a difference.

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  4. Very touching, and I'm so thankful veterans are rightly honored.

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  5. I am glad your veterans are honored too - when someone is willing to give their life for their country - I think they should be honored.

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  6. This is such a nice blog of a great memorial time. You have great photos to honor the veteran.

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    1. Hiya Larry, Always good to see you here. Blessings. Crystal

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  7. Some lovely photos and a good write up. Its nice that the Duke and the Dutchess is there this time.

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    1. It was wonderful of them to attend the dawn service. Not many want to get up at such an early hour. Its a wonderful day every year.

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  8. "Crystal Mary Lindsey" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

    http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2014/05/a-sunday-drive_11.html

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    1. Well thank you Jerry... As Dee below says...people need to hear more about the person who gives their life for their country, and are so often forgotten, without even their name being remembered..

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  9. Dear Crystal, thank you for sharing that poem. It touched me deeply and brought home to me again the sacrifices that men and women around the world make for all of us who are safe and sound at home. The poem tells a story that needs to be put in a novel. Have you ever thought, Crystal, about writing that story? Bringing those people--JIm Brown included--to life???? Peace.

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    1. No I haven't Dee, but you are absolutely correct, it does need to be voiced to the world. xxx

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