Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ANZAC Day

Pool of Reflection and the Eternal Flame.  Within the Hall of Memory (at the end) lies the tomb of the Unkown Soldier - the soldier  died in France in the First World War and brought home on the 11th of November 1993
No Art Wednesday today as it is ANZAC Day. Last week my son and I visited the National War Memorial and I would like to share some of the photos I took whilst there.  I'm not one for celebrating war however I find the War Memorial so tastefully done, both as a place of remembrances, but a reminder of the horrors of war, something each new generation needs to be reminded of. War is never good.
Simpson and his donkey
John Simpson Kirkpatrick was born in Britain but later moved to Australia. In August 1914 he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force, serving at Gallipoli the following year as Private John Simpson in the 3rd Field Ambulance, Australian Army Medical Corps. He served from the time of the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April until he was killed in action on 19 May.

Simpson became famous for his work as a stretcher-bearer. Using one of the donkeys brought in for carrying water, he transported wounded men day and night from the fighting in Monash Valley to the beach on ANZAC Cove. He did so, according to Charles Bean, through "deadly sniping down the valley and the most furious shrapnel fire". He was killed by machine-gun fire while carrying two wounded men and was buried on the beach at Hell Spit.
My son looking at the Eternal Flame. 
My son standing near the "Roll of Honour" looking down to the Pool of Relfection.
Looking up towards to Roll of Honour - World War I
World War I  hounour list
For Australia, as for many nations, the First World War remains the most costly conflict in terms of deaths and casualties. From a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 men enlisted, of which over 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner. A total of 15 million died and 20 million were injured. What a waste of human life.  However we didn't learn anything from this, as a few decades later over 60 million people were killed, which was over 2.5% of the world population.
I did have a reason for visiting the War Memorial and it was to take this shot. I wanted to create a black and white photo however maintaining the red poppies. I am happy with the results - and this is the today's photo I have used for my 365 Project.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

By John McCrae, 1915

4 comments:

  1. As I look over my WW1 photos of my uncles and my dad in uniform for WW2, I am remembering our heros and fallen ancestors and praying for all our brave folks who answer the call to defend our country.
    My own husband, being a Vietnam Vet as well.
    God bless them all!

    Trish

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  2. Hi Joluise,
    Your photos are beautiful and soo moving...I feel you have captured the essence of what the War Memorial is all about.
    Respect
    Reflection
    Desire for Peace

    The poem by John McCrae is very touching

    God Bless
    Barb from Australia

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  3. I love that poem. I sang it many years ago, at vocal music camp, and it found a permanent place in my heart.

    I was intrigued to see the number of AUstralians who died in the conflict. The price, I suppose of being closely linked to Britain. We were lucky - if one dares say that - in the States, as we didn't get in until later, and our losses were smaller. Any loss at all, though, is still hard.

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    Replies
    1. Its hard to imagine what effect there was when 416,809 men were removed from every day society of 5 million to fight a war in another country, it must have had a huge impact on all sorts of employment and the running of the country. No wonder so many women were called into service to work the land etc.

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