ANZAC DAY - APRIL 25 - Page 4

April 23rd, 2005  
And to top it all off, channel seven is showing the ANZACs mini series on telly.
Now if only the other stations would play "the lighthorseman", "Gallipoli", "Twenty thousand thieves", "Tobruk" and "the odd angry shot" it make for the perfect long weekend!
Cheers all.
April 24th, 2005  
Lord Londonderry
The death toll at Gallipoli.

Turkey 86,692
Britain 21,255
France 9,798
Australia 8,709
New Zealand 2,701
India 1,358
Canada 49

Lest We forget.
April 24th, 2005  
population of NZ at that time;

1 million
April 24th, 2005  
Half a million Kiwis woke up to their Sunday Star Times this morning and found this headline glaring out at them from page three.

National Front angers Anzac vets
24 April 2005

The National Front plans to attend Anzac services around the country tomorrow, outraging the Returned Services Association.

RSA chief executive Pat Herbert has received emails from members who were angry and upset that the neo-fascist organisation would attend Anzac ceremonies.

"The RSA would be obviously appalled and it would disgust most New Zealanders. New Zealand does not need groups like these," Herbert said.

The RSA could not stop National Front members attending services but "they certainly will not be welcomed if they come flying their colours".

Herbert said the National Front represented everything Anzac soldiers had fought against.

"The incongruity of this is that those who belong to this organisation with its warped ideals and statements about supremacy also claim they'll be there remembering family members and relatives who put up the supreme sacrifice fighting the ideals they espouse."

National Front director Kyle Chapman said its members attended Anzac Day Services every year, and planned to do so this year. He would attend Anzac services in Christchurch with other National Front members.

Chapman said groups of up to 15 National Front members had attended previous Anzac services with no problems.

Members did not plan to "make a spectacle of themselves" this year with ostentatious insignia, flags or National Front regalia, "but there will always be one or two with (National Front) T-shirts".

Chapman had never heard of National Front members being unwelcome at Anzac services, and they had even been invited to RSA clubs for drinks afterwards.

On the international white nationalist website Stormfront, Chapman says "elite German units spoke highly of the Anzac soldiers" and urges supporters to "show that we have not forgotten them, fly our flags proudly".

Chapman said the National Front had been "working hard" to remove members who promoted pro-Nazi views and displayed Nazi emblems such as swastikas - or at least tried to get them to cover up swastika tattoos.

One member, Nicholas Miller, who has been charged with an attack on Somalian immigrants, was expelled last week.

However, fascist and white supremacist views are commonly posted on websites by New Zealand National Front members and sympathisers.

One person from Waikanae calling themselves waffen-ss-panzerkommando, after a WWII German tank unit and the Nazi secret service agency, says "not only is Anzac Day a time to honour our men who died bravely defending their nation from the Yellow Scum in the Second World War, but I also believe it creates a bond between Australia and New Zealand - two white brothers who share a lot of things in common".

RSA members said they found such views abhorrent and an insult to fallen soldiers.

Wellington man Barrie Sargeant, whose grandfather fought in World War II and spent years in German POW camps, said he was deeply offended by the presence of the National Front at services.

"I am sure that many will share my revulsion at this attempted desecration of a national day of remembrance for the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives fighting fascism."

Another Wellingtonian, Robert Trigan, who is Jewish but not an RSA member, said he complained to the RSA, saying the National Front's presence would be outrageous and insulting.,00.html
April 24th, 2005  
sorry for the multiple posts but it is tomrrow after all!

At the limits of endurance

FORGET the death and destruction. It was the flies that got to Hartley Palmer the most at Quinn’s Post on Gallipoli in 1915.
The Turkish trenches were less than 20m away from those of the Anzacs, yet in the gap lay about 20 corpses.
“They were there for the whole time I was at Quinn’s Post — about six weeks,” he said in 1983, not long before he died.
“You couldn’t sleep because of the flies,” he said in New Zealand author Maurice Shadbolt’s compellingly readable, yet horrifying, personal accounts of the campaign, Voices of Gallipoli.
“Flies, they flew in and out of your mouth like a hive of bees, and over the top of you ,” the Canterbury Battalion soldier said. “We fought the flies harder than we fought the Turks. “When I looked out my periscope [to see over the trench without exposing the head] all I could see was a heap of flies, not bodies, between us and the Turks. “The flies were about four inches deep over the bodies.” Mr Palmer was one of 12 Gallipoli veterans interviewed by Shadbolt in the early 1980s. In their 80s or 90s and nearing the end of their own lives, they talked of a harsh, sapping and costly campaign they never forgot. They learnt quickly to deal with the daily death of their mates and the Turkish soldiers. They even learnt the ugly side of war in an attempt to gain at least a little psychological advantage.
On Quinn’s Post, one of the most northerly positions taken by the Anzacs, the bodies between the Anzac and Turkish trenches became bloated as they decomposed and the gas built up.
If the wind was blowing towards the Turks, the Anzacs would fire a few rounds into the bodies, releasing the stinking gas to blow over the Turks.
If it was blowing towards the Anzacs, the Turks did the same.
Some bodies, Anzac and Turkish, were removed during a nine-hour armistice on May 24, although by the time they had lain in the hot sun for a few weeks, they were so rotten they fell apart when any attempt was made to pick them up.
Wellington Battalion soldier Charlie Clark said their casualties would have been a lot worse had it not been for Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, the battalion’s commanding officer.
He refused a British order to attack Chunuk Bair — a post on top of the peninsula — in daylight, saying it was suicide.
He ordered the battalion off the ridge and told the two English officers who threatened to arrest him for disobeying an order that they would attack at night.
The Wellington Battalion did attack Chunuk Bair at night, holding it on August 8, until the Turks counterattacked and they were thrown off.
The human cost was huge. Of nearly 800 Wellington Battalion men who took Chunuk Bair, only 70 or so remained alive and uninjured.
Lt Col Malone was hit by a splinter from an artillery or naval shell on August 8. His body was never found.
Other soldiers refused to cry on Gallipoli for dead mates.
“If you cried once, you would never stop,” said one.
Others died still angry nearly 70 years later, never forgetting the eight months that claimed 2721 New Zealand lives in the 44,000 Allied dead.
They cursed General Sir Ian Hamilton, the British general who led the Gallipoli campaign; they cursed Major General Sir Alexander Godley, the officer commanding the Australian and New Zealand forces; they cursed the First Sea Lord of the British Admiralty, Winston Churchill, who dreamed up a disastrous campaign that advanced only 2000m into Turkish territory.
One New Zealand soldier said he had waited 70 years for the truth to be told.
“If I live to see that day, perhaps I will die less angry.”
On April 25, 1915, the soldiers knew with increasing certainty many would die as their troopships approached the Gallipoli beaches. As they hit the beaches, men died in their droves. Turkish soldiers defending the small peninsula jutting into the Aegean Sea poured withering machine-gun and rifle fire from their positions in the hills down on to Anzac troops. Many soldiers used the bodies of their comrades for shelter until they could at least get off the beach and dig shallow trenches, which offered pitifully little shelter. Many were teenagers who had lied about their age in New Zealand to join the great overseas adventure. Many had never seen a body, let alone been part of a conflict that was to become a bloody epic of New Zealand history.
Gallipoli was one of the most strategic places on Earth, said New Zealand military historian Ian McGibbon in his guide to the battlefield and memorials on the peninsula.
The Gallipoli Peninsula guards the Dardanelles, a waterway to the Sea of Marmara and through the Bosporus channel to the Black Sea. The British wanted control of the Dardanelles so they could open sea lanes to southern Russia and relieve the pressure on Russia. The British navy tried to force its way through the Dardanelles in March 1915 but was stopped at the Narrows, where the channel is slightly more than a kilometre wide. When the navy failed, the decision was made to take the peninsula with troops, setting in train a military disaster for New Zealand of historic proportions. New Zealand was a young and small country with a population of less than a million when the war broke out. By Christmas 1915, when the troops were pulled off Gallipoli, the New Zealand casualty list had reached 7473, including 2721 dead. Of the dead, only 344 have known graves. Henry Lewis, who joined the Otago Regiment, said shortly before he died in the 1980s he did not like thinking about Gallipoli more than he had to. “But most of it I can never forget.” The Gallipoli campaign took soldiers to their limits. If they weren’t violently ill with dysentery and dying in the latrines, they were trying to keep their heads down in the trenches and out of the snipers’ sights. Some of their daily ration of two or three quarts of semibrackish water brought in barges from Egypt was used to soften the “rock chewers” — the square biscuits they ate with bully beef. They did not wash or take their boots off for two or three weeks and lived in lice-infested uniforms. During the fiercest of the fighting, soldiers gave no thought to killing the enemy. “Anzac Jack” Moore, a New Zealander serving with the Australian Army, was one of the first soldiers to land.
He hit the beach soon after dawn, laden down with 55kg of gear, including his rifle and 300 rounds of ammunition, five days of food, water bottles, a greatcoat, entrenching tools, a grappling hook and wire cutters to handle Turkish barbed wire.
He was shot in the shoulder three weeks after he landed.
He told his New Zealand family in a letter, a week or so after hitting the beach, he was in a trench attacked by thousands of Turks.
Hundreds fell to the Anzac rifles and machine guns and still they came, he said.
“Every shot we fired we seemed to bring down at least one man. What a horrible sight to witness and you can realise what a soldier feels like under such circumstances, temporarily losing himself to everything but slaughtering the advancing enemy.”
April 24th, 2005  
It was the spring of 1916 when battle-hardened Anzac veterans arrived on the western front. Among them was Southland farmer William Anderson (24), who recorded his activities daily in a series of small pocket diaries that provide a compelling personal record of one of the most horrific wars of the 20th century, writes ROBYN ANDERSON.

Words from the frontline

Monday, May 29, 1916 Sunday, June 18, 1916 Monday, June 19, 1916 Saturday, July 8, 1916 Monday, September 18, 1916 Monday, September 25, 1916 Friday April 13, 1917 Thursday June 14, 1917 Friday June 15, 1917

MY HUSBAND’S grandfather, Bill Anderson, was an old man with a deep scar across his cheek and half an ear missing. Everyone in the family knew Gramps had been in the Great War but his deafness precluded conversation and although we never said it, it was understood that perhaps he wouldn’t want us to pry. It was only after he died and we read his memoirs and discovered his diaries under a bed, that we realised just how much he wanted to tell us.
His war diaries, as I have come to call them, are a daily chronicle of events that, in their very ordinariness, still send shivers down my spine. Still, I read them for the same reason that Grandpa wrote down the names of all the men who died. It is important that we remember what is sacrificed when a nation sends her troops to war.
When the New Zealanders arrived in France in 1916, they discovered that, unlike Gallipoli, the western front had excellent transport links and many small towns that had hot baths, churches and even the occasional cinema. Everything they saw convinced them they had already experienced the worst war had to offer and the issuing of steel helmets and gas masks did not change that impression. Even their enemy appeared civilised for, shortly after their arrival, the Germans delivered a message to the Otago men in the front trenches, reading, “Send over the time, please, Anzac”.
Within a few weeks, however, enemy bombardments increased and men began once again to die. By then Will Anderson had been drafted into the newly created stretcher bearer squad, the members of which went unarmed into battle to provide first aid and bring back casualties.
World War 1 was a trench war. When the men moved to the front line, they came in through the reserve trenches and up to the “supports”, where they could sleep and work. Both these deep trench systems were connected by smaller communication trenches to the front line, which was about 100m ahead. The front line was guarded by machine guns and punctuated with listening posts and firing stands that looked out through barbed wire into no-man’s-land. In some areas, 100m was all that separated the two armies, which spent most of the time shelling each other and not moving anywhere.
At noon the shells set fire to a church in Armentieres which we could plainly see burning from here. In the evening, commencing about 5 o’clock our guns in our locality opened out and the enemy replied with high explosives, shelling the second line.
Sergeant Major Willow and Pte Date were wounded both 14th Regiment. The 10th stretcher bearers gave us a hand down with them. We were relieved by Auckland . and . . reached the convent [billet] about 1am
Last night a 14th man and a machine gun man were hit, the latter killed. Hannah took down the one walking, our squad taking the dead one down in the morning. A quiet day.
I went up in the afternoon and soon had a man to take down, Nicol of the machine gun. Another man in the 8th was shot by two Germans who by some means got within our lines. He was not badly hit and walked down. Got a Post Card from Jessie. Replied to it. Crocket a 14th man was hit in the morning.
Quiet last night. Nobody was hit. A few shells were sent over today and a lot of rifle grenades. Two chaps were slightly wounded with them. Two others went away sick. In the evening, Fritz opened out on Canterbury and a few on us. Fourteen Otago Casualties. Of the 8th (Southland), Brooks killed, Hammond and Bromley wounded also Sergeant Hassent with barb(ed) wire. The 8th went out into No Man’s Land to flank the Germans if they attacked Canterbury . . .
SORTIES into no-man’s-land happened at night and were one of the few ways of gathering reliable information on the enemy. Night raids were eagerly anticipated and the Otago’s first night raid took place on July 13, 1916. Will volunteered and before leaving, one of his old school friends smeared burnt cork on his face as camouflage. When darkness fell, the Allied guns opened up on the wire. There was concern among the raiding party that the guns were signalling exactly where they were to go through, but they set aside their disquiet and, one after another, the men climbed over the top and lay down in no-man’s-land. This was the accepted, highly successful method of raiding the enemy, the aim being to lie undetected while the artillery bombarded the German trenches, then at a prearranged time, the guns would stop and the raiders would leap into the German lines, taking the enemy unawares.
The Germans, however, had finally worked out how it was done and this particular night, instead of returning fire at the Allied lines, they directed it into no-man’s-land, where 181 men lay waiting. The sensible option, as Will wrote many years later in his memoir, “would have been to wriggle our way back to the lines”, but no-one had anticipated this turn of events and there were no orders to retreat.
Instead, the unarmed stretcher bearer flung himself into a shell hole, praying the short summer night would continue long enough for him to rescue the wounded. He did not know then that of the eight stretcher bearers on the raid, six were already killed or wounded. When the shelling stopped, a German machine gun opened up. It was the signal Will had been waiting for. He crawled out of his shell hole and began to gather in the wounded.
It was approaching dawn when he brought in the last man.
“I had told him I would be back for him, otherwise I might have called it a day,” he writes in his memoirs. “But impelled by an urge not from my head but a place I couldn’t put my hand on near my heart, I sallied out with a very good reliable companion. As with the others I told him to flatten out without delay. Crouching low we got our man on the stretcher then as the parapet of the German trench showed up in the growing light, I repeated the warning saying that if our movement was spotted when on our feet with the stretcher we would need to drop the stretcher and ourselves like a stone. Whether we had been seen or not, no sooner had we got to our feet than the gun opened out again.”
Later, as he made his way back to his dugout, Will overheard someone point out his blackened face and say, “one of the lucky ones”. And he was. Despite the shelling and machine-gun fire, Will received only a few shrapnel wounds, some bruises, a dent in his new steel helmet and a bullet hole directly through the heel of his boot. One hundred and 63 Otago men were killed or wounded that night. Only 17 walked away.
The New Zealand division was relieved in August, 1916, and for the first time in three months, was clear of the line. Will celebrated with a hot bath, an issue of clean underwear and several nights out with his mates.
The battalion moved to Steenwerk where the men were billeted in the farms behind the lines. It was late summer and on several occasions after a day spent either marching or working in the trenches, the young farmer and his mates went out and helped with the harvest. But as ever, the war intervened.
Moved up to the front line in morning. All walking cases except Lieutenant Jones who was hit in an advanced part of trench taken by the Tommies last night. He was wounded in the afternoon and as the trench would not let the stretcher through we had to bring him down at night.
New Zealanders hopped over at 1.15pm and took 500 yards. Heavy shelling at night. Our nocturnal visitor [a German plane] was over again.
Throughout winter and into spring, the New Zealanders fought up and down the line. In April, they were outside the small German-held town of Messine.
Nothing doing for the Company during the day. In the evening the Battalion went up and dug a trench in No Man’s Land. The Doctor and all the stretcher bearers went up. Luckily no casualties. Back to Camp about 3am.
This insignificant entry plays down an astonishing event, in which 400 men and five officers, in a matter of hours, dug a new trench, right under the Germans’ noses.
The men all knew something big was about to happen at Messine.
They spent weeks working on trenches, extending supply roads and preparing new gun positions. When the new gun batteries were in place, the guns pounded Messine Ridge, day and night, until it was reduced to a pulverised mass.
The battle finally began on June 7, 1917, with an enormous explosion of mines hidden deep under the German lines and the simultaneous firing of massed machine guns and artillery. Within minutes, the men were out of the trenches and moving forward. The following week, Will was at the Potteries Farm, just outside Messine.
Shelling as usual during the day. Some of the company were on Fatigue during the day. In the evening we got short notice to go up and make an attack. No 5 platoon of the 8th and a platoon of the 10th sent on the stunt. Tommies were to the left of us. Canterbury to the right. The Barrage commenced at 7.30 and we got up there just in time to follow it up. We commenced our attack from the Potteries Farm and advanced about 500 yards directly in the direction of [Wytschaete] digging in fifty yards beyond Sunken Farm. A chain of outposts was made, a platoon to each, two or three hundred yards between.
On the way over Sergeant Morris was slightly wounded and Hurley more severely by machine gun. Tom Lyttle and I accompanied the attacking party over and dug in. Tom went back afterwards with a message and got Hurley away. Other casualties occurred at the post. Sans and Swain killed. Sanson wounded and one missing who was sent over to get into touch with Canterbury. Lieutenant Cockerell was in charge of our post. A German plane hovered round during our attack and doubtless picked up our signal flares which we lit for our planes to pick up. Our position was heavily shelled but most of the shells went back to the Sunken Farm and fell out front. A shell landed on our machine gun position fifty yards in front of our position and put it out of action killing Sans. I went out later on and got his disc, pay book etc. Also Swain’s who was killed in the trench. Two German machine guns not far out in front of us were giving trouble so we got the stokes up. They fired about 30 rounds and shifted them. We had to get a machine gun to replace ours and a 4th Coy gun and team came up. The ground wet and water comes in at no great depth. On a fatigue party at night Laidlaw and Warren were killed. Sergeant Lomas and another man wounded.
German planes come over very low during the day seeking out our positions and we lay low. The shells he put over during the day went into Sunken Farm but made up for it at night shelling very heavy our position but by a fluke no shells landed quite in the trench all going just short and beyond. During the day a party of Germans came up a trench with packs. We allowed them to come up and get settled down thinking to get round them when they were not suspecting. They were quite close but unfortunately one of our men showed his rifle over the parapet and they cleared out. Other Germans tried to work round on our right between us and Canterbury but our chaps sniped at them and they went back.
During the attack those on our right and left encountered Germans but we did not. The Tommies got a good many prisoners.
We were relieved by 2nd Canterbury who should have relieved us the night before but lost their way. No rations came up to us as they were lost on the way up being with the party which was shelled. The German bombardment was very heavy on all the strong points and in the rear. The 10th evacuated their post but returned to it. The Germans did not attack as we feared. Our battalion which was relieved had to stand to at the Catacombs anticipating an attack. We were relieved at midnight and went to the Catacombs at Hyde Park Corner [a trench reference]. Got four NZ letters when I got back. The 10th had about a dozen casualties in the strong point. The 4th had several in the front line.
On July 19 the battalion rested in the Catacombs — deep caves built in the Ploogert wood.
The official Otago Battalion History records, “The sojourn from July 19th to July 28th which the lst Battalion spent at the Catacombs was not free from hard work nor from enemy shelling. On the 20th casualties were sustained 5 killed, 8 wounded.”
Among the injured was Will Anderson, whose wounds were to see him finally sent home.
No-one can say how much Will’s experience in the war changed him but those who had known him realised he was a different man and referred to him as Bill. Once discharged from the army, Bill went back to being a farmer and got married. He was also politically active and once stood for Parliament for the Social Credit Party. When he retired from farming, he spent the next 20 years guiding on the Milford Track.
Bill Anderson was 93 when he died. It was a life longer than he had ever expected. He certainly lived longer than many of his friends.
April 24th, 2005  
am going to the dawn service at the shrine of rememberance.
it should be awesome, its the first time i will have been and i cant wait.
the only bummer is that i have to get up at about 3:30-4am to get in there but oh well it will be worth it
April 26th, 2005  
Originally Posted by Locke
am going to the dawn service at the shrine of rememberance.
it should be awesome, its the first time i will have been and i cant wait.
the only bummer is that i have to get up at about 3:30-4am to get in there but oh well it will be worth it
We went to the dawn service in Sydney, it was very well attended.

With luck next year we are contemplating heading to Turkey for it which I think will quite an experience.

Incidently heres a reasonable link for those wanting a few visuals.
April 26th, 2005  
wow, thats proof right there that great minds think alike!!!!!
i would love to be at Gallipoli for the service, its one of those pilgrimages that would be awesome to make.
also on my list of "things to do before i die" is walk the Kakoda trail, now that would be an experience
April 26th, 2005  
ALAMIEN crete & gallipoli thats my wish list