ANZAC Day 2011

ANZAC Day 2011ANZAC Day is arguably the most sacred day in the nation’s calendar…

…and here’s a good article in “The Australian”…

“The next Anzac century.”

…that expands a little on the reasons why.

And on this ANZAC Day 2011, here’s a recently discovered poem written by one of the Digger’s at Gallipoli…

His name was Martin Toms and he wrote the poem “New Year in the firing line” on December 5, 1915…

I cannot hear the New Year bells

Ringing of hope renewed

I can but hear the shriek of shells

With their tale of deadly feud

 

I cannot sing of Auld Lange Syne

My rifle sings for me

No gentle hand is pressing mine

Except in memory.

 

I cannot see my loved ones near

I can but watch the foe

War ends the old the passing year

Blood red the New Year’s glow.

 

Yet for nowhere else in the world wide

Should I leave the fighting line

The flying bullets give me pride

That a place in the trench is mine.

 

The men who stay at home and shirk

Earn but their country’s scorn

Here is the place mid war’s grim work

To hail the New Year born.

Toms survived Gallipoli but was later wounded in action and died a few years later as a result.

(Thanks to The Mosman Daily for publishing the details of Toms’ story and the poem.)

By the way, the flower in the picture at the top of this post is the Australian Wattle, the national flower.  Sprigs of Wattle are often worn at ANZAC Day cermonies.

To conclude, with thanks to those who serve and in memory of all the ANZACs…

“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.”

UPDATE:

Great article in “The Australian” today about one of the lesser-known, almost forgotten ANZAC battles…

“The other Anzac Day heroes”

…Kapyong in 1951.