Remembrance Day 2012

“Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” These words from Horace have survived since ancient times. Yet more often nowadays we read it in other contexts like: Ezra Pound: “some in fear, learning love of slaughter; Died some “pro patria, non dulce non et decor.” or Wilfred Owen’s excoriating Dulce et decorum est: “If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from … Continue reading Remembrance Day 2012

ANZAC 2012

I don’t think that many romanticise war too much these days. And there is something very poignant and compelling about seeing the fruits of war. In northern France and Belgium the unimaginable scale of loss wrought upon so many families in the great wars of the twentieth century is still visible at every step. It was in north eastern France that I found some family … Continue reading ANZAC 2012

ANZAC Day: remembering some ordinary diggers, not famous, not important #ANZAC

Another ANZAC Day and another day to remember the sacrifices made by Australian and New Zealand forces. Those who serve in battle never get off lightly, even if they manage to survive seemingly unscathed. This year I remember some family members – Claude and Tim from Crows Nest, and Henry Demas – who fought in the Second World War. These men were ordinary working class … Continue reading ANZAC Day: remembering some ordinary diggers, not famous, not important #ANZAC

Flanders mud is pretty bad too

Recently I visited the site in Flanders where John McCrae wrote the famouns pomen In Flanders Fields. It is at the Essex Farm Aid Station only a few kilometres from Ieper (aka Ypres). I visited on a cold, muddy and miserable day. The concrete bunker where the medicos triaged the wounded was not far from the various battlefields of the Ypres Salient. The site is … Continue reading Flanders mud is pretty bad too

Remembering 11-11

On Passing the New Menin Gate by Siegfried Sassoon Who will remember, passing through this Gate, The unheroic Dead who fed the guns? Who shall absolve the foulness of their fate,— Those doomed, conscripted, unvictorious ones? Crudely renewed, the Salient holds its own. Paid are its dim defenders by this pomp; Paid, with a pile of peace-complacent stone, The armies who endured that sullen swamp. … Continue reading Remembering 11-11

ANZAC 2010 – Mapping our ANZACS

It seems appropriate this ANZAC Day to share a good online resource. Thus I commend to people the Australian National Archives site called Mapping our ANZACS. It provides a way to browse 375,971 records of service in the Australian Army during World War I according to the person’s place of birth or enlistment. Using this site I was able to find out about one of … Continue reading ANZAC 2010 – Mapping our ANZACS