Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anzac Day

The image is of Tyne Cot Cemetery, near Ypres in Belgium, which is a very moving place to visit, as I did three years ago when I took the photo.

Today is Anzac Day, national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand originally for members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought and died at Gallipoli in Turkey during the Great War of 1914-18, but nowadays commemorating all those who died for those countries.

I note with some sadness that three members of the New Zealand Air Force died today when their helicopter crashed near Wellington when they were enroute to an Anzac Day memorial service.  The story is on the BBC Website.

They shall grow not old as we who 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.

Rest Eternal grant unto them O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them.

On an unrelated matter, other than it's the same country, having left last night RE is currently in the air somewhere between the UK and New Zealand (via brief landings at Bangkok and Sydney) on her way to spend a month at home visiting her family and friends.  I know she'll have a great time, particularly after the stress leading up to an exam just three days before she flew, and the stress of less than a week ago not knowing whether flights would be at all possible from the UK and Europe after the eruption of the Volcano in the Eyjafjallajoekull glacier in Iceland.  There are some nice pictures on the BBC Website of the volcano, and Frikki, the Director of Music at St Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow who is Icelandic, has forwarded some REALLY spectacular ones from his brother who still lives there, but I don't want to post them because they aren't mine..


  1. Nice sentiments. The Laurence Binyon poem "For the Fallen" was seen by many as rather sentimental; especially when compared to those of Robert Graves, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Edward Thomas. 90 years on it feels less so. The War Poetry website is fascinating,,especially the sections detailing with Modern Warfare.

  2. At school, more years ago than I care to remember, I was always a big fan of the war poetry we were made to read in English, and the War Poetry site you mention is indeed a good one.

    I've never been a big fan of poetry generally, other than perhaps a fondness for the poetry of the Book of Common Prayer which is a different kettle of fish, but I can even now, some 30 years after last reading them, recall such lines as What passing bells for those who die as cattle? Only the monstrous angry guns. Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle can patter out their hasty orison from Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen. And doesn't that poem also mention something about shrill demented choirs of wailing shells? I like the image of shrill demented choirs, although I wouldn't like to be in the position of Owen and his innumerable young colleagues hearing the originals.

    I remember a few years ago reading and very much enjoying a book, fiction based on fact, of Owen's time at Craiglockhart in Edinburgh recovering from shellshock, and now that I've remembered how much I enjoyed it I think I'll need to find out what that book was and read it again, because it belonged to my now ex-wife and I don't have a copy anymore. I think it was part of a series, and it may have actually been mostly about Siegfried Sassoon, although both men were in it I recall. In fact it might have been about Robert Graves. Hmm, I shall investigate that one.

  3. I've had a quick search on t'InterWeb, and the book was Regeneration by Pat Barker.