Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lest we forget

Well, Friday was Anzac Day. Missed the dawn service at the local Salisbury RSL. Unlike the past four years, the local paper didn't list the times, but referred to the RSL website, which didn't have any listing for the Salisbury dawn service. Bummer. Unfortunately, we didn't think to check it until late on the 24th, so it was a bit late to pick up the phone and call. In any event, due to recent illnesses, we decided it probably wouldn't hurt us to sleep in. Watched the live broadcast of the dawn service at Gallipoli instead. Very big crowd there, and good to see an atmosphere of respect (unlike the notorious 'rock concert' dawn service of 3 years ago on the 90th anniversary). Nice to see Turkey was included in the ceremony (of course, it is on Turkish soil...)

I also noted that they had a dawn service at Villers-Bretonneux, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the big battle won there by the Australian troops in 1918.

I'm thinking, after having read a bit about a few of the different actions that Australian troops were involved in, that I might do a bit of digging & collating from my grandfather's service records. I'm pretty sure he was at the Somme in 1918 (wounded in action there), although I don't know if his unit was at Villers-Bret or not.

I remember reading through the docs when I first got a copy of his service record. I also checked the records of the two witnesses who signed his will when he enlisted - one his own age (around 22-23?), and possibly a friend from home, the other was the local pharmacist, who also enlisted.

Both were killed in action.

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