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Hawk
24th Apr 2009, 22:03
Nancy Wake was born in Wellington, New Zealand on 30 August 1912. She lived and was was educated in Sydney. In 1932 Wake married a French businessman, Henri Fiocca. In 1940, she joined the French resistance movement. Between 1940 and 1942 she worked manning the dangerous escape routes through France and helped save the lives of hundreds of Allied Troops.

Code-named the "White Mouse" by the Gestapo, Nancy Wake is one of the most decorated women of the Second World War.

She received:

George Medal,
1939–45 Star,
France and Germany Star,
Defence Medal,
British War Medal 1939–45,
French Chevalier of the Legion of Honour,
French Croix de Guerre with Star and two Palms,
US Medal for Freedom with Palm
French Medaille de la Resistance
Companion Order of Australia

Wakes' medals are on display in the Second World War gallery at the Australian War Memorial.

Best wishes to the Kiwis and Ozzies for today.

LEST WE FORGET.

RJM
24th Apr 2009, 22:32
And there have been plenty of other Australian and NZ men and women (often too youthful at their outset at least for those descriptions) who have marched away from home to defend what they believe is right, not always to return to their country and loved ones healthy, or at all.

Lest We Forget.

Checkboard
24th Apr 2009, 22:48
repeat of a post I put on the TRAB thread:

The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force was formed in Egypt in 1915, and landed at Gallipoli on 25th of April - this makes tomorrow (well, in about 5 hours in Australia) ANZAC day. This is the day in which Australia and New Zealand remember our war dead, a much more significant day to us than remembrance day.

http://www.diggerhistory.info/images/memorials/tobruk-aust-obelisk.jpg

This is the obelisk which stands at the entrance to a little war cemetery near the Bardia Road at Tobruk, Libya. My granduncle (my mother's uncle) lies here, killed in action as a sergeant at the siege of Tobruk, just seven months after volunteering for service in Australia.

At the base of the memorial is a simple marble slab bearing the following words:

This is hallowed ground,

for here lie those who died for their country.

At the going down of the sun,

and in the morning,

we will remember them.

redsnail
24th Apr 2009, 23:12
We drank a beer and raised the Aussie flag on the entrance to Lisbon Harbour today. :)

tail wheel
24th Apr 2009, 23:12
http://www.64-baker-street.org/xfiles/agents/nancy_wake_04.jpg

Nancy Wake, the White Mouse, 1943

RJM
24th Apr 2009, 23:40
Good post, checkboard.

It's actually a few hours after the dawn services around the country right now.

Here's some further explanation (my view anyway) of ANZAC Day for anyone interested.

I'm not sure how those in other countries remember their war casualties and salute their veterans, but it is a sombre business in Australia, at least until it's time to go to the pub.

The day involves a much larger part of the population than just those with military service and their relatives.

Because of Australia's location, most Australians' active military service has been overseas rather than defending the homeland.

I believe that has made the losses we've suffered a little more poignant.

Every tiny township in the country has its well-tended stone cross or cairn or statue of a soldier, invariably raised by public subscription and carrying the names of the ordinary blokes, mates of generation following generation who have set off from Australia to do their best, often in distant places and for causes only indirectly their own.

Because the resolute actions at Gallipoli of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps were the first serious test for the army of the newly federated former Australian colonies - ANZAC Day, which ostensibly remembers the first Australian landing at Gallipoli on 25th April 1915, has strong associations with Australian nationhood.

And while it remembers the veterans and the fallen of all wars in which Australia has fought (our youngest war widow is only 24), it also celebrates Australian mateship - the necessary reliance on each other of people in an often harsh country like Australia translated to rock solid support for each other in war.

So it's a day, shared across the community, of complex emotions, of respectful celebrations and quiet remembrance.

As a school student on a study project in a Belgian war cemetery said on TV last night, pointing to a white marble headstone - 'This guy was only 17 years old. I'm 17.'

Wiley
24th Apr 2009, 23:52
It needs to be said that for the Australian public, there has been a huge turnaround in attitudes to ANZAC Day today from what it was in the 1960s-70s. Then, as epitomised in David Williamson's scathing play, "The One Day of the Year", the veterans were reviled and denigrated by the younger generation for the way the older generation celebrated the very things that today are so cherished. (The younger generation then were, on the whole, violently anti-war [a cute, but in this case, acurate oxymoron] because of their hatred of then current Vietnam War.)

With selective memories when it suits us, we're a curious lot, aren't we?

RJM
25th Apr 2009, 00:09
Definitely, Wiley.

In my case, when I was a child in a country town Anzac Day was for the adults (male anyway) to march around then go to the pub.

I was a young adult baby boomer in the city after the Vietnam War at a time when anything to do with the military was generally thought extremely uncool by my peers at least, and more or less ignored by the media and commercial interests. Anyone in a military uniform was to be sneered at.

Now, I'm grateful for the efforts of others.

Wiley's right about the almost 180 deg change. I'd like to know the reasons such a change came about - there are many aspects to it.

Mach Turtle
25th Apr 2009, 01:05
Bravo for ANZAC Day.

One of the last remaining distinctive attributes of Australian culture.

V2-OMG!
25th Apr 2009, 01:34
I have been involved in a project involving veterans of Vietnam. Many of them have mentioned on numerous occasions that the ANZAC soldiers in 'nam were the best.

Lest we forget.

Thank-you for posting this blog.

http://pic80.picturetrail.com:80/VOL1942/12014112/21556821/358057848.jpg

http://pic80.picturetrail.com:80/VOL1942/12014112/21556821/358057752.jpg

rjtjrt
25th Apr 2009, 01:51
A tribute to the memory of the ANZACs
by M. Kemal Atatürk, 1934
(Founder of the Turkish Republic in 1923)

THE ANZAC MEMORIAL

"Those heroes that shed their blood And lost their lives...
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore, rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side,
Here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries...
Wipe away your tears.
Your sons are now lying in our bosom And are in peace.
After having lost their lives on this land, they have
Become our sons as well."


A remarkable leader/statesman.
Such a contrast to the politicians/spin merchants of today

John
Melbourne, Australia

Wiley
25th Apr 2009, 02:32
It's probably worthwhile giving the background to Ataturk's remarkable speech (above). In 1934, the first group of Australian mothers of Australian soldiers killed at Gallipoli visited the battlefield. The Turks were more than a little bemused by their visitors and really had no idea how to treat them (in an official sense at least). Unofficially, Turks, displaying their usual good manners, made them quite welcome.

Some unnamed bureaucrat suggested to Ataturk that maybe he should acknowledge their visit by visiting the battlefields while they were there. He did so, and, not having a clue what he should say when he got there, scribbled the speech above quite literally on the back of an envelope in the car on the way down to Gallipoli. Thus they were his words, unfiltered by political minders or protocol-conscious diplomats, and I think most would agree, perhaps because of that, they were remarkable. If the diplomats had got to it, it would have become something quite different and not nearly so powerful.

Many might not be aware that Kemal Ataturk probably saved the day for the Turks on the first day of the landings by personally stopping a headlong Turkish retreat and making the fleeing troops form a defensive line against a small party of Australians who would have taken the ridge commanding the Turkish rear if he had not intervened. The retreating Turks had no ammunition left, but their presence on the ridge made the Australians stop to regroup - long enough for Turkish reinforcements to arrive and kill the Australian party, who had advanced far beyond what became the front lines for much of the next nine months.

It was his outstanding leadership at Gallipoli that more or less cemented his claim to the presidency of Turkey after the fall of the Ottomans.

Rollingthunder
25th Apr 2009, 02:36
Well done south pacific. regards, respect.

Now, we were there in both wars as well,

Where the hell is Cazuck Day?

rjtjrt
25th Apr 2009, 03:03
Rollingthunder
I agree. CANZAC sound good.
Armed forces and people of Canada and Aus and NZ
? drifting apart and should be closer.

Rollingthunder
25th Apr 2009, 03:05
Ah, we're always with you. no matter what the politicians say.

RJM
25th Apr 2009, 03:23
Like the French - always there when they need you.

Seriously, while there has been quite a lot of military cooperation between Canadians, NZers and Australians, have there been any official joint forces similar to ANZAC?

That's not to say Canadians aren't always welcome around these parts.

Rollingthunder
25th Apr 2009, 03:27
Thanks, I was there once.

I think NSW police are still looking for me.

No joint exercises that I can remember.

Might be going again.

V2-OMG!
25th Apr 2009, 03:31
As far as Canadians in Afghanistan go, it should be AMCAN because Canada has the second highest casualty rate after the U.S.A.

As to the Canadians who served in Vietnam, they are known as "The unknown soldier" because they are not even recognized as veterans by their government or the legions (RSL clubs, as you call them in Oz.)

Brian Abraham
25th Apr 2009, 04:35
V2, was a time when the RSL didn't recognise the Vietnam boys. Hadn't been to a war you know!!!!! Still rankles.

Whiskey Oscar Golf
25th Apr 2009, 04:37
Am watching the traditional ANZAC day football match between Essendon and Collingwood. To watch 92,000 fans stand still for a good 4 minutes for the service shows how we still feel the relevance of the sacrifices our forefathers made. Age has not wearied them or their memory and that makes me feel good, given the sacrifices our young servicemen and women are still making for us.

RiscOS
25th Apr 2009, 04:49
Yes, ANZAC day today cannot pass without acknowledgement of Turkey and Ataturk.

The ANZACs were an invasion force which was repelled in a very bloody and expensive response by a courageous defender.
In response Turkey turned a friendly face to it's former enemies, as described in rjtjrt and wiley's posts.

In addition Turkey welcomes visitors to annual ceremonies of remembrance to a place that they have renamed (ANZAC Cove) in honour of the invasion force. What other country has ever reacted so magnanimously.

So it is timely to recall that Turkey was never an enemy of Australia or New Zealand, we just ended up on opposite sides of other countries' war through accidents of history.

ANZAC to include Canadians?? What a great idea. No need to change the name though. Armies of New Zealand Australia and Canada eh.
but where the hell are we going to put all those umbrellas???

RJM
25th Apr 2009, 04:53
And here was I thinking there was no 'eh' in ANZAC!

Hawk
25th Apr 2009, 05:04
V2-OMG. With respect to you and the Canadians your posts indicate that you do not understand ANZAC Day. Firstly, ANZAC Day has little to do with commerating war and certainly not an Australian and New Zealand victory.

"When war broke out in 1914, Australia had been a Federal Commonwealth for only thirteen years. In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula, it is a legend not of sweeping military victories so much as triumphs against the odds, of courage and ingenuity in adversity. It is a legend of free and independent spirits whose discipline derived less from military formalities and customs than from the bonds of mateship and the demands of necessity.
(Former Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Mr Paul Keating, at the Entombment of the Unknown Soldier at the Australian War Memorial, 1993).

The twenty-fifth of April 1915 some would argue, has more significance than Australia's day of Federation. Australians view ANZAC Day historically as the birth of a nation.

I hope you will research the "ANZAC spirit", and its significance to Australia and New Zealand before you post again on this day and this commerative thread

Lest We Forget

AC Busted
25th Apr 2009, 06:01
I feel an immense amount of pride and sadness on ANZAC day.

Pride, because my grandfather landed with the 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force and the Australians on that dangerous, ugly morning.

He was shot in the leg in the 3rd week of the campaign and eventually was evacuated to an English hospital, where, it seems, they did such a good job that he was present on the first day of the Somme. He lost his leg during the battle for the Somme, and it's days like today I remember my mum telling me of him lying in his own blood in a muddy bomb crater for 2 days, just 20 years old and thousands of miles from home. My generation has had it so, so, easy.

He died in 1970 aged 75, I was only 4. How I wish I could have known him properly!

Lest We Forget.

V2-OMG!
25th Apr 2009, 06:24
Gee, I'm impressed by the significance. I really had no idea.

Thanks for the history lesson.

BOFH
25th Apr 2009, 07:58
AC Busted
How I wish I could have known him properly!

I'm sure you're not alone in having that feeling.

When I was growing up, I remember staying with my grandmother at this time of year. Her cousins from the country would come down to Sydney for the march. Only a couple were from the Great War, the others were ex-Tobruk. As a naive young boy, I'd ponder at the changes in their personalities once they'd returned. They were somewhat inebriated, of course, but something had changed - a certain solemnity had come over them.

Becoming older, it became apparent that fewer and fewer were turning up. I then took a voluntary role after school at a nursing home, chatting with ex-servicemen about anything and everything. Anzac Day was always special - we'd show up for the men who couldn't make it into town to keep them company. They'd drink Resch's or KB (I think that's what it was called).

Now that the vast majority of servicemen are dead, it can be quite reviling to see some louche people using Anzac Day merely as an excuse for a pi$$up and an opportunity to play two-up.

Lest we forget
BOFH

Scooby Don't
25th Apr 2009, 08:14
A local newspaper here in the UAE printed the numbers of dead at Gallipoli by nationality, and it makes interesting, if morbid, reading. T'other half has since thrown the paper out, but from memory it was something like:

UK - 20,000
Australia - 9,000
NZ - 2,000
Turkey - 60,000
I think there were some French and South African casualties too.

For the Turks, this was a hard-won victory and unusually costly for a defensive battle.

On the Commonwealth side, one might wonder why the Brits see so much less significance in Gallipoli when they suffered the highest casualties among the Commonwealth nations. Some might say that to remember Gallipoli too much might stain the legend of Churchill - it was his plan as First Lord of the Admiralty, and a pretty bad one.
In reality, I think it boils down to nationhood. Gallipoli was the point at which New Zealand and Australia, with their then-tiny populations, paid the price in blood to be taken seriously in international affairs. For Canada, that moment came at Vimy Ridge.
Independence, for Canada in 1867, Australia in 1901 and New Zealand in 1907 was limited in scope. They became self-governing dominions within the British Empire, with foreign policy in particular still largely dictated from London. It wasn't until the Statute of Westminster in 1931 that the constitutional position of the dominions was formalized, and the Privy Council in London remained the highest court of appeal for the dominions for many years. When Britain declared war on Germany in 1939, the dominions followed suit, with PMs Menzies in Australia and Mackenzie King in Canada seeing it as their duty to the "mother country".
Nationhood though is perhaps a more ephemeral quality than legal independence, and that nationhood was won, for Australia and NZ, when almost the entirety of their armies were deployed against a determined and underrated enemy on a far-flung, desolate shore.

Personally, as someone with mixed British and Dominion (the cold one) blood, it saddens me that the UK and the former dominions seem to be drifting ever farther apart. The UK's governmental policies which favour Europe over the Commonwealth, and a UK populace drawn in by American television and culture are probably largely to blame, and of course the rationale behind what were once strong ties has largely disappeared in a global economy.
ANZAC Day belongs to Australians and New Zealanders, and the memory of Vimy Ridge belongs to Canadians. There are some from what was once the mother country who wish to salute the bravery of those from the dominions who fought and died, whether for country or Empire or simply for the mates either side of them, and some of us envy the dignity with which Australians, Kiwis and Canadians commemorate those who fought and died.

Wiley
25th Apr 2009, 09:06
Regarding the casualty figures: it's possibly worth noting here that at Gallipoli, the ANZAC perimeter, where the Kiwis and the Australians predominated (but where some Brits served as well, notably the Royal Naval Division), was a sideshow, and somewhat smaller than the operation 25 miles to the south at Cape Helles, where the British predominated.

However, it was actually at Helles where the ANZAC legend was born, for three of four days after the landings, some Austtralian batallions (3?) were shipped down to Helles to support the British there (who had suffered fearful losses at the initial landings) and British newspaper correspondents saw the colonials in action for the first time.

The Australians had not enjoyed 'a good press' with the British military upper echelons while undergoing their training in Egypt, and because of the many disciplinary problems they had had there, were considered to be second class troops by the British, good only for garrison duties or undemanding support roles. (Funnily enough, the same problem was to occur in North Africa and Greece and Crete some 20 years later - with a similar outcome, when the bullets started to fly, to the story below.)

Back to Cape Helles in late April 1915. The Australians were to be the third wave in a (what turned out to be utterly suicidal) daylight attack on the gently upwardly sloping and totally exposed ground to the west of the British perimeter. (I've walked over this particular battlefield myself, and can't imagine any commander asking his troops to advance up that hill without massive artillery and armoured support.)

The first two waves of British troops hardly made any headway before they were mown down by Turkish machine guns, and, after witnessing this, the Australians went in.

The British newspapermen were amazed at the way the colonial troops got up and walked into the Turkish fire after seeing the two earlier waved decimated. They reported some of the Australians holding up their entrenching tools to ward off the bullets 'as if warding off the rain', and suffering fearful losses - but they advanced, with all the spirit of a British first line unit.

Balls of steel - the men of all the countries involved in that madness. And today, the public considers Afghanistan a disaster after we've suffered 10 casualties in a few years.

rjtjrt
25th Apr 2009, 09:15
Scooby Don't
There were troops from India at Gallipoli and on the Western Front.
I don't thnk their sacrifice is acknowledged sufficiently.
John
Melbourne Australia

Worrals in the wilds
25th Apr 2009, 09:24
And today, the public considers Afghanistan a disaster after we've suffered 10 casualties in a few years.

I'm glad about that. It will be a good thing if we never have to accept WW1's enormous waste of human lives as a means to an end again. So many brave and clever people were wasted before they could cure cancer, develop new technology etc.

Thanks for the Attaturk post, I never knew the background of that speech. It's eerie reading on the memorial at Gallipoli.

BTW "The One Day of the Year" is by Alan Seymour. It's a bit turgid for Williamson.

tinpis
25th Apr 2009, 09:28
Song written by Ted Egan

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Scooby Don't
25th Apr 2009, 14:10
rjtjrt - you're absolutely right! The Indian Army was a major part of Commonwealth forces in both World Wars, and of course included troops from what is now Pakistan too. Alas, I would say the governments of modern-day India and Pakistan, quite apart from not wanting to commemorate their one-time unity, do not wish to commemorate what they did in the name of empire.
South Africa also provided significant forces, though within South African politics and society, there was some support for the other side...
It's fair to say that every part of the Commonwealth played its part, from the Carribean to Hong Kong to the Falkland Islands, was represented in the wars.

BOFH
25th Apr 2009, 14:28
They also served on the other side. Not too many of ours did (despite the attempts to get an Irish Regiment together).

BOFH

Chimbu chuckles
25th Apr 2009, 15:13
When I was a teen in Sydney in the 1970s the WW1 vets were still relatively young men in their mid to late 70s....my own father's age now. WW2/Korean vets were just nearing retirement age in their mid/late 50s...and our brothers/fathers/uncles were just home from Vietnam...I well remember class mates being pulled from class and taken home when sad news of an uncle or father or even one occasion and older brother was received in the late 60s/early 70s.

I never understood the animosity our Vietnam vets were exposed to at the time, one of my uncles did two tours. Many of my mates dads were there...mine a pilot veteran of the French Indochine war of the early/mid 50s and Malaya in the late 50s. A significant number of my teachers were Vietnam Vets just home and still suffering the direct consequences while still functioning as (mostly) excellent teachers. One of my teachers (and the father of a class mate) had been French underground and then Foreign Legionaire...fought in wars continually from 1939 and was at the fall of Dien Bien Phu!!!

This time of year I always think of two men in particular I knew as a teen, one my next door neighbor and one the uncle of a school mate.

The next door neighbor had been a member of the 4th Light Horse and charged the guns at Beersheba in 1917...later fighting in the trenches of the Western Front. Its only in the last years that this has really struck home...he wasn't a talker with rare exception..as was the case with so many of his generation...what struck home fairly recently was the amazing compressing of history...I used to mow the lawn of a man who took part in one of the last 'cavalry' (they were not cavalry they were mounted infantry) charges in history!!!

7yuZ4vowQJc

My mates uncle was at Gallipoli and later the Western Front too (his father had been at the Battles of Balikpapan and Labuan)

He taught us to hunt and trap in the hills around his home in Araluen (SE of Canberra) where he had retreated to in 1919 after returning home and remained living alone for 20 years...he just couldn't face being around people much.

He took us to the remote bark hut he built and lived in deep in a valley at the end of an old, long overgrown track where the remains of his old Model T Ford still sat rusting. A bear of a man who could still open/set a rabbit trap with one hand...but a gentle man...except when I busted his axe when I missed with the head and smashed the neck against the log I was trying to chop:uhoh:...my mates Aunt still cooked on a wood burning stove...bloody well too...and this was about 1975!!

A Wonderful few weeks of school holidays spent in and around the Araluen Valley shooting/trapping and camping.

An amazing generation.

Lest We Forget.

Wiley
26th Apr 2009, 06:07
W in the W, thanks for the correction. You are quite right; it was Alan Seymour.

Chimbu, what got/gets up the noses of the Vietnam vets was the way the peace campaigners, particularly the females, personalised the abuse, directing it at the returned soldier rather than at the government who sent him there. This particularly rankled with the Nashos - the conscripts who were sent to Vietnam - (although I have to say here that if a conscript really didn't want to go, there were plenty of other conscripts willing to take his place, so he could usually get out of it without too much effort). The ones who wanted to go didn't do it purely out of some mad desire to fight in an unpopular war; the attitude was more one of "Well, the bastards have taken two years of my life, I might as well do something useful with it - and anything is better than painting rocks white and raking up leaves at Pukka for the duration." There was also the allure of a defence forces home loan.

Yesterday, I saw photographs of the WW2 veterans being helped into the jeeps that drove them at the head of the Brisbane parade. When I was a boy, it was the Boer War veterans who rode in taxis at the head of the parade, and the WW1 veterans marched (or were wheeled by young soldiers or boy scouts at the head of their units).

Many of the WW2 veterans - (many of them a little worse for wear after the 'gunpowder breakfasts' they'd indulged in following the Dawn Parade) - wore ill-fitting, out of date suits that quite obviously saw the light of day only once a year - April 25th - and maybe a second day if they had a funeral to go to. For them, the afternoon usually degenerated into a booze up with mates thay hadn't seen since last Anzac Day - and this was the point (of major disapproval) in Seymour's 'The One Day of the Year'. The son in the play dismissed the whole exercise as just an excuse by his father for a pissup.

It's hard to get your head around the fact the the WW2 blokes are fast approaching the age that the Boer War vets were when I first became aware of Anzac dDay.

When my son was five, I took him to the Dawn Parade in Martin Place and a hoplessly drunk old Digger approached him and thrust a $10 note into his hands, mumbling how great it was that he should be there. My son still talks about that to this day. It meant a lot to the old bloke to see a young child there - and I think the old bloke's action meant a lot more than just a $10 windfall to my son.

tinpis
26th Apr 2009, 06:25
My grandad. He taught me to surf when he was in his 70s


Joe ******* was a veteran of the
1899-1902 South African (Boer)
War - a private in the 6th Con-
tingent and one of 6,500 Kiwis
who fought in that war.
A keen and accomplished
horseman, conditions suited
Joe’s talents, as most of the
fighting was done from horse-
back.
Most of the New Zealanders
and Australians came from rural backgrounds and their skills
in horsemanship, shooting and
use of cover were renowned.
The Campaign Medal in the
display shows Joe was involved
in fighting in every province in
South Africa.
In 1900 he was invalided
home with enteric fever, but
he returned to the war as soon
as he was fit enough - just six
months later.
He was promoted to the rank
of Regimental Quartermaster
Sergeant.
Back home, on the outbreak of
World War I he volunteered, but
was refused as he had too many children

And the old bugger stayed home and kept having them.:hmm:

Worrals in the wilds
26th Apr 2009, 09:04
No worries. I studied it in the eighties and found it dated and cliched, but I suppose it was very much a play of its time.

...the way the peace campaigners, particularly the females, personalised the abuse

From what I hear (before my time) that was truly disgraceful and another thing I hope we never see again. At least in recent wars (post Gulf 1) the anti-war brigade have had the brains and the decency to stay away from personal attacks on soldiers. I've read a number of rabid anti-Iraqi war articles over the past few years that still remember to credit the guys doing the job, so hopefully the vitriol is in the past.

Apropos female agitators, various Vietnam Vets I know hope that a special place in Hell is reserved for Jane Fonda, aka Hanoi Jane. One of them throws stuff at the telly when she comes on looking corporate. I know she's apologised, but it doesn't wash with a lot of vets.


...ill-fitting, out of date suits that quite obviously saw the light of day only once a year

My Grandfather still has the same suit. It fits even more poorly now, we're going to frog march him into Myer next year :hmm:

What was the first year the Vietnam Veterans marched in the ANZAC Day parade? I vaguely recall seeing the news footage as a kid.

(although I have to say here that if a conscript really didn't want to go, there were plenty of other conscripts willing to take his place, so he could usually get out of it without too much effort).

Interesting that you say that. One of the aforementioned Vietnam Vets (regular Army) said much the same thing, but he was the only person I'd heard say it.

Thanks for the interesting posts.

eagle 86
27th Apr 2009, 04:37
All conscripts that ended up in Viet Nam volunteered to go - no conscript was sent. Mind you an Army sergeant could be quite persuasive!!
GAGS
E86

Captain Sand Dune
27th Apr 2009, 05:57
I'd like to know the reasons such a change came about - there are many aspects to it.
The last time Australia was threatened in a meaningful way was when the Japanese bombed Darwin, Broome, Derby etc. Otherwise, war for Australians was something that happened far, far away and to ther people.
IMHO the main reasons for the change in attitude are Timor and the war on terror.
When Timor blew up, this was "war" on our doorstep that was reported on nearly every day in graphic and meticulous detail on TV. I think for the first time since WW2 the Australian public realised why we have a defence force.
Since 9/11 (or 11/9 outside the USA!) the game has changed again. The battlefield can be anywhere and the enemy not easily recognisable. Acts of terror can and do happen anywhere and at any time. There is no formal declaration of war by a soveriegn state. Again, the Australian public has come to realise that it is the defence force that has the prime role in keeping the terrorists out.
Therefore, in short the change in attitude toward the defence force is due to an increased percieved threat by the public. Otherwise I reckon there would be have been no change.

Wiley
30th Apr 2009, 02:42
For any who may be interested, this is quite well done. abc.net.au/Gallipoli