Saturday, April 24, 2010

To the boys

A sombre pot of beer is raised today to all the Aussie boys who lost their lives during the Great War that was number 1.

Anzac day is a sober reminder to us all that people can be, well, pretty poor to each other and we owe it to the fallen to do better.

Now a lot of focus is put on Gallipoli and the ANZAC's efforts there (even though it was a massive strategic bungle) but I'd like to remind all that the 8,000 or so lives lost on the rocky hills of Turkey's beaches needs to be viewed in light of the 53,000 lives we lost overall. The soil and clay of the Western Front was a brutal testing ground for a young country, but it went a ways to forging our national identity.

It's perhaps typified by the loss of Tasmanian school teacher Ivor Margetts, a football ruckman with kind eyes, he was loved by all and some said he had the potential and leadership qualities to become Prime Minister. He was killed by shrapnel under the shelling at Poiziers and the private who was there when he died said "I cried like a kid when he died. I think he went because he was too good for the beastliness of war"

It's less well known that the British had command of all Australian forces till near the end of the war, and their blundering, pig-headedness and stiff upper-lipped attitudes sent our boys into withering machine gun fire set against barbed wire time and time again. They were responsible for the bulk of our casualites. Thanks very much!!!

No drinks today in our remembrance. Just the timeless and delicious Anzac cookie. Golden syrup, coconut, butter and oats when baked together right are a sublime, and timeless reminder. Bake some anytime.

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