ANZAC Day

Anzac Day public holiday is awesome. It’s a nationwide holiday which everyone gets off work. But what is an anzac anyway? Some kind of small beetle? No, it’s a member of the Australian or New Zealand armed forces.

The day starts with a dawn service, especially for veterans, followed by a full day of drinking and remembering. If that’s not an oxymoron. For the next few years this is even more important as the Great War (1914-1918) passes out of living memory.

For the ANZACs the First World War is synonymous with Gallipoli. The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign, the Battle of Gallipoli, or the Battle of Çanakkale (in Turkish). The allied forces of Russia, Britain and France, which also comprised a lot of Australian and NZ troops attempted a Naval invasion and amphibious landing of the peninsular with the view of capturing the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople (Istanbul).

They failed. It took 8 months of bitter fighting and masses of casualties on both sides for the Ottoman Empire to win their victory. The attempt was abandoned and the allied forces withdrawn to Egypt, but not before over nearly 200,000 men were either killed wounded or taken prisoner.

Gallipoli casualties (not including illness)
Dead Wounded POW Total
Ottoman
Empire
56,643 97,007 11,178 164,828
United Kingdom 34,072 78,520 7,654 120,246
France 9,798 17,371 27,169
Australia 8,709 19,441 28,150
New Zealand 2,721 4,752 7,473
British India 1,358 3,421 4,779
Newfoundland 49 93 142
Total Allies 56,707 123,598 7,654 187,959

The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign, the Battle of Gallipoli, or the Battle of Çanakkale

Two dollar ponies of port

 

Friday night often finds us at Millswood Bowles Club. It’s perfect for kids – they can run riot all over the floodlit bowling green, which means they can be far enough away that you can’t hear them and still be safe. Just right for our 8 year old’s sleepover party with 7 of her friends.

There are $10 meals of schinzel & chips or nuggets for the kids, and the beer is proper cheap.

The only problem is the 2 dollar ponys of port. Who can resist that for value and sheer alcoholic hit? Not me. Surprisingly I managed to convince a few of the soccer moms to join me. Unfortunately as it turns out 8 year old little girls are extremely loud in the mornings after drinking a port or two.

Welcome new readers

In the intervening 10 years since I’ve written a blog, I’ve gained some new people I’m writing it too. My sisters have both given me the gift of nephews and nieces. There are 4 of the little tackers, between 2 & 7 years old.

Nephews & Nieces

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Also I have an extended family in South Australia who show me how to be Australian all the time.