Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ANZAC Day.. & some thoughts from Mark this time!

I was telling Deb about the Somme.. and she asked me to write on her blog for her: I visited all the commonwealth graves including Villiers in 1988 in Northern France. A really humbling experience. Fine warm summer days with blue sky above.. just very hard to imagine at the time the mud, the rain, the bloodshed and suffering that must have occurred back then. The Canadian war memorial there still has the original trenches. My dad joined up in 1914 when was 16. He turned up in London to sign up and they asked him how old he was... "16 sir". "Well boy, come back when you're 18". In his words... "I walked around the quadrangle and came back to the same man. I'm 18 now sir." "Good.. sign here and here is your shilling for signing up." He was sent to France; to the Somme. At age 18 he was a Captain. He said it wasn't hard to rise through the ranks.. all the officers had been killed. In 1918 they moved him to India, to Poona to run the base dispensary. He came home to London in 1921.. a 23 year old man. Emigrated to Oz in 1923 and had me 30 years later. To all the service men and women from all the conflicts.. we owe you a lot and as a nation I hope we never forget. Mark

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