Sunday 16th January 2022

A.N.Z.A.C. Day. #LifeThisWeek 17/52. 2017.59.

A.N.Z.A.C. Day. #LifeThisWeek 17/52. 2017.59.

I like A.N.Z.A.C. Day as a day of commemoration and reflection. It is not ever a day for celebration.

My knowledge of A.N.Z.A.C. Days goes back to when I was a Brownie and a Guide and we would be part of ceremony at Manly N.S.W. for the Morning Service. I wrote essays about A.N.Z.A.C. Day as part of my Modern History studies in the H.S.C. fifty years ago. It was said ‘this was when Australia became a nation in its own right.’

The day, 25th April, is the anniversary of the landings of Australian, New Zealand and Allied Forces at the bottom of the cliffs where the enemy was ready in the field. The many soldiers who lost their lives and gave themselves in battle there, and elsewhere, are never to be forgotten.

To know more about the first A.N.Z.A.C. Day and beyond, go here.

Now, we commemorate all of the wars where Australia has served. Far too many, of course.

2016 Poppy Project in Terrigal NSW.

How I remember A.N.Z.A.C. Day.

  • I often go to a local service if that is possible. I like to be part of the sense of community where I can. In 2015 and 2016 I did just that here on the Central Coast.
  • I think about my paternal grandfather who I never met. My Dad’s Dad. He was not quite 21 years old when he convinced his mother (he was an only son) to sign the papers so he could enlist. He fought in France. He survived and returned with a War Bride. My Grandmother who then lost her husband in an awful workplace accident some years later, leaving her with 4 children to rear alone. My Dad was #2 child.

One of these young men is my paternal grandfather. I do not know and even ough Dad is still around, the quality of the photo makes it difficult for identification. These are Aussies through and through!

Dad’s father: Andrew’s Certificate of Discharge in 1920. The war ended in late 1918 but of course, our troops had to be repatriated and as he became engaged to an English lass, she came to Australia in 1919-1920. Unsure of exact date. He was 24 on discharge.

  • I usually make A.N.Z.A.C. biscuits and may even tune into the March on TV in Sydney. I also might pop over to one of the local Services in the morning. I like to pay my respects and show appreciation.

I have a ‘thing’ about writing A.N.Z.A.C this way….because it is shortened for: Australia New Zealand Army Corps. The word is pronounced as ANZAC. The word is also carefully guarded by Australia and its use needs to be approved for any commercial use so as not to diminish the reverence with which the name is held. 

I decided that whilst I could have added more, I would refrain!

My Dad is someone who finds A.N.Z.A.C. Day difficult because he was restricted from serving as his family and friends did due to being in a ‘protected industry’. Instead, he volunteered in his local community as well as worked at the Steelworks as a trainee clerk.

My last word: It’s weird but if there had not been this War and the meeting of my paternal grandparents then…I would not have been born.

What does A.N.Z.A.C. Day mean for you?

Are there any special things you do on A.N.Z.A.C. Day?


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  1. I’m thinking of taking my kids to the local RSL retirement village where their Nana now lives. They always have a dawn service and ceremony there.


  2. We took the girls to Kings Park for the dawn service one year. I think it’s important to mark the day with some respect, just not sure I’m up to the crowds or the logistical nightmare involved in getting there and back right now.

    • I understand that and I think that the fact you did that once makes a wonderful memory. I have been to a Dawn Service in Canberra when my daughter, who is even more passionate about A.N.Z.A.C. Day than me, and I visited especially for that reason. It was incredibly moving.

  3. My Dad has taken our son to a Dawn Service before but this year I think we will watch it on TV instead. I agree it’s a day of reflection.

  4. inthegoodbooksblog ( Michelle) says:

    I made Anzac biscuits with my two younger daughters yesterday. They are going to give some to their teachers today.

  5. Thank you for sharing your personal connection to ANZAC Day, Denyse.

    I am hoping to take my preschooler into the city for his first ANZAC Day parade tomorrow.

    SSG xxx

    • Thank you! My daughter (and I on occasion) have taken pre-school age kids to the March on A.N.Z.A.C. Day in the city and with the waving of flags, and clapping the marchers, the kids loved it. A good idea is to get a spot where you don’t have to be behind other people. I am not sure of where the march is going these days thanks to the digging up of the streets!

  6. My family history isn’t Australian so I have no personal connection to ANZAC day. I also struggle with the balance of hating wars and supporting those who do the hardest job imaginable. So I don’t attend ANZAC day services. (Some people seem to hate me saying this, but it’s how I feel and I don’t make apologies for being unable to reconcile my feelings about war.)

    My maternal grandfather served in WW2 but I don’t think I ever heard him specify what he did in the few times I met him. I believe he was rounded up and told he was now in the military after being caught out after curfew. I’m also not sure what any family members did in WW1. I assume that the male members at least had some kind of military service.

    • Many families never knew of what happened in the world wars because the people involved and returned never wanted to talk about it. This was the case for my late father-in-law. I also know there is a terrible price to pay in wars and I too agree about the conflict. However, I like to show my respect where I can…even if I do not attend any ceremony I think about the sacrifices. So many. Thanks for sharing your story.

  7. My earliest memory of ANZAC Day was marching with the school band (I played flute) when in primary school in Merriwa. Later I had difficulty reconciling my hatred of wars and lobbying of defence spending against my innate respect for those who have fought – & those who have made the ultimate sacrifice…often for a cause they didn’t believe in. These days I think my views are more balanced and, over the last couple of years, I’ve attended the dawn service down the road from where we lived in Sydney.

    • I agree with your views. It is hard, so hard, to wonder about the WHY of war. However, people laid down their lives AND those who survived would never be the same again so it’s such a terrible thing. I recall the first year that service for ‘our former local area'(that used to be in the park at Castle Hill) was held and visited afterwards to take photos. When our kids were at school we went to the Sunday service because they marched (with scouts or guides…I can’t remember!). Your memories sound like many where the local school kids supported the marchers and the ceremony. Thanks for sharing your story.

  8. My grandfather fought in the second world war. I am planning on going to a dawn service this year as it has been a long time since I have been.

  9. I remember Anzac Day from my school days and Girl Guide times as being a short service where we raised a flag, had a minute’s silence and then got on with our day. It seemed to almost die out and then in the last decade or so there has been a huge resurgence – all this patriotism and visits to Gallipopli etc – I wonder what started it all again?

    • I think the resurgence came in the lead up to the Anniversary of The Landings at Gallipoli and before then, many in my daughter’s generation also became interested to the point of making it a goal when they went OS to visit Gallipoli. I know my daughter would still like to do this. Some of her friends did the trip.

  10. We generally go to our local dawn service but tomorrow we will be in Singapore. Rowan is going with a mate to dawn service there.

  11. my grandma was a driver in WW2, but other than that I’ve had no relatives involved in wars (although I have a cousin in the reserves who has done a couple of tours of Timor) I used to go to marches with my scouts, but haven’t done anything for couple of years, bit hard with Steve working nights and small kids.

    • How interesting about your Grandma. Maybe as the kids get older you might decide to go a march one year. My daughter and her family did it on a few occasions too.

  12. I have mixed feelings about it all, same as the other Vanessa, but I’m always respectful of the diggers. How interesting to have those photos and documents and realise you would not have been born if it were not for the war!

  13. We’re going to have a quiet day tomorrow and not head out to any commemoration ceremonies. However, we paid our respects last week when we visited the National War Memorial and spent some quiet time walking along the remembrance wall, full of poppies. It was also an eye opener for them to talk to their uncle about his service in Iraq. We should never forget the sacrifices made by others to keep our country safe. Lest we forget.

    • That sounds like a grand plan for the day before school returns. I liked seeing your pics of your trip and remember the War Memorial ones too. Thank you for your respectful words about what today means.

  14. I used to be part of a band that did the ANZAC march for a few years. It was always a somber occasion and really brought home the meaning of going off and fighting for your country. Only to never return, or to return injured and not quite the same as when you’d left.

    • Exactly. It is when we reflect that we recall how it might have been for so many. And, of course, these days for anyone in any country serving in the Armed Forces. Thank you for sharing your memories of the day too.

  15. I don’t really do that much on ANZAC day. We did go for a drive and did some roadside foraging. I would have liked to have watched, and taken my camera down to the march. Next year!

    • Yes, next year! This year I didn’t go anywhere in the end, but spent a quiet day ‘in’. I liked the look of your roadside foraging. Quite a haul there!

  16. Lest We Forgot.