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The Anzacs - Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (a Poem of Remembrance)

John was born and raised in Australia. Subsequently, he is interested in all things Australian: language, sport and culture.

ANZAC War Memorial, Murgon QLD, Australia

ANZAC War Memorial, Murgon QLD, Australia

Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

On the 25th of April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied invasion that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula. These soldiers became known as ANZACs and the pride they took in that name continues to this day.


On the morning of 25th April 1915, the ANZACs set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The objective was to overtake Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, and an ally of Germany.

The ANZACs landed at Gallipoli and met fierce resistance from the Ottoman army and the plan to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, the campaign dragging on for eight months.

When the allied forces were finally evacuated at the end of 1915 both sides had suffered heavy casualties. Over 8,000 Australian and 2,779 New Zealand soldiers were killed.

The ANZACs were courageous and although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the Australian and New Zealand actions during the campaign left a powerful impression.

The 25th of April soon became known as ANZAC Day when Australians and New Zealanders remember the sacrifice of those who died in Gallipoli and in every war since.

Source: army.gov.au

I have it in me to be a successful soldier. I can visualize great movements and combinations

— Winston Churchill

The ANZACS

These young men bravely went to war,

Australian New Zealand Army Corps.

Landing on the Turkish shore,

Most would see their home no more.


The officers could not turn down

The orders issued from the Crown

So, turning blind eyes with a frown,

Men charged ahead at bugle's sound.

The price to be paid in taking Gallipoli would no doubt be heavy,” he wrote, “but there would be no more war with Turkey. A good army of 50,000 and sea-power—that is the end of the Turkish menace.

— Winston Churchill

Acting brave and standing tall

While blindly answering the call,

Watching friends and colleagues fall

On foreign shores and feeling small.


Mother England had a hide,

Sacrificing many lives,

Ordering mass suicide.

Left shattered parents, lovers, wives.


Through guns and bombs all booming loud

They fought to make their countries proud,

But now just bodies clothed in shrouds,

Remembered by still grieving crowds.


Tributes and songs written and sung,

A special day when heads are hung,

Remembering those who died so young

When Churchill's strategic plans were sprung.

I am the victim of a political intrigue, I am finished!

— Winston Churchill

 A platoon of the 13th Battalion, 4th Brigade, AIF, awaits an address by its commander Captain Joseph Lee, in the Sphinx Gully, Gallipoli probably prior to the brigade’s night march on 6–7 August 1915 to attack Kocitemenepe.

A platoon of the 13th Battalion, 4th Brigade, AIF, awaits an address by its commander Captain Joseph Lee, in the Sphinx Gully, Gallipoli probably prior to the brigade’s night march on 6–7 August 1915 to attack Kocitemenepe.

Churchill's Shame

© 2019 John Hansen

Comments

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on May 23, 2019:

Yes, I agree Lawrence. He as ill-informed and shamed. He had to live with that but did all he could to makeup for it later.

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on May 23, 2019:

John

Great poem here, and a fitting tribute to the men and women who served with the Anzacs.

Churchill never forgot the shame of the defeat, and he never fully forgave the Navy for not telling him thattwo months before they attacked the Dardanelles and lost ships, The Turks knew they were coming.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on April 28, 2019:

Lora, In one sense war is in a metaphorically written history book, the Bible for one [https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revel...], where it say there is a nation that doesn't come into existence until the last days which will attempt to govern the entire world. What that passage actually say is "what has happened on earth since the metaphor that say 'in the beginning god...' through the alternative world [Revelation 21] has no beginning or ending." The problem with most people reading the book they don't seek the meanings of the metaphors, allegories, parables and symbol-types (MAPS), they praise the book without seeking its meaning. After this nation it's speaking of terminates there will become the preparation for announcing it again after "in the beginning god..." is written.

Ann Carr from SW England on April 28, 2019:

I quite agree, Alan.

Ann

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on April 28, 2019:

We've got ambulance chasers and tank chasers homing in on squaddies who were sent to Northern Ireland and Iraq - many now in their 50s and 60s - whilst IRA and other extremists smirk on the sidelines. That's 'aftercare' in today's Britain....Think what might happen if a certain individual steps into No. 10. Nobody'll want to join up before long, if they're to get chased into an early grave after they leave service

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 28, 2019:

Hi Ann, I too like to think we’d learn from these unfortunate conflicts and don’t repeat them. After all if we don’t lear.n from history what good is it? Yes, I do think we treat our veterans fairly well in the global scheme of things. Thank you for your wonderful comment.

Ann Carr from SW England on April 28, 2019:

A poignant reminder of this fateful campaign. I would like to think that we've learnt from all those conflicts but, sadly, it doesn't look like it.

I like the way you've interwoven the quotes from Churchill and given the history of the thinking behind the policy.

The good thing is that Australia and New Zealand seem to treat their veterans well, unlike some other countries. Those who fight for their country deserve the best aftercare.

Ann

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 27, 2019:

I am glad you appreciate this tribute, Lora. I agree with you and can not wait until the day when all wars are a thing of the past and disputes are settled through peaceful communication.

Lora Hollings on April 27, 2019:

John, your poignant poem was a moving tribute to these very brave young men, so many who gave their lives to answer the call of their leader. War is always such a tragedy for there are so many victims! There are no winners in wars...everyone loses. I pray for the day when wars will be consigned to history books and people will settle their disputes peacefully and without violence! Thank you for writing this tribute.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 27, 2019:

Hi Li-Jen. Thank you for reading and for your wise comment. War brings no good at all. Have a great day.

Li-Jen Hew on April 27, 2019:

Hey Jodah, that is a well written poem but showing the sad reality. You show that the war ends in death and the people who they've lost is their family. War brings no good. That was a sweet tribute. Thanks for sharing.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 27, 2019:

Yes Dana, too too many innocent lives lost in senseless wars. Thanks for reading.

Dana Tate from LOS ANGELES on April 27, 2019:

All of our unsung hero's so many men lost their lives in war. Nice poem.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 27, 2019:

Yes, Flourish it really was a mass slaughter. Something our country will never forget.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 27, 2019:

So sad. Like a mass slaughter, a sacrificial act in the name of country and quest for peace.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 26, 2019:

MsDora, I agree. War is not one of my favourite subjects other than to acknowledge and give thanks and respect to those brave men and women who served, or lost their lives fighting for their countries. Poetry is certainly my favourite way of doing that.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 26, 2019:

History and war are so much more interesting when written in poetry. Thanks for the interesting presentation.

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on April 26, 2019:

A while ago I saw the film that starred Edward Woodward and Bryan Brown amongst others. Only the younger of the two nco's got away with his life - breaking rocks at Colchester army prison. All because we didn't want to get the Kaiser into a war too early over a German missionary/spy. Kitchener eventually paid for his folly, in a roundabout way, off Orkney... by an uncharted German mine.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 25, 2019:

Alan, thank you for sharing about the colour of the allies trouser pants as well. The Boer War is also a somewhat touchy subject with Aussies (though not to the same extent) due to the Harry “Breaker” Morant incident.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 25, 2019:

Alan, I agree that Churchill can’t shoulder all the blame. It was his plan that came unstuck but that was largely because higher command did not give him the number of troops or ships he original asked for to carry it out. However, he did go ahead with it anyway despite it being quite clear it would then fail. Other unforeseen circumstances added to the problems also.

He did his best to make up for it afterward and obviously felt a large amount of guilt, because he did enlist and fight with the men in the trenches. His future military success also helps to overshadow these failings to some extent.

The poem may lay the blame on Churchill but it was the British command as a whole that failed.

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on April 25, 2019:

I'm no apologist for Churchill, not by any stretch of the imagination, but he took the can like a man and went to join the men in the trenches without complaining. A lot of the blame has to be taken by those in command on the ground, both naval and land forces. A singular lack of imagination dogged British high command, their experience of warfare learned on the playing fields of Eton or Marlborough colleges and carried through to Sandhurst. Whereas Churchill had fought the Boers and learned something of surprise attacks and guerrilla warfare used on the British troops in South Africa, his contemporaries at Horseguards* were content to 'face the foe' like a man, face-to-face, moustache to bristing moustache. "Go round the back? Divert their attention and fight Johnny Turk like the heathens they are? Oh no, Old Boy, it's jolly well not the English thing... harumph!" High command only started to use their noddles at the very very end, by using men with expertise to blow 'the Hun' up from under his pants, and Brigadier Rawlinson's idea of using tanks. "Cavalry be blowed - think like Jerry to fight Jerry!" True, Jerry soon had the measure of the tanks, but the colour of their trouser pants had gone from grey to brown in the meantime. Ever wonder why the English-speaking Allies wore brown uniforms in the first place?.

Churchill earned the respect of his Highland laddies before he was recalled to Westminster. They knew something Horseguards didn't.

[*Horseguards was the seat of the Army's pants in London]

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 25, 2019:

Thank you for sharing that Kaili. I would like to experience Gallipoli myself just once. I am sure you really could feel the spirits of,those brave young men. Yes, I am glad Churchill redeemed himself at a later conflict but that didn’t give all these lives back. I will check out your article on Gallipoli too. Much appreciated.

Kaili Bisson from Canada on April 25, 2019:

Oh John, you have captured the human tragedy that was Gallipoli so well here. The poor ANZACs didn't stand a chance, they got the worst of the landing zones with sheer cliffs and tiny beaches.

I took my shoes off and stood in the water in Anzac Cove a few years ago, and I can tell you, I could still feel them there. I wrote a hub about the battle if you are interested in doing more reading than I'm sure you did already for background on this.

Lucky for all of us, Churchill was able to redeem himself in the next global conflict.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 25, 2019:

The question begs, Ruby, why does this keep happening? Leaders keep sending our young people to fight pointless and unwinable wars. Thank you for the kind comment.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 25, 2019:

Pamela, many people are scarred for life after serving, if they in fact get out alive. Your husband was fortunate. Thank you for your kind comment.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 25, 2019:

John, you were able to capture the horror of war with your poetry. This is another example of leaders sending young men and women into battle with little chance of winning.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 25, 2019:

I think this is an excellent poem John. You captured part of history and the heartbreak of war. My husband served in Vietnam as a very young man, and the scars last forever.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 25, 2019:

Thank you Nithya, yes that is so true. They followed orders.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on April 25, 2019:

A great tribute to ANZAC soldiers who had no choice but to obey their orders from the crown.

John Hansen (author) from Queensland Australia on April 25, 2019:

Brother Elijah, I thank you for that fine and insightful poetic comment. Many young men and women signed up to serve and fight wars blindly following the shams perpetrated by their leaders. The reasoning was admirable to protect and fight for their country but the real reasons for war are usually disguised and very different from what is commonly argued. There are no winners in any war, and yes, I guess we need to trust in karma.

Elijah A Alexander Jr from Washington DC on April 25, 2019:

Yes my Brother John,

I served too when I was young

a two-year stretch in Vietnam

in a war that was a US sham

to revenge a US torpedoed ship

done by the US to make the trip.

Foolish are the young conditioned well

to believe the lies their governments tell

to risk their lives defending our homeland

when it was a plot they had planned

where thousands of American's lives would fall

in a war where a victory had no way to come at all.

As I was reading it I saw me in Nam and as I wrote the first word to respond I wrote that, I've saved it and will probably publish it. Thanks for your presentation that inspired my poetic side.

Hindsight has 20/20 vision for observers who will take the time to analyze their days of youth, as I did, while so many were prevented from having that privilege. At first I was angry upon discovering the truth until I realized everything that happens is a repeat of thing that has no beginning nor end for allowing the law of Karma to be fulfilled. Since I see it as Karma in action and have overcome eating from the tree of "the knowledge of good and evil" I just say "It Is" and live with the purpose I now see for everything.