Lest We Forget

Mt Macedon War Memorial


I invite you to read my special tribute poem Anzac Cove (click here)

Lest we forget

Lest we forget.

Today is ANZAC Day,  a very special day on the calendar in both Australia and New Zealand.  On this day we remember our war heroes, those who served – and continue to serve – our country on the battlefields of the world.

I wrote a special tribute to the ANZACs a few years ago. It can be read here: Poem: Anzac Cove.

The words of this poem have been set to music by New Zealand composer Andrew Baldwin and the song is being performed as a part of the ANZAC Day celebrations in Ypres, Belgium.

We will remember them.

Mt Macedon War Memorial

Mt Macedon War Memorial

Poem #42: Anzac Cove

Anzac Cove

And then –

Young hearts and heads adventure filled
Were drawn to other lands by those
Whose fear, concern or hatred fueled
Through actions –  bold, aggressive foes.

On ships they came upon that shore
With brave anticipation high.
A storm of lead hit to the core
And took young men without a sigh.

That stain of blood spread o’er the beach
As brave young lives cut short and lost
So far from home, in senseless reach
For peace –  elusive, at what cost?

And now –

At Anzac Cove, a company
Of young Australians out to seek
And fashion their own destiny –
A solemn, silent, vigil keep.

(C) 2008 Trevor W. Hampel. All rights reserved.

The people of Australia and New Zealand celebrate their war heroes on this day, April 25th. The date commemorates the landing of our soldiers at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I. It is now known as Anzac Cove. Tens of thousands of pilgrims – many of them young people – gather for the dawn service there every year. It has become a sacred, significant and moving ceremony for those who make the journey. The dawn service is also a feature of celebrations throughout both nations, together with marches through towns and cities everywhere.

Mt Macedon War Memorial

Mt Macedon War Memorial

Note: this poem was originally posted on ANZAC Day 2008. I am republishing it on ANZAC Day 2009.


ANZAC Day in Australia

On April 25th Australians and New Zealanders all over the world celebrate ANZAC Day. This is a very special day on the calendar of both nations.

ANZAC is an acronym for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It is regarded by many in Australia as the day our nation took its place on the world stage. Soldiers from both countries landed on the beach of what was later called Anzac Cove at Gallipoli in Turkey on 25th April, 1915. It was at a terrible cost; many thousands of soldiers on both sides died in a protracted battle lasting many months.

ANZAC Day is celebrated throughout Australia and New Zealand and in many other parts of the world to commemorate this special event. Most communities – from small townships through the largest cities – hold Dawn Services to remember the fallen soldiers. Parades are a feature of our larger cities. As the soldiers who survived pass away with the passage of time, their places are proudly taken by their children and grandchildren, most wearing their badges and decorations with great respect and pride.

In the early 1980s the numbers observing this great event in our history dwindled as the numbers of survivors declined. In the last decade however, this trend has been reversed. As the last of the survivors of the attack in Gallipoli died several years ago, many of the younger generation – those in their twenties and thirties – suddenly realised the passing of history. Every year since the parades and observances have seen ever increasing numbers of participants, all eager to remember this significant turning point in our history. Of particular interest is the increasing number of people – again, mostly younger people – who make the long pilgrimage to Gallipoli itself. The emotionally moving Dawn Service on ANZAC Day is often attended by over twenty thousand people.

For more information click here.