History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

25 April, 2011

Portraits for ANZAC Day

I'm not an Australian or New Zealander (despite all the Aussies featured on this blog), but I am a) Canadian (and thus cousin to Aussies and Kiwis), b) fascinated by the people of the world wars, and c) saddened by those wars so today's post is honour of it being ANZAC day.

ANZAC day is the national day of remembrance to commemorate those who have served in the military for Australia and New Zealand. ANZAC itself stands for 'Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, a force that was established in the First World War and operated in the Mediterranean, culminating in the famous battle of Gallipoli. Though the Corps and acronymic name were not long lived, the spirit endured and became a part of the Australian and New Zealand psyches. After World War Two, ANZAC day became a day not just to remember those who had fought at Gallipoli and in the Great War, but in wars generally. So for North Americans or Brits-- it's rather like Veteran's or Rememberance Day, but coloured a little more with feelings of national identity. [A much better description is on the Australian War Memorial's site, here]

It's this last reason that really causes ANZAC day to resound with me personally. The Canadians and Aussies/Kiwis had a lot of the same experience of World War One-- it meant a lot to national identity and pride, as well as national mourning.

So-- today we have another post bringing some of these individuals closer. I've included men from both world wars-- and I do apologize to all New Zealanders, because they are mostly Australians. Let me assure you it's purely because the Aussies just have damn good online collections!

Private Harold Woodman Wilson Vercoe. Source

Private R. Thompson with his bugle. Source

Lt. Alan Stewart. Source

Private Billy Lock and Private Harry Lee. Source

Captain Daniel Sydney Aarons, MC. Source

Private H. Lacey-- veteran of the Boer War and World War One, serving in World War Two. Source

An RAAF [Royal Australian Air Force] fitter. Source

A repatriated POW from the AIF [Australian Imperial Force]. Source

A member of the RAAF. Source

And-- the funeral of an ANZAC man in World War One. Source

More photographs of Australian servicemen:

Australians of World War One

A Group Portrait

Love in the Time of War

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