Monday, April 25, 2016

A-Z Blog Challenge: U is for Unity

Today is Anzac Day in Australia. This is when we remember the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli during World War I. There were, of course, other troops - some came from Great Britain, France, Canada, India as well as from other parts of the then British Empire but the majority of those landed at Gaba Tepe (now better known as Anzac Cove) were Australians and New Zealanders from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (the ANZACs). The landing was badly botched and resulted in the soldiers being landed where they came under sustained Turkish fire from troops entrenched along the top of the ridge. They clung on to this beach head and held it, even making some advances with an enormous loss of life. Eventually it became obvious that the Turkish positions could not be taken and the force was withdrawn in a remarkable almost casualty free exercise.

You may be wondering where unity comes into this. Well, Gallipoli is recognised in Australia as defining the birth of nationhood in what was then a very new nation - the Commonwealth of Australia had only come into being on 1 January, 1901 as a self-governing entity but was still tied to the British Empire as a Dominion. It holds similar significance in New Zealand. This horrific baptism of fire helped to unify a new country and from it has developed the Australian view of itself as a nation.

So here and in New Zealand we mark 25 April as ANZAC Day, a time when we remember all those who have perished to preserve our way of life. In recent years there has been an ever increasing number of visitors who attend the traditional dawn service at Lone Pine on the Gallipoli Peninsula while here dawn services are held throughout the country and are followed by parades of servicemen and women, both those serving now and those who fought at other times and in other places.

Now it's over a hundred years since Gallipoli and there are no more surviving Anzacs but we still remember them.

Lest we forget.


Stephen Tremp said...

Helen, this is what I love about the Challenge. I learn so many new things and I'm a history buff and never heard of this. Thanks!

I’m exploring different types of dreams and their meanings.
U is for Universe, Underwater and Unicorns
Stephen Tremp’s Breakthrough Blogs

Helen V. said...

Learning new things and meeting up with new people is what I love about the Challenge, too, Stephen. Dreams are a fascinating topic. I've had a quick look at your blog and I'll be back again later.

Jo said...

I knew about Anzac Day but didn't realise the history behind it. Thanks for explaining it Helen.

Helen V. said...

Thanks, Jo. It is very important to us.