Monday, April 25, 2011


Anzac Day occurs on 25 April. It commemorates all New Zealanders killed in war and also honours returned servicemen and women.

The date itself marks the anniversary of the landing of New Zealand and Australian soldiers – the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) – on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. The aim was to capture the Dardanelles, the gateway to the Bosphorus and the Black Sea. At the end of the campaign, Gallipoli was still held by its Turkish defenders. Thousands lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign: 87,000 Turks, 44,000 men from France and the British Empire, including 8500 Australians. Among the dead were 2721 New Zealanders, almost one in four of those who served on Gallipoli.

It may have led to a military defeat, but for many New Zealanders then and since, the Gallipoli landings meant the beginning of something else – a feeling that New Zealand had a role as a distinct nation, even as it fought on the other side of the world in the name of the British Empire.
Anzac Day was first marked in 1916.

The day has gone through many changes since then. The ceremonies that are held at war memorials up and down New Zealand, or in places overseas where New Zealanders gather, remain rich in tradition and ritual befitting a military funeral. 

This year being part of the Tirau Community Board, I was involved in the planning of the service at our Memorial Hall.

Katrina, being the Youth Representative for Tirau on the Council, was also playing a part.

She did a reading from Matthew 5:1-11 and I lay a wreath on behalf of the Tirau Community Board.

As with every year I am touch at the end of the service with the playing of the Last Post.

Neither my father or grandfathers were in a war as their ages at these times were either too old or too young. However, Harry's Father was in the Dutch army and fought in Indonesia in WW2.

Edited to add.
I have since found out that my fathers father served in WW1
Edgar Weston Purdie

War World War I, 1914-1918
Serial No. 28290
First Known Rank Private
Occupation before Enlistment Motor mechanic
Next of Kin James L. Purdie (father), Waikanae, New Zealand
Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Embarkation Unit 19th Reinforcements Specialist Machine-Gun Section
Embarkation Date 15 November 1916
Place of Embarkation Wellington, New Zealand
Transport HMNZT 68
Vessel Maunganui or Tahiti
Destination Plymouth, England
Nominal Roll Number 45
Page on Nominal Roll 20

    WW1 AWMM
    15 November 1916 AWMM
    Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
    15 Nov 1916-30 January 1917 AWMM
    Wellington, New Zealand, Plymouth, Devon, England, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Province, Republic of South Africa AWMM
    Port of Call, Depart - 15 Nov 1916, Arrival - 30 Jan 1917 AWMM
    WW1 AWMM
    15 November 1916 AWMM
    New Zealand Expeditionary Force AWMM
    19th Reinforcements Specialist Machine-Gun Section AWMM

Matthew 5:1-11

The Beatitudes
1 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them, saying:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 

(All Scripture is from New International Version 1984, ©1984)

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