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Anzac Day 2013 Why it's special to me Featured

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Anzac day is always a special day for me and my family. When I was a child I was taken to many dawn services and marches and I learnt to respect those diggers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

First of all I am not a war monger, in fact I detest war.However, I also acknowledge that sometimes war is unfortunately inevitable. Those that choose to go to fight for our country are real heroes. Imagine the anguish of deciding to “join up” knowing that you may not return. Knowing very well that you will see things that will stay with you forever and that this country means so much to you that you will actually fight for it.

I am very proud of my family members who enlisted, especially my Grandfather George Fredrick Bull. Sadly he passed away long before I arrived. I would have loved to have known him, to hear his stories to make a personal connection and be able to pass this information onto my kids.

George fought in the 15th Battalion at Gallipoli and by miracle managed to survive despite performing one of the harder roles in the army, being a sniper.

My dad (a national serviceman) always told me about how my granddad survived Gallipoli. He was a sniper positioned on one of the now famous Gallipoli ridges. He was a small distance from the foe, a Turkish sniper and here is the amazing part, they formed a bond, a respect that saved them both. They had a gentleman’s agreement not to shoot each other and allowed each other to go for breaks, meals, sleep etc. They both obviously saw the senselessness in shooting each other. Everyone else was fair game. Seems a little unreal to write that phrase but that was the reality of war.

George then travelled to France and fought on the Western Front at Pozieres. I never heard much about his time here, other than the fact that he was gassed on several occasions. 12 years ago, I lived out a dream and visited this battle field and finally made a long craved for connection with my granddad. Pozieres speaks for itself, a small hill in the middle of a large field. Our troops had to run up the hill and take the German machine gun fortress. Of course this was a ridiculous task but somehow our troops prevailed. When you visit this place it instantly tells thousands of stories about danger, heroism and, sadly, death.

George managed to survive the war despite copping a load of shrapnel in his shoulder. Unfortunately his life was ultimately cut short by this wound and he died in 1954 aged 66.

Like so many other families we have many reasons to remember all those who have served our country this and every Anzac Day.

Lest we forget

Last modified on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 19:53

6 comments

  • Comment Link Glenne Saturday, 27 April 2013 14:35 posted by Glenne

    Hi, came to your blog from Bruce Devereaux's (we live in the same town as Bruce & he's hilarious as you know!) and I'm really pleased to have found you! My kids are older now but my hubby was a "house husband" for our pre & primary school years; he would have loved to know of some "kindred spirits" at the time! I could empathise with your wives in your tv interview, haha, my husband was also great at playing, reading stories, letting our daughters dress in whatever they chose (and go out in public like that!), helping at school & he did the basics of cooking & washing but...he was pretty slack about housework...it just didn't rate for him or the girls! Oh well, we survived it :) In this Anzac Day post I'm particularly touched and amazed by the strange bond forged between the enemy snipers...unbelievable! What a fantastic family story! Sadly I'm not confident that it would happen now...back then those "gentlemen's agreements" were really reliable I guess. All the best with your blog and your family :)

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  • Comment Link Vanessa Thursday, 25 April 2013 17:46 posted by Vanessa

    Very moving piece. My grandpa fought in New Guinea in WWII. He survived the war and lived to a pretty ripe old age but I always think of him on Anzac day. And I think of all the servicemen and women who have fought and continue to fight for our freedom.

    Lest we forget.

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  • Comment Link Chubba Tuesday, 23 April 2013 21:25 posted by Chubba

    Martine you are so right that is exactly what is great about Anzac day.
    Karen, its awesome that you are bringing your 2 year old to the dawn service, I am bringing my daugther and son to the march this year.

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  • Comment Link Martine@themodernparent Tuesday, 23 April 2013 21:07 posted by Martine@themodernparent

    Nothing to do with eating!! We just are!

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  • Comment Link Martine@ themodernparent Tuesday, 23 April 2013 21:04 posted by Martine@ themodernparent

    I love this day as an important reminder to my boys of the sacrifices that went before them. I love that we make more of it today than we ever did when I was growing up. It doesn't mean we are glorifying war, we ate just grateful. Great post.

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  • Comment Link Karen Reid Tuesday, 23 April 2013 20:54 posted by Karen Reid

    I always give thanks to those that fought & are fighting for our freedom. Anzac is special & this year I plan on taking William to his 1st dawn service. He's only 2 so he won't understand the significance of it but he will grow up knowing how important Anzac Day is.

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