Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Hospital Barge...Gallipoli
Gallipoli Landing
Tyne Cot Cemetry - Belgium
Gallipoli-Anzac Cigarette Card

Abraham Lincoln reportedly said: “I destroy my enemy when I make him my friend”.

Obviously, Lincoln, too, was a dreamer. It would be a better world by far if enemies became friends.

I believed in fairytales when I was a child. I believed in happy endings.  I may no longer believe in fairytales or happy endings, but dreams can be anything you wish them to be.  Reality - that’s another thing entirely, unfortunately.

Anzac Day is Friday, 25th April; the day set aside in honour of our fallen. Anzac Day commemorates Ausies and our Kiwi mates who served and died, side by side, in various conflicts and peacekeeping campaigns throughout the world, throughout the years.

Originally Anzac Day was to honour our Diggers who fought at Gallipoli in April, 1915.  Australia had only just become a nation 14 years before that disastrous landing.

At the time, Winston Churchill was the War Minister.  His plan to send in Allied forces to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula backfired dramatically and tragically.  What was originally meant to be a bold, quick strike against the Ottoman Army dragged on for eight, long months.

Sadly, the landing at Gallipoli, which was a major event in World War 1, was also a major military defeat for our Aussie and Kiwi troops, so many of whom were just young lads.

On 20th December, 1915, eight months after our Diggers landed on what is now known as “Anzac Cove”, our war-weary, defeated troops were evacuated.

From the moment they set foot on the narrow stretch of beach, with its impenetrable, rugged, unforgiving cliffs, our Australians and the New Zealanders were outnumbered; like sheep they were led to the slaughter.

Young Turks killing young Aussies and young Kiwis. It wasn't a game; it wasn't an adventure..it was a tragedy beyond belief....

Far too many young Australian and New Zealand lives were lost, wasted; too many young men were injured, doomed to carry the physical and mental scars for the rest of their lives.

7,594 Australian soldiers and 2,701 New Zealand soldiers lost their lives at Gallipoli. The figures are approximates.  Around 60,000 Aussies and 18,000 Kiwis were part of the larger force.

After the retreat from Gallipoli most of those who survived that bloody campaign went on to fight in the trenches on the Western Front.

The battles fought at the Western Front in France and Belgium – at Fromelles, the Somme, Bullecourt, Messines, Passchendaele and Villers-Bretonneux are remembered to this day, not only here in Australia, but by the French and the Belgians.  The Aussies and the Kiwis are still regarded highly by the people in those areas.  Our courageous, legendary soldiers have not been forgotten.

More than 295,000 Aussie served in that theatre of war; 46,000 lost their lives; 132,000 were wounded.  It may sound fictional…but, unfortunately, it is true…it is a tragic reality.

Sadly, the battles didn’t end at Gallipoli or the Western Front. Battlefields, unfortunately, are still a constant in our lives. Will the world forever be haunted by wars?

Lessons are never learned; wars continue.  Humans are very slow, inept learners. In fact, humans are incapable of learning from their actions; their mistakes.

It is true, and it is very important - we must never forget those who fought and lost their lives at the various war fronts.  However, we  must never forget those who have returned home from fighting on foreign soil, either.

We must never forget our brave men and women who have witnessed despicable atrocities; those who return home only to then have to face another almighty battle. Faced with an intangible war wherein the battle continues to rage uncontrollably as they fight inner demons visible only to them; relentless, covert tormenters obsessively pervading night and day, allowing them no respite; no peace.  Confused and helpless, loved ones look on; in too many instances knowing not what to do.

We should never discount the damage done. We must do everything within our power to help these brave, tortured souls be well again.

When there are some in this world who are so ignorant and insensitive to deny the Holocaust ever happened, what chance does peace have?

And that’s only one example! In a perfect world not even one example would exist.

Dorothy looked quizzically at her Aunt Em when she was told by her aunt to find a place where she, Dorothy wouldn’t get into any trouble. 

With Toto at her side, Dorothy asked ever-loyal Toto if there was such a place -

"Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high, there’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby; somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” 

Man’s inhumanity to man goes on; it’s never-ending. Nothing changes; it just relocates from one area to another, taking with it its baggage of hate, prejudice and stupidity. In the meanwhile, lives are lost; others wrecked forever. Loved ones are left behind to grieve; children left without a parent.

Churchill (yes – the one and the same - he of the unworkable plan back in 1915) mused:

“If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another”.

I dare to add my version:

“If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material, emotional, moral, honorable prosperity etc;  a society, a world free of hate and prejudice… may humans one day have the courage to sit and listen, rather than stand and fight; may they take time to listen to the words of others; to hear and understand the words, rather than be fascinated by the sound of their own voices.”

ANZAC Day does not glorify war in anyway. 

ANZAC Day reminds us of the horrors of war; of the never-ending folly of man.

ANZAC Day honours the memory of our men and women of the Armed Forces….past and present.

ANZAC Day is in respect of those who gave their all....

Imagine if one day in the future…the near future…it was the past only that we gave honour to……

Lest We Forget….

 A toast to the Aussies and the Kiwis….

Aussie Meat Pie: Cook 500g lean beef mince and 1 finely-chopped onion until well-browned; add 1c beef stock, 1/4c tom sauce, 1tbs tom paste, 2tsp Worcestershire, pepper, 1/2tsp ground oregano, pinch of nutmeg; bring to boil; cover; simmer 20mins. Blend 3tbs plain flour with a little water to make smooth paste; add to meat; bring to boil, stir constantly approx 7mins; cool. Line lightly-greased pie plate with shortcrust pastry; add cool meat; moisten pastry edges with a little water; top with 1 thawed puff pastry sheet; press down to seal edges; glaze with beaten egg; bake in very hot oven, 15mins; reduce heat to mod-hot; cook approx 25mins.

Paleo Anzac Bikkies: Combine 1c almond meal, 1c flaked almonds and 1c organic desiccated coconut. Combine 1/4c honey and 1/4c macadamia nut oil in small pot; heat gently. Mix 1/2tsp bicarb soda with 1tbs water; pour into honey; mix until it starts to froth; pour into dry ingredients; combine; add a little water if needed; form into 22 biscuits. Bake in preheated 120C oven, 30mins.

Kiwifruit Pavlova: Preheat oven 120C. Line baking tray with baking paper; mark 22cm circle on paper. Beat 6 room-temp egg whites until stiff peaks form; add 1-1/2c caster sugar; beat 10mins or until sugar has dissolved; add 1tbs cornflour, 1tsp white vinegar and 1tsp vanilla; beat 1min. Spoon onto circle; shape into circle with high sides. Bake 75mins; cool completely in oven with door slightly ajar. Beat 300m thickened cream and 1tbs icing sugar until softly peaked; spread pavlova with cream; top with a pile of kiwifruit slices, some blueberries and passionfruit pulp.

Kiwifruit Margarita: Blend 60ml tequila, 60ml cointreau and 120ml fresh lime juice with a dash of sugar syrup; add 4 kiwifruit; blend until just combined; add a little ice; blend again; pour into margarita glasses; garnish with kiwifruit. 


  1. Sadly most of the stupidity which creates disasters like Gallipoli, and the Somme and so many more is a long, long way away from the front. And doesn't pay for its stupidity. Which is perhaps one of the reasons that conflict continues. If those who declared/created war were the first on the front line perhaps, just perhaps, there would be less of them.
    Fighting for peace is like fornicating for virginity is a cliche, but one with some truth to it.
    Yes, I am an idealist, but I don't believe that there are winners in war. Some lose less, but everyone loses. And those losses and sacrifices are not limited to the armed combatants.

  2. I couldn't agree more, EC.

    But I do believe we should never forget to honour our men and women of the forces past and present for the sacrifices they have made and are making. They deserve our respect.

    Thanks for coming by. :)

  3. Excellent post!

    The local regiment, the 1/5th Essex, spent some time alongside the Aussies above Suvla Bay in 1915. Most casualties came from disease, dysentery was rife, rather than the constant fighting. They got on well with the Aussies. As did my dad in later years.

    Wars never end,human nature will not allow it.

  4. Thank you, Adullamite.

    And I'd bet your Dad was a fine man. :)

  5. Well I do try to appreciate each and every man and women who have fought for our freedom or helped the world be a better place!

  6. Hey there Sandie...yes...they do deserve our respect and our thanks.

    And thank you for popping in. :)

  7. Lest we forget, indeed.

    Enough said. Thoughtful post, Lee.

  8. I cannot tell you how much I agree with you! I want very much to honor those who have served in our wars but at the same time, I want wars to never happen again!
    It is so hard to put this into words but you have done it perfectly in this post. I have tremendous respect for veterans of our wars, and will try my best to bring this across on my blog also.

  9. Yes, Wendy...Lest We Forget...our Aussie and Kiwi service men and women can hold their heads high.

  10. G'day Kay...thanks for your comment.

    I find our Anzac Day to be a very emotional one...it's a day filled with sadness and with pride.

  11. Churchill had his moments--both bad and good. Gallipoli was most definitely a very bad one, and one of the greatest tragedies of a very tragic war. May one nation never use the troops from other nations as canon fodder again.

  12. Hi Jerry...so very true. Churchill certainly got egg on his face over that one!

    Thanks for coming by. :)

  13. I literally just looked at the calendar and saw that holiday today, and was wondering what it was for. Thank you :)

  14. What a lovely post Lee. It is great to see the way the young people of today are taking up the celebration of ANZAC Day and carrying it on.
    Thank you for the information about Carol. I was worried she had pulled the plug on her blog again!!
    BTW I'm glad to have found a fellow Queenslander to follow.

  15. You're welcome, RK. :)

  16. Hi Helsie...I'm so glad you've come by...please don't be a stranger. :)

    I was hoping you'd see my message re Carol.

    I agree...it's wonderful seeing our young take such a keen interest in our Anzac history.

  17. So well written. I learned a lot just there...

    My nephew has recently returned to the U.S. from two tours in Iraq. He is not the same man and suffers from PTSD. He is still fighting, fighting memories, fighting his training, fighting to find a place in a world that once seemed safe and has now been proven not so.

    Stumbling here today has really gotten me thinking, so thank you for that.

    Greetings from Minneapolis,


  18. Hello Pearl...I so glad you did stumble upon my blog. Welcome, and please do come again. :)

    I hope your nephew receives all the help he needs and deserves to make him whole again; to enable him to live a full, happy life..a life he deserves.

  19. Wars are such a waste of time and lives. No one ever learns from them, if they did there would have only ever been one war.
    I've given up making Anzac biscuits, I used to take them in to work but there were too often plates of the store bought ones. My daughter used to make a few, then each year she'd get requests for more, when she spent too much time one year making about 5 dozen, she told everyone that would be the last batch. It was just getting too expensive.

  20. Anzac Day is a tribute to those brave enough to give their all.
    Now the Kitty Justice is to give the leaders of the countries in conflict, a solider outfit and let them fight it out. Unfortunately, we would probably be speaking Russian as ole Big Ears has no experience except running his mouth. But I still think this is a good idea, oh, the congress and senates of each country could back up their leader. I think it would save lots of lives of the brave and get rid of a few cowards too. Peace be with you today and always.

  21. Hey there River...unfortunately our world will never be free of conflict...very sad, but true.

    I still make Anzac biscuits every so often...they're so simple and quick to make, but I only make them for myself these days; not for anyone else. I used to make my own fancier version to sell once upon a time...but no longer. They're good to have on hand at any time of the year. My biscuit jar would complain if it was empty! ;)

    Thanks for popping in.

  22. Hi Miss Kitty...it crazy world in which we live...full of sadness and despair...one conflict dies down only to be replaced with another.

    It would be wonderful to have the answers..to enable the peaceful world that dwells only in our imagination to become the reality.

    Nice to see you Lady Di. :)

  23. A day to honor the dead - I hope it was a good one for you.

    War is something I'm never been in favor of, but I don't think it will ever go away.

  24. I doubt there are many amongst us who are in favour of war, Lynn...I know I'm not in favour, but sometimes they are unavoidable and inevitable. It would be wonderful to see the end of wars...but human nature being what it is, we will never live to see the day when that happens; neither will, unfortunately, our children; their children and so on.

    The battles will continue to rage...for various reasons...some of which have been with us since the world began.

    Anzac Day is never a "good" day for me. To me it's a very solemn, sombre day...one in which many tears are shed; those tears are mingled with pride for those who have sacrificed so much throughout the years. In my mind, it is the most important date on our Aussie calendar.

    Thanks for popping in. :)


  25. Coincidentally, I am now reading a novel of T.E. Lawrence and his guidance with the Arab Uprising about the same time. The author covered the Brits' attack at Cape Helles. They lost 250,000 men in seven months trying to take the peninsula (you would think they would back off and try another tactic, but no). I am aghast at these numbers -- 26 million killed in WWI! Makes our 54,000 killed in Viet Nam seem a petty loss of human flesh.
    When will we ever learn?

  26. Hi Dexter...it's very good to see you, thanks for coming in. :)

  27. It beggars belief, doesn't it, goatman?

    We'll never learn; and I don't say that with a light heart.

    Thanks for popping in, goatman. :)

  28. Thank you Lee. You have taught me more than I knew about Gallipoli. And we need peacemongers more than we need warmongers. Churchill was like all the rest - the men who make wars - they never fight. They survive wars and let others do the dying. "Give Peace A Chance!" once sounded like a dumb hippy sentiment but John Lennon and Yoko were right.

  29. Yes, John and Yoko were, Yorky...imagine that!

    But lessons are never learned...

    Thanks for coming by...it's nice to see you. :)

  30. Fantastic post, Lee, you've summed the whole event up wonderfully. There was a status on FB about about being fed up with old men dreaming up wars to kill young men, or something like that. Without being feminist or sexist, I really do believe that if women had more power in governments, wars would be drastically reduced.

  31. Thanks Robyn...Anzac Day is a very sombre, important day; and I will always honour our men and women of the Armed Force, past and present.

    As I said on my FB page...to me it is the most important day of our Aussie calendar.

    Thanks for dropping in. :)

  32. I never knew that one could fire with the help of a periscope.

  33. Great post and great recipes too Lee.

  34. Thanks, Helsie

  35. I don't know what you mean, Haddock.