ANZAC Day 2020 By Walrus.


Today, the morning of the 25th, I planned to March with my Battalion Association in Melbourne. I wanted to see how many were still alive and attend the traditional ANZAC day football match at the MCG. My wife is an MCC member.

But those plans were made in December – pre Covid19. The marches, services, barbecues and football are cancelled. They want to save all us old farts.

The last time I marched was about 1970. It was a duty back then. The battalion practiced for weeks. We were bored by it all and the constant complaining about militarism from the Anti Vietnam protesters.

I think it was that year, as the youngest officer, I carried the Regimental colors. About three days before the march a University colleague told us that a group of Melbourne University protestors were planning to interrupt the march mid city and try to seize the Colors. I told this guy to tell his friends they would find out that the fixed bayonets of the color guard were not for decoration nor was my sword, even if it didn’t have an edge. I wasn’t joking. We were unmolested.

This ANZAC day, think of the frontline healthcare staff who are fighting our battles for us as well as our troops overseas. Think of them and the battles to come.

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5 Responses to ANZAC Day 2020 By Walrus.

  1. Leith says:

    God bless em all. But particularly the coastwatchers in the Solomons that probably saved my father’s a$$.
    Did you go to a dawn service?

  2. walrus says:

    The dawn services was cancelled everywhere.
    Re; Coastwatchers; It’s a small world; as a teenager, my first girlfriend was the daughter of W.F.M. Clemens, he of Guadalcanal fame. I used to see him regularly until a few years before he died in 2009 and I still catch up with the daughter at social functions once or twice a year.

  3. Leith says:

    Thanks for the link. I’ll have to get a copy of Clemens’ book. The raids he organized on Japanese supply depots must have been devastating. I wonder if he worked with native Sergeant Major Vouza, who was also in many of my father’s stories of his time there.

  4. Walrus,
    My respect and best wishes to you and all your ANZAC brethren. My experience with the 1st RAR began when an infantry company came to Hawaii for an exchange exercise. It was my introduction to Aussie rule football. The following year we flew to Townsville. A number of us lieutenants sat with our Aussie hosts when we were joined by some Brit officers. Regimental songs were sung. We Americans didn’t know how to respond so we sang “The Battle of New Orleans.” One of the Brits was a Highlander. He started tearing up as he recounted his regiments losses at New Orleans in 1814. I enjoyed my days with the 1st RAR.
    Here’s an inspiring version of the charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba. You’ve probably seen it, but I offer it as a salute on ANZAC Day.

  5. walrus says:

    I’m glad you had a good time with 1RAR. We have a lot of fun introducing Americans to Australian beer which is a little stronger than yours. My last victim was the XO of the USS Antietam about twelve years ago.
    Thank you for the Light Horse video. The Australian Light Horse, I was told by my father, was a rare thing among cavalry – they could successfully maneuver at night.

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