And the band played Waltzing Matilda

Anzac flag

April 25th is a solemn day of remembrance here in NZ and in Australia.  It marks the sacrifices made by members of ANZAC (the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps)  when they joined  to fight alongside Britain in the first World War.

Young men flocked to join up having no earthly idea of what they were getting themselves into, but filled with a fervour “For King and Country.”

Anzac, the landing 1915 by George Lambert, 192...

Anzac, the landing 1915 by George Lambert, 1922 shows the landing at Anzac Cove, 25 April 1915 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first deployment of the ANZACS  was at the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli.  The information the command  received about the terrain and an under estimation of the Turkish forces led to a disaster.  Nine months later the Allies withdrew leaving behind 46,000 dead.

“They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We shall remember them.”
From Ode of Remembrance, taken from Laurence Binyon’s
“For the Fallen” first published in 1914.

This day is also commemorated in Turkey at Gallipoli where the cove has been renamed ANZAC Cove.  Many ex-servicemen and their families travel to Turkey each year.

And Waltzing Matilda?  This was the song played as the troops sailed out from Sydney, Australia at the start of that fateful enterprise.  Click here to hear John Williams singing “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”.

I have written in more detail on this day both in 2011 and 2012.  It is a sad commentary on the people of the world that even after this “War to End All Wars” we still send our young men and women out to be slaughtered by ‘the enemy’.


Last post being sounded at North Beach, Gallipoli.
Photo Mike Bowers, Sydney Morning Herald

And now there are no more survivors from Gallipoli.
RIP all the fallen and

Alec Campbell
Last Gallipoli survivor from Australia
(died May 2002 aged 103)

Alfred Douglas Dibley
Last Gallipoli survivor from New Zealand
(died 18 December 1997 aged 101)

See other posts:

14 responses to “And the band played Waltzing Matilda

  1. Thank you very much for this post, Judith. I’m looking forward to hear John Williams singing “And the Band played Waltzing Matilda.” At the moment I still listen in the background to all the bands playing while walking along in the Sydney Anzac Day march. Very good weather today for the march and great participation. More and more young people replace or support the very old ones.
    I got up early to watch all the different dawn services on TV. At 12,30 I’m going to watch the Gallipoli Dawn Service and at 1,30 the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial Service from France. Peter’s grandfather died 1916 in France when Peter’s father was only 16. Peter found out were the grandfather’s grave is in France. So the grandfather died in the war that was to end all wars!


  2. A touching and beautiful tribute Judith, and a reminder of the horrible, senseless losses in war.


  3. Hello Judith,

    I am touched by this tribute to the valiant young men who were filled with a fervour “For King and Country.”

    May I re-post this on my site?


  4. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    A great post.Very grounded – beautiful.


    • Thanks. One can rail about the senseless of war and yet those people to whom we gave power to make these life threatening decisions continue to wage war. We must never forget those who fought that we might live


  5. I knew the story of Waltzing Matilda, and it always makes me sad to hear it. No, we have not learned a darn thing.


  6. Pingback: The Adventure Begins | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

  7. Reblogged this on I choose how I will spend the rest of my life and commented:

    The 100th Anniversary of the disastrous landing in Gal,lipoli. I thought it appropriate to reblog this post from April 25 2013.


  8. Pingback: A Special Six Word Saturday | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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