Category Archives: War

Erratum

It’s 3am on Sunday 11 September 2016.  Waking in the night is not something I do with any regularity and today I awoke realising that I had made a mistake in yesterday’s post – Another Year On

Originally I wrote –

“On the eve of 9/11 many of us here in New Zealand are thinking of that tragic day in 2001 when so many lives were lost, so many lives were changed and the world as we knew it changed suddenly and forever.”

Then I chaged it to

“Of course yesterday it was 9/11 here in New Zealand, and  many of us were  thinking of that tragic day in 2001 when so many lives were lost, so many lives were changed and the world as we knew it changed suddenly and forever.”

Confusion because here in New Zealand we say 11/9 and those of you in North America say 9/11.  In any event everything else in yesterday’s post still stands and today we will remember those who lost their lives, those who helped rescue some and the people whose lives were changed forever.

 

 

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Another Year On

“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness,
is a way to honor those we lost,
a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.”
President Obama in a 2011 radio address

On the eve of 9/11 many of us here in New Zealand are thinking of that tragic day in 2001 when so many lives were lost, so many lives were changed and the world as we knew it changed suddenly and forever.

Even though we are told that there was some indication that a major action was about to unfold, nobody could really have imagined the extent or the effect that it would have.

Here in New Zealand we watched in disbelief as the drama unfolded.  Having heard the news on the radio we switched to the television and saw the events as they happened. We saw the unforgettable images of the planes flying into the tower, the bodies falling onto the ground and the faces of the rescuers, working against all odds to rescue anybody at all. These images and words spoken by the firemen, the policemen and other volunteers will stay with us forever.

And in the 15 years since that attack what has happened?  Horror mounts almost daily with reports of innocent people being killed or forced to flee their homes, people living in daily fear of what will happen next.  We hear of young girls being kidnapped by Boko Haraam, many of whom are still missing years later.  Journalists and Peace workers are being murdered and video reports of this are sent around the world.  Fear and belief that all Muslims are evil is escalating and we see evidence of this all around the world.  Where will it end?  And how can it be ended?  Not with more violence and hatred because we know that this only feeds itself.

Perhaps it’s naive to consider that we should or could give peace a chance as John and Yoko Lennon suggested in 1969. But how could this be achieved?  Are any of the “Powers that be” putting any thoughts in this direction, because somebody with some authority has to have the intestinal fortitude (read guts) to begin.  I fear that there is nobody brave enough or committed enough to be the first.

“Imagine there’s no countries, it isn’t hard to do
No need to kill or die for and no religions too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one”
From the song Imagine by John Lennon and Yoko Ono

So on this day each year we will remember the folks who died on that tragic day and remember all those who are still suffering because of it.

May I share my rainbow with you in honour of those people?

Rainbow

My rainbow

Note – First paragraph changed – see Erratum

 

 

What Has Gone So Wrong?

There’ll be love and laughter
And peace ever after.
Tomorrow, when the world is free

So sang Vera Lynn and many  others during the Second World War. So what has gone so very wrong in the intervening years?  Love and laughter has been taken over by hate and tears and the world is not free.

From this quiet and peaceful little corner of the world we have looked on at the hate and disruptions caused by the hate, taking over our world.  We even have one of the Presidential candidates in the USA seemingly encouraging spread of hate at least to the other candidate, and of course to Mexican, Muslims etc etc.  How can this be we ask ourselves.

Have we forgotten all that was learned at such great cost?  Children are still living in areas surrounded by bombs as did we in the early 1940s.  They are still being injured both physically and emotionally and the bombing now is so much worse than during the Second War.  Bigger and more directed bombs and these children are right in the middle of the war.

When will we learn that we can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.   When will the powers that be, those in position to make a  stop to these non achieving wars, accept that something has to change.

Daily on TV we see the result of the bombs on the lives of families who have done nothing more than to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And apart from the damage to the humans what about the destruction of buildings steeped  in history and meaning for the population and of course, the damage to the earth.  All of these things will take centuries to repair, if in fact they can be repaired and renewed.

Now is the time for us to stand up and be counted.  A petition has been taken to our politicians objecting to more money being spent on sending troops to the wars.  What else can we do other than sign the petitions?  I don’t know but what I’m doing is spreading love and kindness wherever and whenever I can.  If we all do a little, maybe something big will come out of it.

End of today’s rant.

“I believe in kindness. Also in mischief, Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.”

Mary Oliver

Back home with my family and friends

After a nasty accident that caused severe brain injury I spent seven weeks in hospital and at ABI rehabilitation.  Now thanks to the teams at both places I’m well on the way to recovery. Back home again and ready to post on my blog.

One of the most annoying aspects is that with brain injury driving licences are suspended for six months, until a doctor certifies you can drive. So currently I’m very dependent on family, friends and Driving Miss Daisy to take me around.

The entry to the exhibition

The entry to the exhibition

 

On Tuesday this week my No 3 grandson Drew took me to our National Museum, Te Papa (Our Place in Maori) to see the Gallipoli Exhibition  This tells the story of the landings on April 25. 1915

On that day, thousands of young men, far from their homes, stormed the beaches on the Gallipoli Peninsula in what is now Turkey.

For eight long months, New Zealand troops, alongside those from Australia, Great Britain and Ireland, France, India, and Newfoundland battled harsh conditions and Ottoman forces desperately fighting to protect their homeland.

IMG_0700

Larger than life sized models

Larger than life sized models

By the time the campaign ended, more than 130,000 men had died: at least 87,000 Ottoman soldiers and 44,000 Allied soldiers, including more than 8700 Australians. Among the dead were 2779 New Zealanders, about a sixth of all those who had landed on the peninsula.

New Zealand sent more men to fight in the First World War per head of population than any other nation. Of those killed, almost a third were buried half a world away in unmarked graves.

This exhibition tells the story from the standpoint of those young men.  It is incredibly detailed and we are shown where they stood their ground against an incredible army of Turks.  We see how they lived and we hear readings of letters home.

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Quins Post

 

A Nurse gets news of the death of a loved one

One of the standout officers was Lieutenant-Colonel William Malone (1859-1915) , a Stratford farmer and lawyer, who commanded the Wellington Battalion at Gallipoli. The Wellington Battalion landed at Anzac Cove on 25-26 April 1915. Malone soon began to impose order, transforming weak defensive positions along the Anzac perimeter into strong garrisons. Between June and August, he helped consolidate critical positions at Courtney’s Post and Quin’s Post.  Just one of many no doubt.

And each year on April 25 Australians and New Zealanders commemorate this battle with a Public Holiday. ANZAC DAY

Anzac Poppy

ANZAC Poppy

Guide to Hiring Women

A friend copied this and passed it on to me as he thought I might get a laugh from reading it.  I hope you will too.

This purports to be from the July 1943 issue of Mass Transportation Magazine written for male supervisors during the Second World War.

Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees

There’s no longer any question whether transit companies should hire women for jobs formerly held by men. The draft and manpower shortage has settled that point. The important things now are to select the most efficient women available and how to use them to the best advantage. Here are eleven helpful tips on the subject from western properties:

1. If you can get them, pick young married women. They have these advantages, according to the reports of western companies: they usually have more of a sense of responsibility than do their unmarried sisters; they’re less likely to be flirtatious; as a rule, they need the work or they wouldn’t be doing it — maybe a sick husband or one who’s in the army; they still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently.

2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Most transportation companies have found that older women who have never contacted the public, have a hard time adapting themselves, are inclined to be cantankerous and fussy. It’s always well to impress upon older women the importance of friendliness and courtesy.

3. While there are exceptions, of course, to this rule, general experience indicates that “husky” girls — those who are just a little on the heavy side — are likely to be more even-tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.

4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination — one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit but also reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job. Transit companies that follow this practice report a surprising number of women turned down for nervous disorders.

5. In breaking in women who haven’t previously done outside work, stress at the outset the importance of time — the fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up.

6. Give the female employe in garage or office a definite day-long schedule of duties so that she’ll keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves.

7. Whenever possible, let the inside employe change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be nervous and they’re happier with change.

8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. Companies that are already using large numbers of women stress the fact that you have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and consequently is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day.

9. Be tactful in issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive; they can’t shrug off harsh words the way that men do. Never ridicule a woman — it breaks her spirit and cuts her efficiency.

10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women. Even though a girl’s husband or father may swear vociferously, she’ll grow to dislike a place of business where she hears too much of this.

11. Get enough size variety in operator uniforms that each girl can have a proper fit. This point can’t be stressed too strongly as a means of keeping women happy, according to western properties.”
Was this really published in 1943?   We have seen many such items and I have fallen for some and have even blogged about them only to find out later that these claims were in fact not true.  While we know that in the 1940s women in the workplace were almost universally under valued and patronised we still find it hard to believe that such an item could be published in a recognised trade magazine

So I Googled our trusty friend snopes.com and found out that this was indeed written by L H Sanders and did  appear in the 1943 edition of the magazine that was widely circulated at the time.

Now look at the eleven hints – which is your favourite?  I can imagine the uproar that would ensue if any company considered hint 4.  And I do like hint 8 as I feel much more confidant if I can keep my hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash my hands several times a day.

Discussion at the Hospice last week, from whence came this photocopy, centred around the various hints and hint 3 the “Husky girls” came out as top choice among the staff.

Women workers at war

Click here to read more about women at work during the 1940s.

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

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)

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