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Preparing for Anzac Day

old man emu

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If you have a WWl soldier in your ancestry, you may be wanting to create something in the way of a memorial.


Here is an image of the three medals that were awarded to the majority of Australian and New Zealand members of the Army. You might like to use the image in your memorial.


From left to right, the medals are:


The 1914-15 Star




Awarded for service on the establishment of a ship or unit in a theatre of war. A member awarded the 1914 Star could not be awarded the 1914-15 Star (this award).


The British War Medal 1914-20




awarded for service as follows:


• Navy - for 28 days mobilised service or to those who lost their lives in active operations before completing that period, between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918.


• Army and Air Force - entry into a theatre of war on duty, or who left places of residence and rendered approved overseas service between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918.


• Mercantile Marine - at least six months service between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918.


The Victory Medal




Awarded for service as follows:


• Navy - those who were mobilised and rendered approved service either at sea between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918 or on the establishment of a unit within a theatre of military operations.


• Army - those who served on the establishment of a unit in a theatre of war.


• Air Force - those who served on the establishment of a unit in a theatre of war outside the UK, served with an operational unit in the UK or overseas and had been actively engaged against the enemy, been employed in flying new aircraft to France or served on the complement of aircraft-carrying ships.


A member Mentioned in Dispatches for service during World War 1 wears a bronze oak leaf on the ribbon. Only one emblem is worn no matter how many times a member may have been 'mentioned'.




These medals are replicas. God only knows where my grandfather's originals are. The set cost me $132 mounted.





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Remembering my great uncle, 2nd Lt. Alec Wald MC (RFC) and ex-gunner AIF. Killed in a flying accident while flying a Fe2b on home defence duties in northern England, 11 August 1918.




Photo taken by Alec of the Casualty Clearing Station, Anzac Cove, Gallipoli. He spent 2 nights in it after being hit by shrapnel in the kidney region during a bombardment.




He spent 9 months with No. 100SQN, RFC on night bombing duties in France. The writing on the photo tells the story.




When rotated back to the UK, he was on home defence duties which included instruction and anti-submarine patrols. The following photo is my favourite one of Alec after he had a bit of a mishap while instructing a student on the Bristol F2b (Brisfit).




and then...




My grandmother kept a photo of her beloved brother on her mantelpiece and when she moved into a rest home, next to her bed. She died at age 104 with her brother looking over her. I grew up with all the photos, medals, diaries, aircraft parts and stories etc. that my grandmother had, and which I now have. He was my inspiration to be a pilot and join the RAAF.


Anzac day means something to me. The younger generations should know where the Anzac spirit was born.







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[ATTACH]47559._xfImport[/ATTACH] I will march again this year with my fathers medals from his navy days in ww2 and with a lot of pride my grandfathers medals from ww1 where he served on Gallipoli and then France as a ambulance bearer, he has the same medals as the one's shown above.


I read somewhere and they posed the question..are Australians getting sick of the constant barrage of ANZAC tv movies and this type of talk in general about ww1 and the role we played...I thought to myself GOD help us if our multicultural Australia lets our soul be eroded away by this talk...I hope that I am in the ground and gone if ever there is a time that we all can't have a beer and talk about our relatives and their bravery when we were at war and fighting for this country...LEST US FORGET...





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I'm so grateful to the Australian War Memorial and the RSL for their efforts in gathering, digitizing and uploading so much information about our forebears' lives in the military. Those of you who have done some research will have gone to the Australian War Memorial website, and from there to the National Archives. Here is the RSL's website: http://www.rslvirtualwarmemorial.org.au/


You should also look at the War Diaries of your relatives' Units. They can be accessed through the AWM site. I found the diary of a soldier who was in the same battalion of another relation. Unfortunately, they both were killed on the same day, so it only goes to the day before they died. Still, it is a vivid and moving recollection of their lives on the Western Front.


For those of you who would like to get an idea of the effects of the First World War on the people at home, I suggest that you seek out and read C.J. Dennis' works The Moods of Ginger Mick, Digger Smith, and Rose of Spadgers. These books of poems give a personal impression of the war and its aftereffects on those who endured it.


For the history buffs, this link will take you to the digitized copy of C.E.W. Bean's history of the First World War https://www.awm.gov.au/histories/first_world_war/





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I was named after my great uncle who died at Gallipoli. His body has never been found, but I've been using the Battalion diaries which place him, so far, within about a 700 square metre area between the beach and Lone Pine. These are a few tips to help you find the files and details on a relative who served in WW1 or WW2. Be prepared for some surprises the family never heard. Don't worry too much about AWL charges - it was a fashionable thing to do on days off.






Click : People


Enter Name: e.g. firstname secondname surname


Choose Conflict: e.g. First World War 1914 -1918


Click: Search


Scroll down to see records found e.g.


· Roll of Honour 1 record (shows soldier’s Service No)


Click on the name: shows brief record and the location of his name on the Roll of Honour Wall at the Australian War Museum and the dates and times his name will be projected on the wall.


· First World War Embarkation Rolls – 1 record (follow the links to a digitised page)


· Red Cross wounded and missing – 1 record (The Red Cross collected witness statements to a death/injury to help relatives find out what happened to him.






This is where the soldier’s military files are held


All World War 1 records have been digitised and are openly available on the site. Each solider has about 30 to 50 pages and there is no censorship so you get to see the good and the bad. AWL charges were common for Australians before the fighting started.


1 Click: Home


2 In the top RH “Explore:” area, Click: Search the Collection and type in the name


3 Click: Record Search; this brings up “Record Search” which has a light green band across the top


4 Click: Namesearch


5 Enter: Family Name


6 Choose Category of Records: All Records


7 Click: Search; the person’s name will come up and any records will show up


8 In the Digitised column click the pages icon


9 About 50 pages will come up starting with the AIF Attestation paper


World War 2 Records


Go through steps 1 to 7


In the left hand column look at “Access Status”


If it says “Not Yet Examined”, click the link “Request a copy” and follow the links to order a copy ($29.95 as of writing this)


A copy will be mailed to you and the soldier’s record will be loaded permanently as per WW1




http://www.cwgc.org/ (Note the site is cwgc – sometimes converts to a religious site)


Select name: e.g. firstname secondname surname


Usually a result will come up immediately with date of death, Age, Regiment, and Grave/Memorial Reference and Cemetery.




Armed with the above information you can go on to the Battalion Diaries and find out where the battalion was fighting on the day the soldier was wounded or killed, then to trench maps, and locate sometimes to within a few metres where it happened. There are trench maps which locate it even tighter.



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Great info there ome..thanks for putting it up...yes I always feel a bit sad that when my grandfather died I was still very young and I didn't have the opportunity to get to know him, talk to him, maybe..... a lot of the returned didn't want to talk about their experiences, still, it would have been nice..





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My grandfather on my fathers side fought and survived both world wars. He was a british soldier in the first world war and a Australian soldier in the second world war. There is write up about him and the very few others who fought in both wirkd wars.


My grandfather on my mothers side was a commando and fought in Boganville and PNG. He survived as well.



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Just read the `Battle for Lone Pine' by David Cameron. What a horrific waste of life on both sides - hand to hand fighting for days in trenches and tunnels over a tiny patch of ground that wasn't any use to anyone at the end of the day. The Lone Pine Cemetery is located in the middle of the old battlefield.





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Hard to imagine what it would have been like there...I guess that is where the "look after your mate" really started, I think if it wasn't for their mates around them it would have been totally unbearable...I think that is something that these new immigrants to Australia just don't understand about being Aussie and I don't know how you can teach them about it...it's a feeling...it's well I don't know how to describe it..I guess something like the Kiwi's....we stir each other up, tell jokes about each other but at the end of the day if we ever had to go to war I could not ask for anyone better to be standing beside me...you know what I mean... how could you explain that to a Iraqi or Afghan immigrant....





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That's true DG, but don't forget that we were on the Turks' territory. They fought well against us and experienced the same horrors. The Anzacs had a good deal of respect for their skill and bravery, and no doubt the Turkish soldiers were just as reliant on their mates as ours were. Kemal Ataturk later made a very magnanimous speech recognising the Anzac soldiers, that perhaps not many other leaders would have done.





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We were all told our part in the action, but I only read the bigger picture recently.


WW1 was in progress, when the Turks sided with Germany and entered the War against us (British Empire)


Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty devised a plan to take care of this by a Naval attack through the Dardanelles, the aim being to neutralise Turkey and open up supply lines to the rear of the western front, which would have required German troops to be taken from the Western Front, and so shorten the war by a considerable period.


The Turks had a formidable navy which cut the British to pieces, the only salvation being the fantastic work of the AE2 and also Commander Holbrook.


Churchill then decided on a marine attack on the Gallipoli peninsula, then taking Turkey in an overland attack, and Gallipoli was part of that. The total cost in allied lives was around 240,000 in all after the last throw which was the attack on the western coast which we were in, and Churchill was fired as First Lord and an inquiry set up. The inquiry found that Churchill's plan had been sound, and he was quickly reinstated.


Now that's going from memory, but up until then I'd always felt slightly guilty that we were invading the Turks homeland, when in fact we were responding to attacks by Turkey on us, and very successful attacks at that.


That partly explains Mustapha Khemal's very generous statement, which nevertheless is still to be highly commended. We were beaten by the way, to a very large degree by his very skilfull movement of troops to match every move our side made, most of which were very sound moves, particularly by General Birdwood who was very quick to identify the skills of people like General Monash almost from day 1, when he was smart enough to recommend to Haigh that we should get back off the beach immediately.



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