A video for my friends in Australia and New Zealand on Anzac Day

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders “who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations” and “the contribution and suffering of all those who have served”. Observed on 25 April each year, Anzac Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the Great War (1914–1918)

With the coming of the Second World War, Anzac Day became a day on which to commemorate the lives of Australians and New Zealanders lost in that war as well and in subsequent wars. The meaning of the day has been further broadened to include those killed in all the military operations in which the countries have been involved. Anzac Day was first commemorated at the Australian War Memorial in 1942, but, due to government orders preventing large public gatherings in case of Japanese air attack, it was a small affair and was neither a march nor a memorial service. Anzac Day has been annually commemorated at the Australian War Memorial ever since. In New Zealand, Anzac Day saw a surge in popularity immediately after World War II. – via Wikipedia

This video, Australian soldiers during WW2 singing ‘Waltzing Matilda’ while marching, is moving, and affected me. It reminded me of the huge contributions these countries and their people made towards sustaining freedom.

I thought I’d share it with all WUWT readers.
Thank you to all who have served, past and present.


Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong,
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled
You’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
You’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me,
And he sang as he watched and waited ’til his billy boiled,
You’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me.

Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabong,
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee,
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tuckerbag
You’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
You’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me,
And he sang as he shoved that jumbuck in his tuckerbag,
You’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me.

Up rode the squatter mounted on his thoroughbred,
Down came the troopers – one, two, three,
Whose that jolly jumbuck you’ve got in your tuckerbag?
You’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
You’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me,
Whose that jolly jumbuck you’ve got in your tuckerbag?
You’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me.

Up jumped the swagman, and sprang into the billabong,
You’ll never catch me alive said he,
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong
You’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda,
You’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me,
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong,
You’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me.

For us Yanks, some information about the song:

“Waltzing Matilda” is Australia’s best-known bush ballad, and has been described as the country’s “unofficial national anthem”.

The title was Australian slang for travelling on foot (waltzing) with one’s belongings in a “matilda” (swag) slung over one’s back. The song narrates the story of an itinerant worker, or “swagman”, making a drink of billy tea at a bush camp and capturing a stray jumbuck (ram) to eat. When the jumbuck’s owner, a squatter (landowner), and three mounted policemen pursue the swagman for theft, he declares “You’ll never catch me alive!” and commits suicide by drowning himself in a nearby billabong (watering hole), after which his ghost haunts the site.

The original lyrics were written in 1895 by Australian poet Banjo Paterson, and were first published as sheet music in 1903. Extensive folklore surrounds the song and the process of its creation, to the extent that it has its own museum, the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton, in the Queensland outback, where Paterson wrote the lyrics. In 2012, to remind Australians of the song’s significance, Winton organised the inaugural Waltzing Matilda Day to be held on 6 April, the anniversary of its first performance.

The song was first recorded in 1926 as performed by John Collinson and Russell Callow. In 2008, this recording of “Waltzing Matilda” was added to the Sounds of Australia registry in the National Film and Sound Archive which says that there are more recordings of “Waltzing Matilda” than any other Australian song.

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April 24, 2019 8:15 pm


From a ‘born-and-breed’ kiwi who’s spent the day at an ANZAC remembrance service laying poppies in front of crosses for fallen relatives, your sentiment and thoughtfulness in making this post is so deeply appreciated.

Very best.

Alastair Brickell
April 24, 2019 8:23 pm


Many thanks for remembering us down here.

We had a lovely dawn service here in Whitianga, NZ this morning. It was very moving with great views of Venus, Saturn and Jupiter overhead along with a lovely Moon. A fitting atmosphere to remember those who gave their lives so we could have normal peaceful ones-something so often forgotten by the younger generation.

For us tonight we get to see an rather rare occultation of Saturn by the Moon at half past midnight when Saturn will disappear behind the Moon and dramatically reappear out of the dark side at 1:42am. A wonderful illustration of the “music of the spheres” as the Moon continues its never ending journey around us dragging the oceans with it.

April 24, 2019 8:24 pm

Thanks, Anthony, for a great video and commemoration with the song of Waltzing Matilda and footage of the Diggers marching, perhaps somewhere on the Road to Gundagai.

April 24, 2019 8:27 pm

Thanks Anthony. It’s always been reasonably hilarious to me that our unofficial national anthem centres around a bloke who would rather commit suicide due to stealing lunch, than hand himself over to the coppers lol. ‘straya

And yes, spare a thought for those poor buggers, both past and present, who put their lives on the line in service to their country.

John Robertson
April 24, 2019 8:28 pm

Thanks Anthony.
We used to attend every year while dad lived.

April 24, 2019 8:35 pm

Lest we forget.

Thank you Anthony for a fitting tribute, and thank you for all that you do.

Craig from Oz
April 24, 2019 9:04 pm

Thank you

Reply to  Craig from Oz
April 24, 2019 9:36 pm

And another big THANK YOU from down under.

April 24, 2019 9:25 pm

Thanks to OZ and NZ for helping to keep the world free. You too have paid a heavy price for keeping the world safer and free of tyranny. Long live the Commonwealth and all our shared heritage!

FB Brown
April 24, 2019 9:36 pm

Thank you.
So appreciated.

April 24, 2019 9:49 pm

Thank you.

I’m old enough to remember attending ANZAC day remembrance as young kid when the deaths from WW2 were still very raw in peoples’ minds, later protesting intensely during the Vietnam War and now at a more reflective age understanding and appreciating the sacrifices made.

“And the band played ‘Waltzing Matilda'” is a song that has perhaps aged in much the same way.

Neil Taylor
Reply to  HAS
April 25, 2019 5:48 am

You may like this version of “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”



Neil Taylor
Reply to  Neil Taylor
April 25, 2019 7:50 am

And here are the words:


Author: Eric Bogle

When I was a young man I carried me pack
And I lived the free life of the rover.
From the Murry’s green basin to the dusty outback,
Well, I waltzed my Matilda all over.
Then in 1915 my country said, “Son,
It’s time you stop rambling, there’s work to be done.”
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they marched me away to the war.
And the band played Waltzing Matilda,
As the ship pulled away from the quay
And midst all the cheers, flag waving and tears,
We sailed off for Gallipoli

It’s well I remember that terrible day,
How our blood stained the sand and the water
And of how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter.
Johnny Turk, he was ready, he primed himself well.
He rained us with bullets, and showered us with shell,
And in five minutes flat, he’d blown us all to hell,
Nearly blew us back home to Australia.
And the band played Waltzing Matilda,
As we stopped to bury our slain,
and we buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs,
Then we started all over again.

those who were living just tried to survive
In that mad world of blood, death and fire.
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
While around me the corpses piled higher.
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head
And when I awoke in me hospital bed
And saw what it had done, sure I wished I was dead.
I never knew there were worse things than dying.
For I’ll go no more Waltzing Matilda,
All around the green bush far and free
To hunt and to pace, a man needs both legs,
No more waltzing Matilda for me.

They collected the crippled, the wounded, the maimed,
And they sent us back home to Australia.
The armless, the legless, the blind and the insane,
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla.
And when our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where me legs used to be
And thanked Christ there was no one there waiting for me
To grieve, to mourn and to pity.
But the Band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway,
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared,
Then they turned all their faces away.

So now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me.
And I see my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving their dreams and past glory,
I see the old men all tired, stiff and sore
Those forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask “What are they marching for?”
And I ask myself the same question.
But the band plays Waltzing Matilda,
And the old men still answer the call,
But year after year, the numbers get fewer
Someday, no one will march there at all.

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda.
Who’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?
And their ghosts can be heard as they march by the billibong
Who’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me

Reply to  Neil Taylor
April 25, 2019 10:06 am

There is a fabulous rendition of this haunting song by Craig Johnston (Delsinki Records).
Your challenge is – try and listen through to the end with dry eyes!

Tom Foley
April 24, 2019 9:50 pm

Great video. From the landscape and vegetation, I’m guessing it was possibly filmed at Puckapunyal, a major WW2 training base north of Melbourne.

For the record, a jumbuck is any sheep, not specifically a ram (Wikipedia has got it wrong! My source is the Australian National Dictionary). This makes sense, since the hungry swagman would grab the first sheep he saw, and not wait around for a ram, given that ram to ewe ratios could be as low as 1:100 or less in the huge paddocks of outback sheep stations. The song was set in western Queensland, the main area of overlap of sheep and coolabah trees.

I went to the local ANZAC Day service this morning in my small Australian town (in sheep country) , and we sang the New Zealand National Anthem, God Defend New Zealand – for the first time in Maori! – and the official Australian National Anthem, Advance Australia Fair, but alas, not Waltzing Matilda.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Tom Foley
April 24, 2019 10:04 pm

Just noted the 24 April date stamps on the comments. It was of course already 25 April, ANZAC Day, in Australia and New Zealand this morning when we went to the services!

John F. Hultquist
April 24, 2019 9:56 pm

Thanks for the commemorative post. Very interesting.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Many years ago, maybe 1960 -’63, my nephew (we lived in Pennsylvania) mowed lawns and did other chores to earn about $12 dollars. Then, from the back page of a magazine, he ordered a guitar. It came with a small booklet of ‘how-to’ songs — including Waltzing Matilda. This was the song he chose to learn, and play, and play, … and play. His grandmother (my mother) insisted he learn a couple new songs, or he was going to driver her to drink.
Billabong was the first real OZ term I ever learned.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
April 25, 2019 5:53 am

Waltzing Matilda was familiar to me, at least the tune, when I was very young but I can’t remember where it originated for me. I’m an American but that song used to play around in my head for some reason. Maybe it was a movie I saw or something. I never played the guitar so I didn’t get it from that direction.

I would personally like to thank all the Australian troops who served during the Vietnam war. We can always count on Australia.

I also want to thank Australia for getting me to the most beautiful place in the world, Hawaii.

I didn’t get to go to Australia on a seven-day Rest and Relaxation leave, and I really wanted to go. So after I got out of the army in Dec 1969, I decided I still wanted to go to Australia, so after relaxing for a few months at home, I hitchhiked (me and a friend) to Los Angeles and was planning on trying to find a ship to work my way across to Australia, and about that time I learned that I could fly to Hawaii for $75 dollars!, so I did, thinking I would catch a ship from there, but when I landed in Hawaii it turned out to be such a fantastic place that I decided to stay for a while. Loved every minute of it. I lived on the North Shore about halfway between Wiamea Bay and Sunset Beach. 🙂

David William Spencer Sivyer
April 24, 2019 10:00 pm

Thanks Anthony for a very sincere acknowledgement of our ANZAC Day remembrance services. My Dad served with the RAAF in New Guinea, first at Milne Bay and later at Hollandia, Nadzab and other locations. The wonderful USAAC and US soldiers fought alongside our air force and “Diggers” in some of the least acknowledged actions in the Pacific theatre; battles of the Coral Sea, Bismark Sea and Guadalcanal aside.
There is a lot of deep respect, held by people “of a certain age”, for the USA’s support for Australia in dark times.
Once again, thanks Anthony.

Dave Sivyer
Narrogin, Western Australia.

Bruce Sanson
April 24, 2019 10:11 pm

Thank you Anthony. Anzac day is a special day “down under”. The bravery of those who went to war must be remembered, and the cost counted. We have not forgotten

April 24, 2019 10:19 pm

Watch ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ by a kiwi, Peter Jackson.’ It is the story of the WWI British soldier using 100 year old footage from hand cranked cameras. The footage was digitized, colorized, and matched with a sound track of audio histories of WWI veterans recorded in the 1950/60’s. No actors, no scripted lines — just the men who were there filmed while they were there. It is out on dvd; but, best if seen in a theater with 3D capability

Mumbles McGuirck
Reply to  JRW44
April 25, 2019 6:36 am

I saw that recently in the theater, followed by a ‘making of the movie’ short featuring Jackson explaining how he put the film together. The best part was getting some Brits from the local consulate to sign “Mademoiselle from Armentieres” so they would not have Kiwi accents.

Fun footnote: A.B. “Banjo” Patterson derived his nickname from a racehorse not the musical instrument.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Mumbles McGuirck
April 25, 2019 9:46 pm

A.B. “Banjo” Patterson

Andrew Barton Patterson. He submitted ‘pars’ (paragraphs) to a weekly magazine – “The Bulletin” – under the non-de-plume “The Banjo”.

Billabong – “ox bow” lake –

Ref. “Gallipoli”: “Attack the soft underbelly of Europe” – Winston Churchill – as First Sea Lord of the Admiralty at the time. It was a disaster. As Prime Minister during WW2 he again tried to promote this policy.

Thanks Anthony. (Memories of marching in an Anzac Day parade – about 1956 – as a member of the Australian Army Cadet Corps.)

Kevin McNeill
April 24, 2019 10:22 pm

My respects, brothers.
K.McNeill Lcdr RCN Ret.

Ken Stewart
April 24, 2019 10:25 pm

Thanks Anthony. Went to a dawn service this morning and watched my grandchildren march with their school in the parade later, wearing their great-grandad’s medals.
That clip may have been from a recruiting or similar film from WW2. The men are six abreast, an unusual formation (three abreast in WW2, four abreast in WW1 I believe- I may be wrong.) They are definitely serving troops, carrying rifles, and it was interesting to see the officer at the front turning to give orders!
Great to see another reminder of our past, when our freedoms were preserved at great cost.

lynette Roberts
Reply to  Ken Stewart
April 25, 2019 4:13 pm

I am wondering if they are getting ready for a parade in Melbourne, Very wide streets there, 4 abreast would not do the march parade justice.

April 24, 2019 10:53 pm

Very moving that you shouldl respect our heritage and history so much to feature this on your website with such a lot else of importance to publish. We in Australia should never forget the role of the US Navy at the Battle of Midway which put an end to any possibility of a Japanese Naval invasion of Australia in the Second World War. I’m getting a bit empotioal sbout it now after many beers at an ANZAC Day lunch so I’ll just sign off by saynig thanks for your thoughts Anthony.

Komrade Kuma
April 24, 2019 11:05 pm

Dear Anthony,

thank you very much for this post.

My father was a company commander in the Kokoda campaign* in New Guinea after serving in the middle east. I never spoke much to him about his experience except for one conversation when I was about 19 ( when Vietnam was still going but tapering to its sad conclusion). ‘War is hell, boy’ was the extent of his advice with a couple of one sentence ‘anecdotes’ about bullets and men’s heads. He never said a bad word about the Japanese just that they were brave and ferocious opponents.

* The ‘ragged bloody heroes’ of the Kokoda campaign rank with the ‘rats of Tobruk’ in the Australian WW2 pantheon and roughly equate to say Guadalcanal or even Iwo Jima for the US let alone Omaha and Utah beach or Bastogne.

His younger sister told me he was no longer the happy go lucky big brother she had known when he eventually came home. That was the man I knew and grew up with, a much more haunted person than she had known.

My uncle, Dad’s younger sister’s husband, was a regimental medical officer ( i.e. a doctor) who lost his right arm at the elbow when a young Japanese soldier burst into his aid post, bayonetted him in the elbow joint then pulled the trigger of his rifle. ‘He was just a kid doing his job’ my uncle told me over a cup of tea one day. He had been on a path to be a surgeon but became a radiologist due to the ‘disability’. His son is a professor of orthodaedics though.

ANZAC is a day of remembrance of the awful reality of war Lest We Forget.

John Johnston
April 24, 2019 11:08 pm

Thanks so much, Anthony.

Here in NZ, my bride of fifty years and I marched in eerie foggy darkness at six AM, with about seventy others. The short parade in Kerepehi village was kept in time by a single drummer.

During the brief service, the light slowly grew. After the bugle calls -The Last Post and Reveille, we marched back, our mood lifting with the light.

In honour of my father, I wore his WW2 campaign medals from Greece and North Africa. My late brother in his turn fought in Vietnam, so we honoured both men.

April 24, 2019 11:12 pm

I’m an older Aussie and that you posted that touches me deeply
For years I have kept that video on my phone and PC.

Thank you so much.

April 24, 2019 11:29 pm

Lest We Forget. I was present today at the Flinders Street, Melbourne march. It was very moving to see those few WW2 diggers there. We were next to a man and his young 4 year old daughter and she asked ‘Why don’t they do this every day daddy?’ [she loved the bands playing] and he he explained.
Thank you Anthony.

And for those who have served… Thank you for your service!

April 24, 2019 11:31 pm

That you posted that touches me deeply.
I’m an older Aussie and that video has been on my sequential phones and PCs for years.

Thank you

April 24, 2019 11:37 pm

Good job Anthony, ta.
It’s encouraging that Oz seems to be growing its appreciation over the past couple of decades for those who have served their country. ANZAC day observations went a bit quiet there for a while in the ’80s. (I don’t know if NZ experienced the same quiet phase)
And if there is one good sentiment we can all catch from you Yanks, it would be “Thank you for your service”, as expressed by ordinary citizens to our military personnel past and present.

April 24, 2019 11:46 pm

Many thanks, Anthony. Others have referred to the USA’s crucial support for Australia and New Zealand in some of the less well-known engagements in WWII. Also not well-known, I suspect, is that the first US soldiers in WWI fought with distinction under Australian command. Probably also less well-known in the USA is the relationship between Australia/NZ and Turkey. Our enemy, Turkey, at Gallipoli in WWI, was led by Mustafa Kamal (“Ataturk”), who became the founder of modern Turkey. After the war, he made this statement which is displayed in both Australia and New Zealand:
Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours … You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.“.
It’s difficult to read that statement without having to wipe away another tear.

Brent Walker
April 24, 2019 11:48 pm

I was born in Christchurch NZ but have lived in Australia for the last 51 years. I very much appreciated this post.
I have tears on my keyboard as i write this.

Brent Walker
April 24, 2019 11:52 pm

PS Our Anzac service at Hardys Bay was terrific today. I took 3 wreaths to it to honour our dead on behalf of the various associations I am treasurer of here.

Mariano Marini
April 24, 2019 11:56 pm

Here in Italy we celebrate 25 April as the “Liberation Day”. Thanks to all allies who died for OUR Freedom.
Sorry to say that young generation tent to forget the great sacrifice other people has done for US.
Thanks to all of you.

Reply to  Mariano Marini
April 25, 2019 1:22 am

I am Australian, but of Italian descent, and none of my relatives fought for Australia in WW1 or WW2. However I deeply appreciate the contribution to world peace made by Australia, Great Britain, the US, and other allies, in those wars.

Peter O'Brien
April 25, 2019 12:05 am

as an Australian Vietnam veteran I was very moved at your thoughtfulness in putting up this post. I thank you on behalf of all Australians and of all ANZACs, of which I was a member of a later incarnation 4th Battalion RAR/NZ (ANZAC).

Ron Long
Reply to  Peter O'Brien
April 25, 2019 3:17 am

Peter, I was in Vietnam at Dian, as an Air Traffic Controller. There was a Squadron of Australian OV-10 Broncos there, and “controlling” them was sometimes an adventure. Vietnam is an example of Australia supporting the USA. Riding co-pilot in an OV-10 with an Australian pilot, which I did many times, was totally different than anything else as they were very direct about engaging the enemy. Great song!

April 25, 2019 12:11 am

Thank you Anthony, very moving. My father served in WW2 in Singapore and Malaya, then was captured and as a prisoner went to Changi, Thai Burma Railway and Japan. He was one of the lucky ones, rescued by American troops, and returned home to his small town in country NSW. He married my mother and I was born 3 years after the war ended.

Alan Radlett
April 25, 2019 12:22 am

Anthony, A great tribute. Luckily I’ve never had to fight in any conflict, but deeply appreciative of all those who have. Once again a great tribute

April 25, 2019 12:34 am

The uncle I never met would go down with the HMAS Parramatta off Tobruk before his 21st birthday with so many young peers-
Surviving Seaman Harold Moss would write a letter to my grandmother explaining how her son had perished and also included a hand written account of an article in the Western Mail at the time describing the survival of Fred Tysoe which I tracked down here-
My father signing up at 19 would survive the war in the Pacific in khaki after also losing their cousin on the HMAS Sydney-

War is for the very young while older men command and fret for them.
Lest we forget.

April 25, 2019 1:06 am

I had the uncommon good fortune in my younger years, to know two gentlemen who had served in both world wars. One Ausrralian, the other Kiwi. There is no other conclusion to be reached other than that they KNEW what they were fighting for, and against. There is no other possible explanation for a man going through years on the Western Front, and putting his hand up for round two.

My great uncle is still “somewhere in the Dardanelles”. His name is on the New Zealand memorial there. Another came back from Gallipoli, shell-shocked, yet two other brothers returned apparently emotionally healthy.

I once asked my father – a WW2 New Guinea veteran – what was going through his mind when he signed up. “There was something bad coming, and it wasn’t going to be stopped by staying at home”.

I found wish that our current generation knew both how good we have it, and how easily it could vanish, if we let it.

Anthony….. thank you for remembering us on this day. There are worse friends to have than America.

Reply to  PeterW
April 26, 2019 3:28 pm

Hi Peter,
I was too young to ask my Grandpa why he enlisted in the Royal South Australian Regiment 1939 before he passed away, but I did ask my Pa who enlisted in the RAAF in 1941 why and his simple reply was; ‘to protect the women’.

April 25, 2019 1:21 am

A comment on the motivation of Australians to join what some modern commentators want to call a “European War”.

Australians of that time were accustomed to living in a world divided into empires, few of which were as benign as the British Empire. The heaviest concentrations of artillery in the Southern Hemisphere guarded the entrances to Melbourne’s and Sydney’s harbours. We had recently gained our independence as a sovereign nation , and the public literature is very clear on how important that was in the public mind, so any threat to that independence was taken seriously.

That should not be confused with isolationism. We saw ourselves as part of an international “family”, and in a functional family, the responsible adults see it is their duty to support other family members under threat.

Participation in world events, as a nation and by choice, was seen as proof of our maturity as a nation.

April 25, 2019 1:35 am

I’ll be attending the annual ANZAC day service today in Weymouth, on the South coast of England. Weymouth had a hospital used by the ANZACs in WW1.


French geographer
April 25, 2019 1:55 am

Thanks for your video and your touching text. In France, we remember the 295 000 Aussies who fought with their french comrades in the trenches during WWI. More than 60 000 lost their lives here as we can see in the Memorial of Villers-Bretonneux. We remember the Dardanelles in 1915 and the battle of Syria in 1941 with the Free French of De Gaulle against the traitors of the Vichy Army.
We are grateful for your support during these wars.

Ian Cooper
April 25, 2019 2:07 am

I was stunned to see this story at the top of the page. I had to blink a few times and then check that I had the right page. I’m amazed by your generosity in posting this for us down under. I understand that some of my fellow New Zealanders and our cousin Australians were great hosts during your visits here a while ago, and perhaps you gleaned from them something of what Anzac Day means to us?

Our family has only just in the past year found out that we lost a cousin of my grandfather just before Passchendaele in 1917. Even though 19 year old Graham only lived about 120 miles from my grandfather, the two families had lost contact with each other. Communication was not like it is now, nor was personal travel. It heightens one’s sense of loss that war can bring when even a distant family member is a casualty. Graham was the only son, so that line of our family did not continue as such. We are tracking down what happened to Graham’s sister, so hopefully we do have new cousins elsewhere.

Many thanks for your kind consideration.

Rob R
April 25, 2019 2:17 am


Thanks for the posting. We attended the ANZAC day ceremony in Kumara (NZ) today. My dad an uncle both served in WWII, one in the Navy in the English Channel, the other in the RAF as a bomber pilot. Both came home and raised families. Both knew why they going before they left for the war. Evil needs to be resisted. Neither felt comfortable discussing their experiences. Millions felt the same way, fought the fight, and thank god for that. The world owes them a great debt. We who live in peace and freedom should never forget.

Tombstone Gabby
Reply to  Rob R
May 1, 2019 8:18 pm

I ran across the following in a book of quotations:

“A soldier doesn’t fight because he hates what’s in front of him, he fights because he loves what’s behind him.”

April 25, 2019 2:35 am

Thanks for taking the time Anthony. Your article is more comprehensive than a lot in the local media.

Lest we forget.

April 25, 2019 3:24 am

my grandad didnt make it back from the japanese , I dont celebrate us getting killed for other peoples wars, but that fight was ours,
but i do like the song and it damn well should be the anthem and the southerncross should be our flag,
enjoy the pidgin version of waltzing Matilda

Grog Swiper
April 25, 2019 3:31 am


The marching song of one of America’s finest divisions, the 1st Marine Division is…Waltzing Matilda. Learnt after they were sent to Melbourne to recuperate from the Guadalcanal Campaign

April 25, 2019 4:17 am

We had an ANZAC Day parade and service in our local town of Marysville, Victoria. There were greater numbers than ever attending. This is a town in amazing recovery from the firestorm of 2009.
Thank you Anthony.

Patrick MJD
April 25, 2019 4:18 am

Thank you Anthony. My relatives fought with the ANZACs in WW1 and WW2.

April 25, 2019 4:36 am

G’day Yanks !

High Treason
April 25, 2019 4:48 am

It is a shame that our politicians have sold Australia out. The diggers died in vain. Australia is being sold off to foreign powers. They died to have Australia sold off to foreign interests who will not treat us very well once we have been substantially sold off. For heavens sake, China have bought Darwin’s port and they have airfield capacity already. They have a secure beachhead for when they want to just take the rest.

As for those treasonous politicians-those traitors, remember the most enduring lesson of history-throughout history, the first to the wall are ALWAYS those that betrayed their people. ALWAYS. The new regime will not want to be associated with such low scum, besides, they will not want to pay out on their promises. Easier and cheaper to pay out in lead. Second reason-once the useful idiots realise they have been used-like toilet paper, they will turn on the new regime. Too late-they have been executed. Third reason- those that have been betrayed will at least get some consolation and be put on side when the traitors get their just deserts. The more treacherous they have been, the more grisly the demise the throng will demand. With the breakdown of society, the thin veneer of civility and misguided tolerance (tolerance = submission. Submission=slavery) breaks down and the innate savagery of humans that has been suppressed for decades will be unleashed.
For our treasonous politicians that have been selling what is technically the domain of Her Majesty. This is an offence against the Monarch-High Treason. Look back through history to what happens to those guilty of High Treason. Your treachery is worse than any seen in human history. Look back at say what happened to Guy Fawkes for what such traitors can expect. Remember, once society collapses, all bets are off on the civility that has been shoved down our throats – the beast in us all will be unleashed.
Hopefully Clive Palmer gets a substantial share of the votes come election time-even with the debacles that have plagued him politically, many Australians secretly resent political correctness and its hatred of our own culture and Sovereignty.
Myself, I am voting for the most politically incorrect candidates- One Nation, Fraser Anning, Conservatives and the last few dinky-di Liberals (Jim Molan, Concetta Feranti-Wells, Craig Kelly, Tony Abbott, Angus Taylor-more complete list to come from my contacts in the Liberal Party.) Queenslanders MUST vote for Malcolm Roberts, probably the best Senator Australia has seen in decades. They smear those they fear. We go back many years-back to the Carbon Tax rallies. The Greens and the CSIRO will need plenty of brown knickers when they have to endure 6 years of relentless pressure from Malcolm. If anyone can make the propaganda campaign of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming/ “climate change” come unstuck, it is Malcolm Roberts.

Bruce Clark
April 25, 2019 5:02 am

Thanks for posting.

I had the pleasure of attending the dawn service this morning at Port Elliott in South Australia.
New Zealand National anthem in Maori and English followed by Australia’s national anthem.

I was surprised by the number of people young and old who were there. All with some connection. My grandfather served in France in WW1. His brother was killed in front of him. Dad served in RAAF in WW2 in Northern Australia and Torres Strait.

Thanks Norm, Archie and Uncle George who never came home.

April 25, 2019 5:07 am

Thanks Anthony.
I am in the middle of reading “The fatal shore” by Robert Hughes about the British transportation policy which kicked off the initial history (white) of Australia. An horrific read on the attitudes and mores of the time; so unacceptable these days.
I suggest the Walzing Matilda song has far deeper connotations to that you describe and goes back to those terrible times. My interpretation goes something like this; but may well be wrong:
The swagman was a Bushman being an escaped convict now living in the bush by marauding on small local farmers, sheep (jumbuck) stealing, cattle rustling and the hunting of kangaroos etc. His ilk being a severe problem fo the authorities particularly as they had a degree of sympathy and support from the largely convict community prevailing at the time.
The waltzing matilda refers to the hangman’s noose which was the legal sentence for his activities.
The Squatter probably referred to a small farmer, an ex- convict who had served his time and had been given a parcel of land for cultivation. The troopers of course were a small detachment of the army charged with dealing with the problem, being very thin on the ground and not very effective generally.
Hence the leap into the billabong to avoid waltzing with matilda. Probably very wise judging by the sort of treatment given to the convicts in those days. – 300 hundred lashes for relatively minor offences at the whim of a purported magistrate.

It is not therefore surprising that this song raises deep subconscious feelings for the Australians when they think of what some of their ancestors suffered and of the family tales past down on the resilience shown.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Alasdair
April 25, 2019 6:29 am

The interpretation that Waltzing Matilda was based on conflict between squatters and shearers (who included itinerant swagmen) of the 1890s is far more credible. Squatter was the term for the big pastoral land-owners, the small farmers were called selectors. The troopers were police not army. None of the theories about Waltzing Matilda include convicts. Transportation ended in eastern Australia by 1850 – and there had only been two convict ships to Sydney in the previous decade – so the few remaining convicts would have been getting on a bit when Banjo Paterson wrote the song in Queensland in 1895.

The most accepted version is as follows:

“In Queensland in 1891 the Great Shearers’ Strike brought the colony close to civil war and was broken only after the Premier of Queensland, Samuel Griffith, called in the military. In September 1894, some shearers at Dagworth Station were again on strike. The situation turned violent with the striking shearers firing their rifles and pistols in the air and setting fire to the woolshed at Dagworth, killing dozens of sheep. The owner of Dagworth Station and three policemen gave chase to a man named Samuel Hoffmeister, a German immigrant also known as “Frenchy”. Rather than be captured, Hoffmeister shot and killed himself at the Combo Waterhole.

Bob Macpherson (the brother of Christina) and Paterson are said to have taken rides together at Dagworth. Here they would probably have passed the Combo Waterhole, where Macpherson is purported to have told this story to Paterson. Although not remaining in close contact, Paterson and Christina Macpherson both maintained this version of events until their deaths. Amongst Macpherson’s belongings, found after her death in 1936, was an unopened letter to a music researcher that read “… one day I played (from ear) a tune, which I had heard played by a band at the Races in Warrnambool … he [Paterson] then said he thought he could write some words to it. He then and there wrote the first verse. We tried it and thought it went well, so he then wrote the other verses.” Similarly, in the early 1930s on ABC radio Paterson said “The shearers staged a strike and Macpherson’s woolshed at Dagworth was burnt down and a man was picked up dead … Miss Macpherson used to play a little Scottish tune on a zither and I put words to it and called it Waltzing Matilda.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waltzing_Matilda

I think we should take Paterson’s word for the origin.

Reply to  Tom Foley
April 25, 2019 1:31 pm

This version of the origins of WM closely matches my family history, where my great grandfather owned the Imperial Hotel in Winton, which town was the watering-hole for many of the players in the shearers’ strike that gave rise to the “swagman” drowning in the billabong.

Great-grandfather was also the acting Agent for the Shearers’ Union, and supported the striking shearers with supplies of food and staples.

My grandfather maintained that he could remember as a child the song “Waltzing Matilda” being sung in his father’s hotel at Winton.

April 25, 2019 5:40 am

I have had the honor to stand a pay my respects at the ANZAC Memorial in Brisbane. Thank you for your service.

April 25, 2019 6:54 am

Huzzah, Diggers! Never forget many of us up north will always honor your sacrifices!

April 25, 2019 6:58 am

And no, I could not watch the vid all the way through. Two songs make me cry, Waltzing Matilda and The Campbells Are Coming. You ain’t much of a soldier if you can stand dry eyed through either.

April 25, 2019 7:02 am

Appreciate it Anthony. It’s one of the few days the shops close and people remember. Watching docos about some of those battles is a revelation. Australian, NZ and US forces really fought as one back then, and it definitely made for a better world.

janice baker
April 25, 2019 9:55 am

thank you.
I particularly enjoyed the explanation(s) of the lyrics. Whichever one is right, they all express the cocky, anti-authoritarian attitudes of Aussies(at the time) – both irritating and charming AND which are needed now, more than ever.
I am Canadian; dad was a navigator/bombardier in the RCAF in WW II, stationed in England; he told lots of stories – naughty adventures (buzzing the Eiffel Tower), eccentric colleagues, official incompetence – BUT never about combat. He enjoyed working with Polish and Indian air force colleagues.
When visiting Ottawa, we saw the official war memorial “to our glorious dead”. “nothing glorious about war” he muttered. He disclaimed heroism, but felt strongly there was a job that needed doing and he did his share

April 25, 2019 11:58 am

You are indeed a Champion Anthony for posting this. I would like to echo the comments of David William Spencer Sivyer re – “battles of the Coral Sea, Bismark Sea and Guadalcanal aside.” I have read widely for decades on WWII and Australia was fortunate the US sent so many of their few Pacific carriers to the Coral Sea in May 1942 so soon after Pearl Harbor. I realize they were reading some enemy signals.
Re Kokoda – I have a view that it is appalling that Australia rushed such raw & untrained troops to Kokoda – considering that Japan had been rampaging around north Asia since 1931 – there is no excuse IMHO for our politicians to have had us so poorly prepared so near home in 1942.
Over a couple of decades – what I term the “Paul Keating and Channel 9” version of history says that the Kokoda campaign “saved” Australia. IMHO there is much evidence contrary to that.
First the Divisional strength defeat of Japanese forces on Guadalcanal by the US.
Second – any Japanese that got near Port Moresby were a weakened, disease ridden and poorly supplied crew that could have been harried more by Allied Air and ground Forces if the need had been critical.
Third – we know from Japanese documents that in 1942 conferences their Army was against invading Australia because of our size and the need for too many Divisions – when they were bogged down in China. We were fortunate that Japanese strategy at their top Army-Navy level was not exactly handled the most effectively and the IJN was left to define the south east margins of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. We know that post Midway and by the end of 1942 momentum was increasingly with the US and their huge naval expansion.

A few words on WWI. You often see views expressed in media along lines of – “what the hell was Australia doing in 1915 going half way around the World to invade Turkey anyway!”
I find it is seldom that media explains that the Ottoman Empire was allied with Germany and the central Powers against the British and French – us included. High level German Army and Navy missions were in what is now Turkey doing their best to get the Ottomans enthused to do more to assist Germany in the War. The Ottoman Navy lead by the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben and the light cruiser SMS Breslau had already attacked the Black Sea coast of Russia in October 1914. The Ottomans had a large army advised by the German General Otto Liman von Sanders and in Jan-Feb 1915 had attempted a raid on the Suez Canal. The Ottomans Army engaged in dozens of operations during the war from the Caucasus to Iraq and Egypt generally tied up many Allied troops that could have been otherwise employed fighting Germany in France.
Seizing the Dardanelles was a worthwhile war aim which the Allies had the forces to achieve and had the entire March-April 2015 campaign been better administered from the top the result could have been better.
Apologies for raving on.

April 25, 2019 12:50 pm

thanks for writing this. Those who follow my posts will know I don’t always support the content of the articles written on WUWT and that I am what many here would call an alarmist. But it is nice to know that on what is a special day for us Kiwis, you took the time.

High Treason
April 25, 2019 1:45 pm

The Anzac spirit has unfortunately evaporated. The diggers were volunteers-volunteering to put their lives on the line to defend King and Country. These days, patriotism is denigrated by the Left. Christianity is demonised. Just look at the Sri Lankan coordinated massacre-left leaning figures could not bear to mention the word “Christian” in their statements to the press. Considering Judeo-Christian values are at the very core of our Constitution, civilisation and society, this displays a disturbing betrayal of our society. Their treachery reflects values that are the opposite of what our society stands for.

I doubt you would see the leftist-brainwashed youth of today putting their hands up to defend Australian Sovereignty. They have been brainwashed to just surrender. Throughout history, a tribe, society or nation that was unable or worse still, unwilling to defend themselves almost invariably was vanquished-their land plundered, their women (and men these days in this era of equality) raped, their people slaughtered and enslaved, their culture expunged from history. In short, thoroughly vanquished. As in my previous comment, those traitors that sold out their society are more than likely to come to a sticky end.

Richard Aubrey
April 25, 2019 1:46 pm

My father’s division–104th ID Timberwolves (US)–was assigned to Monty clearing Holland. My father encountered Brits, Aussies, and Canadians. Had a great opinion of them all. Did say that the Aussies and Canadians hated the hauteur and command distance of the Brit officers and so, when one was about, called their own officers by their first names.
One of my mom’s brothers was a Marine and spent some time in Australia. Thought well of his time there.

April 25, 2019 2:39 pm

I am a WWII history buff.

I thank the Australians and New Zealanders for their contributions and sacrifices.

lynette Roberts
April 25, 2019 4:07 pm

I have three great uncles, brothers who perished in France and Belgium, WW1, serving in NZ forces and Australian.
William, Robert & Benjamin Sanderson. (Benjamin with Au forces) None of these 3 have descendants.
My G’father John Sanderson returned home with gas injuries, he then died in 1937.
WW2 arrives and my father and his first cousin both enlist, Stanley Blackwell buried El Alamein, dad survived, I was born 1951.
John’s file is an interesting read in archway archives.nz. almost his final note on file is “It is desired” and a reference to a number that I cannot find any meaning to other than the yr date, he was already on a posting back to England.
What makes it possibly more interesting is this is after his 3 brothers have been killed, and a begging letter from mother saying have I not given enough, with the loss of 3 sons, copy on Australian file, many family discussions of does it have any significance.
I have tried finding other references to “it is desired” in time of war, in personal files does not exist, or not that I can find, but you can find it in various documents from VERY SENIOR persons of interest, ie it is desired you do not bomb paris.
Eliza Jane, mother of above 4 boys, and grandson lived to see VE, died late May 1945.

April 25, 2019 4:27 pm

Thank you Anthony for the kind words. Perhaps the day resonates so much with Aussies because in the First World War we lost so many from a small population.Australia had a population of roughly 5 million and from that there were;
416,809 Enlistments
329,968 Sailings

We had
215,585 Casualties
166,789 Wounded
59,341 Deaths
86,666 Other Casualties

For years after, they were known as the “Lost Generation”. Pretty much the entire population aged from 18-45 volunteered to fight. (And quite a few who lied about their age.)

We shall remember them.

April 25, 2019 7:51 pm


The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) honours the 1.7 million men and women of the Commonwealth forces who died in the First and Second World Wars, and ensures they will never be forgotten

The uncle I never knew.

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April 26, 2019 3:28 am

Thanks for this.

I’m one of the lucky ones, for all kinds of accidents of history my family were little touched by WW1 (the second war – a little different). Anzac day meant little when I was younger, but progressively more as I turn into a grumpy old fart.

A year ago I had the privilege of being shown around the battlegrounds of Ieper (Ypres) in Belgium, with some stops at the Commonwealth War Graves, and the last post at the Menin Gate – all a few days before Anzac Day.

What can I say? One of the most harrowing days I’ve ever experienced. The horror and sacrifice are difficult to comprehend.

If possible – visit these places – to try and ensure we never forget.

I now look with newly opened eyes at the monuments all through Australia, in the older suburbs and churches, and especially in the country towns. Every town has a monument, they are still all well cared for.

Anzac Day is a big deal still, as it should be.

April 26, 2019 2:28 pm

In Flanders fields, a new monument was put in place yesterday on Anzac day for the Maori’s whom lost their life in the first WW:

Impressive moment when a few men did the haka. Thanks to all the old generations of so many countries which helped to end that war and freed us up from occupation.

My own father was a prisoner of war after only 10 days after the start of the fighting. Nobody was prepared then for a long war, so there was nothing for them: only a kind of camp, no food during days and little for the next months. He was very lucky that after a half year he might work on a farm, because all young men were at war and they needed the workforce. At least had something to eat…

April 26, 2019 3:03 pm

Thanks Anthony,
Amazingly for a gobshite like myself, I really don’t have anything more to say than just thank you.
Back in the day when I was a part time soldier, and young (who enlisted for entirely corny, patriotic reasons according to most of my university contemporaries), the tune that stirred everyone while sitting up polishing boots and brass long into the night before Anzac day was Cold Chisel’s ‘Khe Sahn’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTjvG4WJD_A. Having enlisted in the RAE (to a man because it meant we’d ‘get to blow shit up’) the song’s opening line might have had something to do with its popularity in the Squardon.
I had the privilage of visting Menin Gate and Hill 60 while in Ypres a couple of years ago with my old man and young son. On my first visit to Baku in 2001, having gone for a walk, I found myself in a memorial to Azeri soldiers killed fighting with their Turkish brothers in Gallipoli. Sobering, humbling experiences that lead me to wondering if I’m really worthy of the sacrifices on both sides.
Lest we forget. Not least because he who forgets history is doomed to repeat it

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