That time of the year (25 April) when New Zealand and Australia remembers and celebrates the service of our men and women of the Army, Navy & Air Force (see link to Anzac day 2016 Anzac day 2016).
Today is the 101st Anzac day and it seems to be gaining in importance for both countries each year. Even in my small home town (population of about 13,000 people) there were about 100 people present at this mornings dawn service at the war memorial. For myself I look on this time to not only acknowledge the service and sacrifice of New Zealanders but remember the sacrifices of all service people and thank them all for their service. So if you are reading this and are a former service person or you are currently serving, thank you for your service and sacrifice.
Thought I would show a few of my Anzac related items, which you will hopefully find interesting.
Starting with perhaps my smallest item.This small tie pin is nine carat gold and is made up of both NZ and Australian iconography. Topped by the kings crown the central image of the Australian sunburst Image (used on the army’s universal cap/collar badge) and NZ Moa bird (could also be an Australian Emu) is surrounded by the NZ silver fern and is finished off with the base scroll with “ANZAC” engraved on it.
The back of this nice little tie pin that would have been worn by a proud former Gallipoli veteran.
These three World War One medals were issued to a NZ serviceman who had served and survived the Gallipoli Campaign.The medals are (from left to right) the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal & Victory Medal (also known as Pip, Squeak and Wilfred).
The impressing on the rim of the BWM and Victory and back of the 1914-15 Star, show they were awarded to 10/1245 Sergeant E. GRANT, New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
10/1245 Ernest GRANT landed on the Gallipoli Peninsular on the 25 April 1915 with the Wellington Infantry Battalion. After serving in the 7th Wellington West Coast Regiment from the landing for just over 4 months, he was attached to the Brigade Headquarters as a cook. Like many who served on the peninsula, his health suffered and in October he was evacuated off Gallipoli to Number 2, Australian General Hospital, Mudros with diarrhea. In January 1916 he left the island of Lemnos being evacuated to Cairo on the Australian hospital ship Asturias. After a period of recuperation in Egypt and training and instruction in the United Kingdom he then went on to serve with the 2nd Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment, in France. He survived the war and even went on to serve at home in the Second World War. He passed away in Nelson, New Zealand in May 1956.
My last item was for a New Zealander who did not make it back home from Gallipoli being killed there on the 3 May 1915.
I have a strong interest in collecting both the official and un-official ways of commemorating New Zealand’s war dead and this particular piece is one of my favourites.
Stanley MURCOTT was from Otago in the South Island of New Zealand and enlisted for service in the 1st NZ Expeditionary Force on the 26 August 1914. He landed on ANZAC cove on the 25 April 1915 with the 4th Otago Company, Otago Infantry Battalion. The 2nd to 3rd of May 1915 was a bad time for the Otago Battalion. They were assigned to launch an attack up Monash Gully in an attempt to help Godley’s New Zealand & Australian Division seize Baby 700. The attack on the 2nd May began badly with the Otago’s arriving one and a half hours late at the jump off point because of unfamiliarity with the terrain, the weather and descending darkness. The attack was a total failure: no ground was gained, and there were about 800 casualties. The Otago’s lost about half their strength as killed, wounded and missing. During the morning of 3 May the remnants of the Otago Infantry Battalion mustered on the beach over half the men were absent from the roll call. Of the 4th Otago’s alone, only 57 out of about 200 answered the roll call.
Stanley’s name, along with others from the district, on the Hampden War memorial.