Remembering and supporting family on Anzac Day in Yanchep

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Jane Montgomery and family laying a wreath at the Yanchep memorial in memory of a family member who served in the 28th Maori Battalion. Picture: Anita McInnes

CARLY Brisby of Yanchep was among those to attend the Anzac Day service in the Yanchep National Park earlier today.

“My grandfather fought in World War II and was a prisoner at Changi I believe so I’m just here to remember him and the other soldiers that fought in all the wars,’’ she said.

Shaun Noone was there to support his parents who had both served – his mum in the army and his dad in the army and air force.

“I’m here with my mum, who is captain of the Two Rocks Bush Fire Brigade, and my dad as well,’’ he said.

Amanda Giles and Michelle Gawthorne said they were there to watch their sons march  in the parade with the Two Rocks Youth in Emergency Services Cadets.

In his Anzac Day address Yanchep Two Rocks RSL president Bill Jones said in the very early morning 108 years ago the landing of allied troops took place along the rocky shores and headlands of the Gallipoli peninsular in Turkey.

“It was an effort to consolidate passage through the Dardanelles Strait,” he said.

“Landings were carried out by military forces from Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and France to name but a few, at various locations along the coast with support provided by many naval ships.

“None of those brave people are still with us today.

“It is appropriate therefore that we revisit the reasons why we commemorate Anzac Day each year in April and understand exactly what it means to us as a nation and as individuals.

“It has been said many times over the years that April 25, 1915 was the day on which Australia as officially only a 14-year-old federation of states having formed into one country am of age.

“That may well be true and why the day is held in high regard in our national calendar.

“Having said that Anzac Day along with any of the other commemorative days we observe is not in any way a celebration of military victory.

Australian army cadet Kean Coetzee of Yanchep leading the Anzac Day parade at Yanchep National Pak. Picture: Anita McInnes

“The landings at Gallipoli in fact were a good example of little achievement and pretty much a military failure.

“The Australian and New Zealand troops in particular were actually landed in the wrong place after setting out in boats about 3.30 in the morning from the fleet of ships anchored offshore.”

Mr Jones said the night was so dark that the shoreline was not visible apart from the last few hundred yards.

“Initial landings only encountered fairly light rifle fire from the Turkish army defenders but their positions were quickly reinforced.

“By mid-morning the Anzacs were facing constant withering rifle and machine gun fire from above.

“By the end of that first day about 2000 men had been killed for an overall gain in territory of about 6sqkm and inland penetration from the beach of less than 1km.

“From that point the next eight months was basically a stalemate where all that ever changed on both sides was the number of casualties – pretty much a planning disaster.

“The planners did in fact get the eventual evacuation in December 1915 right as it was highly successful.

“The final estimated count just for that part of World War I was in the region of 250,000 on both sides with about 10,000 being Australians and New Zealanders.

“Some of the other allies suffered greater losses as a ratio of the number of troops who had landed.

“Of course it is not just Gallipoli, nor indeed just World War I that we remember on this day.

Two Rocks Youth in Emergency Services Cadets Sophie Barlow and Angus Smith at the Yanchep National Park mid-morning Anzac Day service. Picture: Anita McInnes

“It is set aside for us to collectively give thanks to all those men and women along with a vast number of war animals who served alongside the humans and went through the same atrocious conditions.

“All put their lives at risk and in far too many instances paid the supreme sacrifice in giving their lives.

“We pause to reflect upon the similar costs of other conflicts following World War I…World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Borneo and Malaya, Cambodia, Somalia, Rwanda, The Gulf War, Solomon Islands, East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.’’

He said 2023 was in fact the 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War for Australian personnel in 1973 and the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War in 1953.

“We also acknowledge the losses and sacrifices of families of those who served.

“It is to be remembered that those who did the fighting in all those places, never in fact started any of the engagement they were involved in – that was and still is the responsibility of governments and their leaders.

Riley Nagtzaam and Cora Babenschneider from the Yanchep Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service lay a wreath at the 2023 mid-morning Anzac Day service organised by the Yanchep Two Rocks RSL. Picture: Anita McInnes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Accordingly, therefore all of those who ever serve as sailors, soldiers, airmen, nurses, doctors and other supporting staff do so on behalf of the government and people of Australia in our case.

“Anzac Day therefore is a day for all Australians to remember regardless of religion, background or place of birth…it is simply a day to commemorate the bravery and self-sacrifice of past and present generations.

“A day to acknowledge those who have been prepared to lay down their lives so that we, our current society, continue to live in a country of peace and freedom for all.

“We pause to honour those who served, yet not honouring war.

“That which should never be honoured, being a dirty, inhumane and cruel exercise, generally a last resort when all diplomatic efforts have failed to achieve a righteous outcome.

“We spare a thought today also for the inevitable quite vast numbers of innocent victims of all conflicts.

“Australia’s servicemen and women may be proud of what they have achieved with deeds appreciated by the nation’s people.

“It is fair to say that they helped create a tradition by which our still relatively young country may display with honour in any company.’’

Towards the end of the service during the Wanneroo Civic Choir’s performance of Lee Kernaghan’s song Spirit of the Anzacs a flock of Carnaby’s black cockatoos put in a noisy appearance as they are wont to do.