Do Not Forget Australia

@JudyEv (134371)
Bunbury, Australia
April 22, 2016 7:13pm CST
In Australia, April 25 is a holiday designated as ANZAC Day. ANZAC is an acronym for Australian New Zealand Army Corps. While we were travelling in northern France in August 2015 we visited Villers-Bretonneux. On April 24 and 25 1918, German troops overran the town in a tank battle with the British. They then faced two Australian brigades in a counter attack. The decisive battle, which resulted in 2,400 Australian casualties, marked the end of the German advance in the Somme. Nearby, the Australian National Memorial stands as a monument to the many dead and missing who gave their lives. We found the name of Vince's great uncle, his grandmother's brother, who was in a field hospital when it was blown up. His body was never found. We also met a French woman and her four children. The woman brings her children there every year to remind them of the sacrifices that were made so they might live in freedom. But the most significant fact is that, at the school, the children are taught 'Do No Forget Australia'. The words are written in large letters along the front of the classrooms. L'Ecole Victoria (Victoria School) is named in honour of the state of Victoria in gratitude for funds raised to rebuild the school in 1919. Some of the street are named after Australian cities and there are numerous references to Australia. Between 1914 and 1918, 45% of Australia's eligible males signed up for war service. 10% died, 20% were injured and a further 20% were dead within 10 years. It is a very sobering experience to visit the little museum at the school and see so much Australiana. I guess I find it a bit hard to understand why there is so much emphasis on the Australians just in this one spot. I don't know of any other town that honours another nation in quite the same way. The photo shows Vince and I with the mayor. There was to be a book-signing at the school and the mayor was waiting for the author to arrive.
21 people like this
17 responses
@Hatley (164486)
• Garden Grove, California
23 Apr 16
I think it is wonderful though that they do honor the nation of Australia and all who fought in the name of freedom. really wonder f ul idea.
5 people like this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
Yes, I felt very humbled that they keep up this practice after nearly 100 years.
@Macarrosel (7541)
• Philippines
23 Apr 16
It's great to know about Australian holiday. Nice photo with the mayor.
3 people like this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
We were lucky to be there on that day. Thanks.
@LadyDuck (175667)
• Switzerland
23 Apr 16
April 25 is also an official holiday in Italy. It is called "Liberation Day", it marks the fall of Mussolini's Italian Social Republic and the end of the Nazi occupation in Italy in 1945.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
I have a vague idea you told me this last ANZAC Day. Do you celebrate in any way? I think this year we will go to the dawn service in our town.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (175667)
• Switzerland
24 Apr 16
@JudyEv In Italy it is a holiday, of course we do not celebrate here in Switzerland.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
@LadyDuck I forgot with my last comment just where you lived. I think my brain is getting tired!
1 person likes this
@BelleStarr (39654)
• United States
23 Apr 16
It is rather touching though that something that took place almost a hundred years ago is still honored.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
I can't get my head around it quite. I think the men were in the village for quite some time and helped with lots of things. And I guess if they saved the village from being occupied and destroyed... But there would have been many more with similar circumstances I would have thought. I think I need to read about it again.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (55052)
• United Kingdom
23 Apr 16
That must have made you feel proud of your countrymen, Judy.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
It did make us feel proud and very humble too.
1 person likes this
@miniam (9233)
• Bern, Switzerland
23 Apr 16
Wanted to visit Australia when i was younger but the distance always stopped me,now i know i might never visit, i will need at least 6 weeks to make the most of it if i have to fly so far away and i only have 4 weeks holidays in a year and the 4 holidays must be divided into a minimum 2 holidays of 2 weeks then 2 weeks
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
Holiday restrictions like yours would make it very difficult for you to visit. Australia is such a long way away.
@annierose (18021)
• Philippines
24 Apr 16
Where are you from @minisam? I would like to visit Australia by next month if the embassy will grant my tourist visa.
1 person likes this
@miniam (9233)
• Bern, Switzerland
24 Apr 16
@annierose Im from Switzerland.Philippines is not too far from Australia.I need over 16 hours from my appartment till im in Australia,too long.
2 people like this
@annierose (18021)
• Philippines
24 Apr 16
I am not an Australian but I will definitely not forget Australia. ANZAC is very familiar to me as I included it in my itinerary when I made it. I hope I can visit Australia by next month. It is the same here in our country. There are also dates in our calendar in which we celebrate heroism of certain people.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
We are probably going to go to the dawn service tomorrow with is ANZAC Day.
1 person likes this
@annierose (18021)
• Philippines
24 Apr 16
@JudyEv Good luck and enjoy your visit. I hope I can visit it too soon.
1 person likes this
@just4him (126889)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
23 Apr 16
That's a wonderful honor for Australia. Good picture of you at the school.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
It is so good of them to remember in this way yet it still seems strange to me. There are grave-sites that they keep clean but those doing the cleaning were only kids at the time. Glad you like the photo, thanks.
1 person likes this
@just4him (126889)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
24 Apr 16
@JudyEv That's great they do that.
1 person likes this
@TRBRocks420 (82396)
• Banks, Oregon
23 Apr 16
Very interesting and, nice picture of you all.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
It was hot and sunny that day. I didn't think we'd have so many hot days.
1 person likes this
@TRBRocks420 (82396)
• Banks, Oregon
24 Apr 16
@JudyEv It was really hot here most of last week too. Glad it's cooled down now.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (50050)
• United States
24 Apr 16
Thank you for sharing this with us.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
25 Apr 16
You're welcome. It was a special day seeing all the Australian references.
@ida123 (6237)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
24 Apr 16
It is good to know another interesting views of Australia, thanks for sharing friend.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
We learnt quite a bit about Australia ourselves on this trip.
• Austin, Texas
23 Apr 16
I'm not likely to forget Australia. But it's even more unlikely that I'll ever travel to Australia. Fortunately, I have a friend who does visit from time to time and she can talk to me about it. Australia and also New Zealand are on my imaginary bucket list of "Places to See". Another friend of mine went on vacation to NZ.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
It is a bit of a shame that Australia is quite so far away. I haven't been to NZ yet.
1 person likes this
@DeborahDiane (23714)
• Laguna Woods, California
23 Apr 16
What a wonderful memory. I'm glad you got to visit that site and the museum. I hope you do read the novel "Light Between Oceans" one of these days. It tells the story of a man who returned to Australia after fighting in WWI and he has PTSD ... although they did not have a name for it in those days. It is an interesting story.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
I have made a note of the title of the book. My great uncle came back with shell-shock and another only lived a little while after being shipped back home.
@epiffanie (10404)
• Australia
23 Apr 16
That's very touching that they honour the memory ..Lovely photo
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
Thanks. It was strange to think they are still honouring these brave men in this way.
1 person likes this
@Dena91 (4631)
• United States
23 Apr 16
It's good to have memorials set up to remind us of our history, to remember those who gave that we might have our freedoms. When we travel we try to locate memorials like this. It's amazing how many there are. I'll never forget going to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania as a kid. There was a large monument with the names of those lost in battle there, both from the Confederate and Union armies. I remember how quite everyone became when the park ranger was talking about that battle, one of the worst of the entire war. Have a blessed evening
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
I can imagine going to Gettysburg would evoke similar feelings. There were just row after row of crosses and list after list of names. And even more sobering - many of the crosses had 'known only to God' on them.
1 person likes this
@teamfreak16 (41309)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
23 Apr 16
Yet another interesting thing I've learned today on this site. Thanks!
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
I'm always learning stuff here. Glad you enjoyed it.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (62755)
• Los Angeles, California
23 Apr 16
I watched the TV mini-series ANZAC Girls about the nurses serving at the front. I have also seen Gallipoli.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134371)
• Bunbury, Australia
24 Apr 16
I thought the mini-series was very well done.