ANZAC DAY: Dad wanted to forget 'disastrous' experience

MY DAD was born in New Zealand's South Island town of Timaru in 1891, the youngest in a family of nine children. An older brother had served in the Boer War.

His father died suddenly when he was 12.

When World War Two broke out, Jack enlisted in the Wellington Battalion and along with hundreds of other Australians and New Zealanders left from Albany in Western Australia for Egypt.

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Almost 101 years ago, the Anzacs sailed from Alexandria to the Dardanelles and on April 25 the Anzacs landed at Gallipoli.

In July, Dad was taken off sick with dysentery to Malta, and later to England, where he spent a year in and out of hospital.

Anzac Day
Anzac Day Craig Warhurst

He was then posted to the Anzac Provost Corps, and spent the rest of his service in the UK before departing from London in January 1919, arriving back in NZ in May.

Like many other returned servicemen, he rarely spoke about his experiences at Gallipoli.

He said he had been to hell and back.

He never attended Anzac services - said most of his mates were dead and he just wanted to forget the disastrous experience.

Personally, I find it highly offensive that some people want to rewrite history and do away with Anzac Day, our country's flag and anthems - even change the wording on the Chaplain's hat badge.

Maybe they should find a country more to their liking.

Lest we forget.

PAUL EVANS

Kawungan



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