Lest We Forget

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Anzac Day History; Sacrifice

Lest We Forget

22 April 2024 Hits:1096

Next year will mark the 110th anniversary of Anzac Day when thousands of brave young men went ashore on a foreign beach in a distant land.

In a display of courage, determination, and mateship, these Australians and New Zealanders created a legend that, when retold today, evokes pride and passion in a new generation of Australians.

1915

In 1915, Australian & New Zealand Soldiers scaled the heights as they were met by merciless fire from Turkish guns, but they hung on, dug their trenches, and prepared to attack.

From April to December of that year, the Allied forces held on till the order came from London for the withdrawal. By then, 7,600 Australians and nearly 2,500 New Zealanders had been killed, and 19,000 Australians and almost 5,000 New Zealanders had been wounded. French casualties were as high as the ANZACS, and Britain lost three times as many. Turkey lost 86,000 troops.

ANZAC Day

From 1916 onwards, ANZAC Day was established on 25 April—the day the ANZACS landed at Gallipoli—as a memorial to honour and remember those servicemen who lost their lives serving their respective countries. Since then, ANZAC Day has been extended as a memorial to all people who sacrificed to preserve the freedom we enjoy today.

The battles at Gallipoli forged the Anzac spirit of courage under fire, selflessness, unwavering loyalty, tenacity, and mateship. The legend of the Anzacs has transcended time to become a symbol of what we value as Australians.

The Man with the Donkey

On Anzac Day, we stop to remember and reflect on the sacrifices of people who served our nation in times of war and peace. One such person is John Simpson Kirkpatrick, a swaggie, cane cutter, miner and sailor from Australia, who landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 25 April 1915 at a place now known as ANZAC Cove. With his donkey Duffy, he became the best-loved figure at Gallipoli as he carried the wounded to the dressing station.

Known as “the man with the donkey,” he transported the wounded day after day amid fierce shrapnel fire. He was shot dead on 19 May that year. Kirkpatrick served in this way for just three weeks, and we remember his heroism, courage, and sacrifice over 100 years later.

One thousand nine hundred years earlier, another man with a donkey rode into Jerusalem, also on his way to sacrifice his life for others.

Lest we Forget

ANZAC Day is a Memorial Day lest we forget those who gave their lives to purchase our freedom in this world. We Christians also recall and reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus to buy our freedom not only in this life but also in the one to come.

Rob Buckingham

Senior Minister

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