“They shall grow not old …”

For ANZAC Day, one of our family’s WWI stories.

Shaking the tree

WWI enlistment portrait: Eric Andrew Gray (20 October 1895 - 27 March 1918), with sisters Doris and Ethel Gray c. 1917. Image: Gray family archive (courtesy of Peter Duncan). Enlistment portrait: Eric Andrew Gray (20 October 1895 – 27 March 1918), with sisters Doris and Ethel Gray c. 1916. Image: Gray family archive (courtesy of Peter Duncan).

Today is ANZAC day; the day that New Zealanders and Australians commemorate our countrymen and women who have died in wars, and honour our returned servicemen and women.

What is ANZAC Day?

The date marks the first landing of Australian and New Zealand troops (ANZACs) on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey; 25 April 1915. The ANZACs were part of a larger Allied force comprising also British, French and other Commonwealth troops which aimed to capture the Dardanelles (strategically, the gateway to the Bosphorus and the Black Sea) from its Turkish defenders.

mp.natlib.govt.nzLanding at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, Turkey, in 1915. Photographer unidentified. Source: Alexander Turnbull Library.

The campaign lasted eight months; cost over 130,000 lives (Turkish and Allied) and ended with the exhausted and…

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14 thoughts on ““They shall grow not old …”

  1. Su,
    We go as a family to the dawn service on 25th April as often as work and school etc allow (exams, hospital specialist appointments, urgent client work)
    We all went this year, and it was good to see a few more kids from the Kiwi/Aussie community there too. The New Zealand, Australian, Turkish, USA Ambassadors join us as well as many other dignitaries, Dutch and otherwise, so it’s also full of tight security but Kiwi’s come from all over the Netherlands to join in, so it’s a very special day of coming together to remember.
    Thank you for a beautiful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I’m glad there is a dawn service in the Netherlands for Anzac Day. I think of NZ as being a place where many Dutch people settled, but I don’t tend to think of many Kiwis living in the Netherlands. Which is silly I know — given what travellers we are!

      Like

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