Today, April 25 2015, marks the centenary of the landings on the beach at Gallipoli of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

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ANZAC Day is a focal point in the Australian calendar. It has become the day on which we mark our respect for all who serve in uniform, and the day we honour our war dead. The rights and wrongs of the Gallipoli campaign have been argued for a hundred years already. They will be argued for another hundred years and beyond. I myself would be happier if the defeat at Gallipoli was balanced with celebration of our victory at Milne Bay. But I’ve made that point already, elsewhere. Today I will let pictures do most of the talking.

(All images link back to their sources.)

AVP-Melbourne

Melbourne served as the seat of the federal government from 1901 to 1927. When the First World War ended in 1918 it was therefore the logical place to build a grand war memorial. The poster above dates from 1936. The Shrine of Remembrance, in the top right corner, was completed only two years earlier. Well before that it had become a significant landmark.

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The final design adhered to this early sketch in most aspects. The broader surrounding marked by the statues of horsemen was abandoned, and the vast paved area is instead mostly parkland.

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On the day of its dedication in 1934 the Shrine attracted a crowd estimated at 300,000. This was about one-third of Melbourne’s population at the time.

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During the dedication it was decreed that the Shrine would always be visible from the city and that no building along St Kilda Road would be permitted that would interrupt that view. So far, in spite of Melbourne’s growth as a world city, that decree has held.

There have been some changes to the Shrine itself, and numerous additions. Surrounding parklands feature many smaller memorials. A development of recent years is mostly hidden beneath the main structure: the Shrine stands on an artificial hill, resting on pillars with the earth built up around it. This created an undercroft which now houses a visitor centre.

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Accessible through the new wings that flank the main structure, the centre provides a gentler means of entry for old warriors.

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The photo of the dedication ceremony includes a feature now lost: the reflecting pool before the north face, in the avenue leading down toward the city. This was removed to make way for the World War Two Forecourt.

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The World War Two Memorial is a touch of modernism in a precinct that is dominated by classical style. Six solid warriors – two sailors, two soldiers, two airmen – bear the coffin of a slain brother. The coffin is draped with the Australian flag (the Federation Star is visible just above the soldier).

Although rated as one of Melbourne’s prime tourist attractions the Shrine retains a quiet distance, and a dignity. The long walk up the avenue to the north entrance can be a sobering experience. The noise of the trams clanging their way through the city traffic grows subdued. This place has been touched by the spirits of those who died in faraway places; the earth moistened by the tears of those who mourned them. However bright and sunny the day, a visitor is compelled to thoughtfulness.

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The east and west external walls are adorned with four carvings that represent Peace, Justice, Patriotism and Sacrifice.

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LET ALL MEN KNOW THAT THIS IS HOLY GROUND. THIS SHRINE, ESTABLISHED IN THE HEARTS OF MEN AS ON THE SOLID EARTH, COMMEMORATES A PEOPLE’S FORTITUDE AND SACRIFICE. YE THEREFORE THAT COME AFTER, GIVE REMEMBRANCE.

Inside, an ambulatory runs around the Sanctuary. Books of Remembrance lie open, inviting the hopeful to seek the names of family and long-lost friends.

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Down in the Crypt, warrior father and son stand back to back in bronze.

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The Sanctuary is lined by columns of black marble mined at Buchan in eastern Victoria. Friezes above them depict scenes of battle from the First World War.

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At the heart of the Shrine, a solitary plaque:

Stone of Remembrance

 

Soldiers march past the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Australia

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The centenary has been reached, and inevitably – some say – the public interest in ANZAC Day will decline. Attendances will be down next year, they warn. A television series screened this week rated poorly. But the old warriors are being replaced by young warriors – women as well as men. Children walk hand in hand not with their grandfathers, but their fathers.

Si vis pacem para bellum: those who wish for peace must be ready for war. At the end of every conflict we swear ‘never again’. But until that vow is fulfilled, the Shrine will serve as a reminder that freedom is bought with sacrifice.

Lest We Forget.

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | April 13, 2015

If I’m not around for a while, don’t be alarmed.

internet vacation

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | April 11, 2015

The Saturday night martial art.

Tae Dwon On

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | April 10, 2015

The fine art of domestic camouflage.

Photo source unknown, text mine.

Hiding from the housework

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | April 9, 2015

Before the mood of the season is lost entirely…

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | April 8, 2015

Spreading the PUFV story – literally.

Morning Mail has published my post marking Gina’s birthday. It turned out to me more about me than I intended, but that’s no excuse for not clicking this link and buying a 2015 Pin Ups For Vets calendar.

Quick! They’re running out.

Camo01

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | April 6, 2015

All my bestest bestest friends are invisible.

Within 24 hours of Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party winning national government in 2013, new anti-Abbott pages were sprouting all over Facebook – complete with thousands of followers. There were so many of these Abbott detesters fuming and spitting in Club Zuckerberg that it raised the question of how, with such vehement supporters, Labor still managed to achieve its worst electoral result in a century.

The AEC has not been flooded with protests over suspicious electoral results. Okay, one result did look fishy. But in that instance the Liberal candidate was the target of the rort and not the perpetrator. The answer to the mystery of the huge Facebook Anti Abbott Alliance is that it doesn’t exist. Or is at best a mere fraction of its supposed size, the rest of the numbers being made up by bought likes. It’s quite an industry.

Any casualty nurse will tell you that a sizeable number of gentlemen keep the local deli’s best salami packed in their trousers. Ladies have been known to exaggerate their assets too. Pretending to have more friends online than you really possess is just a variation on an old theme. But you have to know when to call time on the con.

The first weekend of Fairfax Media’s major new events division project, the Spectrum Now festival, has seen a disastrously low public turnout. The free Spectrum Playground event in Sydney’s Domain saw just a few hundred people attend at any point over over the weekend at a venue which has a capacity of tens of thousands.

Fairfax, rather than admit defeat, claimed that 9000 people had attended the event. As the article points out, they declined to reveal the arithmetic behind that figure.

Looking at the photos on the link, with vast spaces of human-free lawn, I could deduce only one explanation.

Everyone who works for Fairfax is related to this guy.

Thanks to Tim Blair for the original story. Mr Blair has another story of Fairfax and its incorporeal readership today.

Posted by: Gregoryno6 | April 5, 2015

From Page to Screen: A Christ-ian trinity.

You can take the boy out of the church… but you can’t take the church out of the boy. On this Easter weekend – which is rapidly slipping away from me now – I’ll examine three very different presentations of the Gospel tale.

Read More…

Ah, the sweet irony of it all: the people who are so happy to slice up the bodies of others have been afflicted with fleshly ailments in their turn.

The self-declared Islamic State capital is currently in the throes of an epidemic and a number of members of the Islamic State have reportedly been infected.

Efforts  are reportedly being made to prevent the further spread of the Leishmaniasis skin disease, which is highly virulent, in the IS stronghold.

The disease is unfortunately impartial in its choice of targets. Those who don’t support ISIS in Raqaa are equally likely to fall victim. But their lives are hardly a peek into Paradise under the loving hands of their ‘liberators':

These crucifixions began in March 2014… ISIS charged a shepherd with murder and theft. He was shot in the head, and his corpse was tied to a wooden cross in the main square… ISIS does not limit this carnage to adults. Citing a February report from the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, Reuters indicated that “Islamic State militants are selling abducted Iraqi children at markets as sex slaves, and killing other youth, including by crucifixion or burying them alive.”

The forces of ISIS seem to resemble Nazi occupiers in many ways.

Though not every way. The Nazis at least preferred girlfriends with only two legs.

You Bastard Abdul

We’ve got Christians celebrating Easter this weekend, and Jews celebrating Passover. Let’s add a few bedsheets to the festivities!

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