Anzac Day 2015
The 25min walk in from where they blocked the road from the Villers-Bretonneux side, with tired eyes and at 2.45AM with the drizzle already seeping into your bones and trying to see where each foot landed in the flood-lit darkness added to one of the best experiences of my life. Being in The Somme to commemorate the 100 years of Anzac history.
For me it started the day before when I arrived from the 2 hour drive north-west from Paris to the beautiful countryside of The Somme. Stopping a couple of times off the highway just to take it all in. I parked my car which I would be sleeping in as close to the Gendarmes as I could without them bothering me. Grabbed a single beer and my flag and walked out to the memorial! I was expecting it to be crawling with other Aussies here for the same thing but to my absolute surprise, except for some security there was NO-ONE there! I walked around, reading the head stones and taking deep breaths and after a hour or so, sat down in front of the cross that stands ever-so proudly in the center of the memorial. I cracked my beer in my ‘made in Australia’ beer-cooler and sat on the grass with my flag and thoughts! That beer tasted better than usual. It was a surreal feeling. I’m hoping that they would be happy that I was having a beer remembering, that because of THEM I could do so! LIFETIME memory for me!
Seems I’m ranting on, but the Aussie’s that keep this site so well deserve a pat on the back! Superbly kept and not a blade of grass out of place. Seems a far cry to 100 years ago after reading about the horribleness of the Great war.
Anzac day was a long cold four hours sitting next to more than 6000 other people feeling the same. Wet shoes and socks with wind gusts bursting in from the north-east. Rain seemingly stopping then pounding down soaking what was not already soaked. No-one complained. Not a word. I even heard others saying they felt it added to the experience to feel what it was like back then. We all knew in a few hours we would be warm and dry, eating butter filled croissants and drinking hot coffee. For me, no photos were taken during the rains but I’ll never forget that morning.
Then the 25min, wet walk back to the town of Villers-Bretonneux for another wreath laying followed by the 45min drive to Bullecourt for Two more services and the rest of the afternoon spent at the Canberra Bar. A big shout for the crazy Aussies I met along the way.
I hope these few pics can do what the day really was, justice! LEST WE FORGET!!!