25th April 2012
Today is ANZAC day, the day when Australians and New Zealanders remember those men and women who lost their lives in wars or conflicts. It is normal at ANZAC as well British commemoration services to recite the the fourth stanza of Laurence Binyon’s poem “For the Fallen“. This was written in 1914 and was inspired by the huge number of casualties in those early days of World War One :-
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
ANZAC stands for Australia & New Zealand Army Corps, those brave young soldiers who travelled half way around the world in World War One and played a major role in the Gallipoli Campaign .
The Gallipoli campaign in 1915 failed to achieve its military objectives of capturing Constantinople and knocking the Ottoman Empire out of the war, but the actions of the Australian and New Zealander troops during the campaign bequeathed an intangible but powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as an “Anzac legend” became an important part of the national identity in both countries. This has shaped the way their citizens have viewed both their past and their understanding of the present.
The ANZACs were part of the Allied invasion that was supposed to capture the Gallipoli peninsula. Many books have been written about it, but suffice to say here, that the estimated casualties in this campaign include UK over 73,000 with 23,000 deaths, France 27,000 with 10,000 deaths, Australia over 28,000 with 8700 deaths, New Zealand over 7400 with 2700 deaths.
After the landings, so few remained from two of the British regiments (the Dublin Fusiliers and Munster Fusiliers) that they were amalgamated into one unit, “The Dubsters”. Only one Dubliner officer survived the landing; overall, of the 1,012 Dubliners who landed, only 11 would survive the entire Gallipoli campaign unscathed.
James Henry HART (son-in-law of George Henry Fink) was in the 6th battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers which was in Salonika and not at Gallipoli, but his uncle William Flynn Hynes (aka Hines) in the 1st Battalion of the RDF was one of the casualties. He was killed on 29th June 1915 at Helles – a memorial is at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery there. William was 37 years old and lived with his wife and seven children in Hackney, not far from James and his parents. James’ mother and William Hines were siblings. James survived WW1 although injured in France at Le Catelet in 1918.
We will remember them!