Today was 100 years since the first ANZAC campaign and a big day for our nation. ‘ANZAC’ stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. On the 25th of April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula.
I knew that there was no way I would make it to a dawn service but looked in my local paper to see what was happening. I discovered Ryde’s 2000 poppy project – collecting 2000 knitted poppies displayed in the letters RYDE. I read that the poppies would be at the Ryde Memorial on ANZAC eve and that there would be a service there on ANZAC day 9.30-10.15am. I decided to head that direction, not necessarily planning to make it for the service. It was 11am by the time I arrived and there was not a poppy in site – instead just a few wreaths on display.
So I sat down to sketch the memorial and some of the wreaths… and have my own quiet period of remembrance. I have done this a few times before. I don’t have any family that went to war (both mum and dad’s families were dairy farmers and needed to stay home) so ANZAC day has never been a big family affair for me growing up.
I enjoyed my time sketching and a few chats to a few people that walked through the area, including a woman that was looking for the knitted poppies too. She told me about the Poppy Park in Penrith…. wish I had know about that beforehand as I would have liked to visit it…. but then again, I doubt I would have the time today. A lovely family day filled in the rest of my day.