Reflections on this ANZAC day

It is of our old Waikato people -long passed- that I am most proud. The year was 1914 and the government was ordering Maori tribes to hand over their young men to go overseas and join in the slaughter.

Waikato were incensed, rightly so, why should the Waikato tribe fight for the British King against a foe who had done us no wrongs? Our tribe had been on the receiving of end of a full on invasion in 1863 resulting in huge loss of life, plunged into poverty, and the governmental confiscation of vast amounts of our ancestral homelands. All on trumped up charges. Why should the Waikato people be forced to fight for the Imperial British Empire?

History tells that we refused to kill and die for the British Monarch. We told the NZ govt to go take a hike. There were consequences. All in all it was well worth it. They are not forgotten. Unlike many of ours today, they stood fast to their principles.

They are our heroes. I salute them!

Gallipoli: “This is only suicide boys”

The British invasion of Gallipoli in 1915 is best summed up by Australian digger Cecil McAnulty, as he describes an attack which saw hundreds of his comrades cut down within moments by Turkish defenders machine-gun fire:

“We were right out in the open and all the Turkish machine guns and rifle seemed to be playing on us and shrapnel bursting right over us. I yelled out to the other 4 chaps, ‘This is only suicide boys, I’m going to make a jump for it. I thought they said alright we’ll follow. I sprang to my feet in one jump.’”

Private Cecil McAnulty, 3rd Battalion, 8 August 1915.