Waking up this morning on Anzac Day to see the moving images on the news of Prince William and Katherine attending a pre-dawn ceremony to commemorate Anzac in Australia, got me thinking about the incredible bravery of all the troops who fought in the Great War and particularly about those who enlisted from what was then the British Empire, many of whom were from Australia and New Zealand.

On this one hundred year anniversary of the First World War, our lives today seem a million miles from what those young men and their families experienced. What must it have been like for them - most of whom would never have travelled overseas before - to join up to British Forces, be transported to the other side of the globe away from family and familiarity and fight for a King and Country who must have seemed a far-distant concept?b2ap3_thumbnail_images-1.jpg

 

 They were then launched into the disastrous Dardanelles campaign, with the main landing taking place at Gallipoli, one of the worst failures of the war and the scene of some of the most terrible losses. On just the first day of the campaign, over 900 Australian troops were lost. After eight months of savage fighting and huge casualties (on both sides) from both the battles and disease, the campaign ended in failure and the invasion force was withdrawn to Egypt.

b2ap3_thumbnail_images.jpgThe heroic bravery of those Anzac troops lives on though with countless stories of selfless heroism and has served to play a key part in engendering a strong sense of national identity in both Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand in particular lost about a fifth of the total number of of those who landed on the peninsula. The ramifications of these huge losses continued to impact on life back home the for the generations who came after them. 

 

 

I can’t help but wonder how we would react if faced with the same call to arms today. How would it feel to wave off your son, husband father or brother in the knowledge that you were in all likelyhood never to see them again? Would I have been brave enough to have launched an assault into the teeth of devastating enemy fire on the beach at Gallipoli as did wave after wave of Anzac troops? I am sure I am not alone to question if my inner strength would find the reserves of bravery that those men summoned up a hundred years ago. I am left feeling humbled and with eternal gratitude to all of them and to the families who suffered to allow us to enjoy our freedom today.

At The Collage Company we have been privileged to create a number of digital photographic collages using photos old and new with many focusing on incredible stories of war exploits and heroism, imprisonment and escape. Evocative old photos telling stories which create unique memories. The collages then preserve these family stories for your children and their children to enjoy for years to come.

 

The next time you would like those memories enshrined in a unique photo montage of your family story - just send us your pics, call us on 01420 562208 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - we would love to hear from you!

www.collagecompany.co.uk

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April 2014