ANZAC

Gallipoli ballot research throws up some interesting researching

Crozier-casualty Form

Fairfax reports on people looking into war records to support their application to attend the Gallipoli centenary in 2015. I would love to go, but haven’t entered the ballot, even though my great-grandfather served and was wounded at Gallipoli.

Hundreds of New Zealanders have had applications for the Gallipoli ballot rejected – with some finding Grandad wasn’t the war hero they thought.

More than 260 disappointed applicants have had entries to the centenary celebrations in Turkey on April 25, 2015 invalidated by the Defence Force, with the military double-checking all personnel files with Archives New Zealand.

Entries were also rejected for being late, filled out by non-New Zealand citizens, and not containing enough information. Some desperate to get a spot at Anzac Cove tried to sneak in multiple entries.¬† Read more »

Battle of Long Tan Day

Yesterday was the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, One day I am going to visit the Long Tan Cross:

In 1966:

The¬†Battle of Long Tan¬†was fought between the¬†Australian Army and¬†Viet Cong forces in a rubber plantation near the village of¬†Long TŠļßn, about 27 kilometres (17¬†mi) north east of¬†Vung Tau,¬†South Vietnam. The action occurred when D¬†Company of the¬†6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment¬†(6RAR), part of the¬†1st Australian Task Force¬†(1 ATF), encountered the¬†Viet Cong (VC)¬†275 Regiment¬†and elements of the¬†D445 Local Forces Battalion. D Company was supported by other Australian units, as well as New Zealand and United States artillery.

During the battle the company from 6RAR, despite being heavily outnumbered, fought off a large enemy assault of regimental strength. 18 Australians were killed and 24 wounded, while at least 245 Viet Cong were killed. It was a decisive Australian victory and is often cited as an example of the importance of combining and coordinating infantry, artillery, armour and military aviation. The battle had considerable tactical implications as well, being significant in allowing the Australians to gain dominance over Ph∆įŠĽõc Tuy province, and although there were a number of other large-scale encounters in later years, 1ATF was not fundamentally challenged again.

The battle has since achieved similar symbolic significance for the Australian military in the Vietnam War as battles such as the Gallipoli Campaign have for the First World War, the Kokoda Track Campaign for the Second World War and the Battle of Kapyong for the Korean War.

One of those men who fought in the Battle of Long Tan that day was my father in law. He was firstly in the field as an OP and then brought back to man the guns that day as they fought to save the Aussie soldiers.

The Kiwi guns were instru­men­tal in sav­ing 3 pla­toons of D Com­pany of the  6th Bat­tal­ion, Royal Aus­tralian Reg­i­ment (6RAR) and enabling the thrash­ing of a Reg­i­ment of Viet Cong.

Each gun fired over 1200 rounds that day and night in sup¬≠port of the Aussies. The bat¬≠tle was fought in a rub¬≠ber tree plan¬≠ta¬≠tion near the vil¬≠lage of Long Tan, about 40¬†km north-east of Vung Tau, South Viet¬≠nam on August 18‚Äď19, 1966. The bat¬≠tle was fought all after¬≠noon and most of the night in pour¬≠ing mon¬≠soon rain. The guns ran so hot that wet blan¬≠kets were draped over them in an attempt to keep the bar¬≠rels¬†cool.

Last year another veteran of this battle Major Morrie Stanley sadly passed away. Our news media at the time barely covered it but the Aussie media did. They know what these guys did to save their boys and they well remember it.

This post is to remember their service.

There is an online documentary about the Battle of Long Tan [embedded below]. It is superb and well worth spending the time watching.

Photo of the Day

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Today is Poppy Day:

Flanders Fields at Britomart. Took 10 people from Westpac marketing dept 4 hours to put 12,000 poppies out.

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Photo of the Day

Fallen ANZAC Hero – Matthew Lambert

As our SAS boys bury their own hero, the Aussies have repatriated the body of Matthew Lambert.

Matthew Lambert was an Aussie sniper killed in Afghanistan. Here is his ramp ceremony from Afghanistan.*

*If there is anyone with video of Doug Grant’s ramp ceremony I would love to post it to honour our Kiwi hero.

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A fallen hero

New Zealand has lost another hero today.

A New Zealand SAS soldier died on the way to hospital in Afghanistan last night after being shot in the chest after a group of suicide attackers stormed a British compound in the capital, Kabul.

Prime Minister John Key said early this morning: “I have limited details about the soldier’s death, but I am advised that he died during fighting that followed an attack by insurgents in Kabul in the last few hours.”

The soldier was one of at least 10 people killed in the Taleban attack on the British Council in the western part of Kabul.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

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Battle of Long Tan Day

On this day in 1966:

The¬†Battle of Long Tan was fought between the¬†Australian Army and¬†Viet Cong forces in a rubber plantation near the village of¬†Long TŠļßn, about 27 kilometres (17¬†mi) north east of¬†Vung Tau,¬†South Vietnam. The action occurred when D¬†Company of the¬†6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR), part of the¬†1st Australian Task Force (1 ATF), encountered the¬†Viet Cong (VC)¬†275 Regiment and elements of the¬†D445 Local Forces Battalion. D Company was supported by other Australian units, as well as New Zealand and United States artillery.

During the battle the company from 6RAR, despite being heavily outnumbered, fought off a large enemy assault of regimental strength. 18 Australians were killed and 24 wounded, while at least 245 Viet Cong were killed. It was a decisive Australian victory and is often cited as an example of the importance of combining and coordinating infantry, artillery, armour and military aviation. The battle had considerable tactical implications as well, being significant in allowing the Australians to gain dominance over Ph∆įŠĽõc Tuy province, and although there were a number of other large-scale encounters in later years, 1ATF was not fundamentally challenged again.

The battle has since achieved similar symbolic significance for the Australian military in the Vietnam War as battles such as the Gallipoli Campaign have for the First World War, the Kokoda Track Campaign for the Second World War and the Battle of Kapyong for the Korean War.

One of those men who fought in the Battle of Long Tan that day was my father in law. He was firstly in the field as an Op and then brought back to man the guns that day as they fought to save the Aussie soldiers.

The Kiwi guns were instru­men­tal in sav­ing 3 pla­toons of D Com­pany of the  6th Bat­tal­ion, Royal Aus­tralian Reg­i­ment (6RAR) and enabling the thrash­ing of a Reg­i­ment of Viet Cong.

Each gun fired over 1200 rounds that day and night in sup¬≠port of the Aussies. The bat¬≠tle was fought in a rub¬≠ber tree plan¬≠ta¬≠tion near the vil¬≠lage of Long Tan, about 40¬†km north-east of Vung Tau, South Viet¬≠nam on August 18‚Äď19, 1966. The bat¬≠tle was fought all after¬≠noon and most of the night in pour¬≠ing mon¬≠soon rain. The guns ran so hot that wet blan¬≠kets were draped over them in an attempt to keep the bar¬≠rels¬†cool.

Last year another veteran of this battle Major Morrie Stanley sadly passed away. Our news media at the time barely covered it nut the Aussie media did. They know what these guys did to save their boys and they well remember it.

Today is the day I remember their service.

There is an online documentary about the Battle of Long Tan [embedded below]. It is superb and well worth spending the time watching.

The Battle of Long Tan Documentary from Red Dune Films on Vimeo.

The flag burning case

Valerie Morse has won her appeal against her conviction relating to her burning of the flag on ANZAC Day.

Her appeal was upheld because the lower courts failed to take into account that her actions would not have a tendency to disrupt public order.  The Veterans, and others, attending ANZAC Day Services failed to respond to her actions in a disorderly manner and therefore the Supreme Court has determined that her actions cannot be offensive.

There’s a lesson here. ¬†The next time she does it, the crowds need to erupt into disorder, thus ensuring her actions meet the ingredients of the charge, thus ensuring a conviction.

ANZAC Day

Original Post: 25 April 2006

This is my ANZAC Day trib­ute post­ing. ANZAC Day means a great deal for me and my fam­ily. I sup­pose it is because we have a con­nec­tion to the orig­i­nal ANZACS in 1915 and Gal­lipoli and to a vet­eran of a war much fresher in our minds, Viet Nam.

Firstly I pay trib­ute to my Great Grand-father Harry Crozier. I never really knew him, he died many years ago. Harry served in the  Gal­lipoli cam­paign and thank­fully came home alive albeit with one leg. I know he spent con­sid­er­able time in Rotorua con­va­lesc­ing and learned to carve maori carv­ings as part of his reha­bil­i­ta­tion.

The sec­ond per­son I pay trib­ute to is a guy who truly epit­o­mises the ANZAC spirit. He is an Aussie, liv­ing in New Zealand who fought for new Zealand in Viet Nam. He is mar­ried to a Kiwi and has three Kiwi kids, and three Kiwi grand kids. He is also my Father-in-law.

41873 Gnr Atkins KG 161 Bty was in Viet Nam in 1966. Based in Nui Dat and one of the first to arrive and estab¬≠lish the Base and gun posi¬≠tions. ‚ÄúOz‚ÄĚ par¬≠tic¬≠i¬≠pated in the famous ¬†Bat¬≠tle of Long Tan where the Kiwi guns were instru¬≠men¬≠tal in sav¬≠ing 3 pla¬≠toons of D Com¬≠pany of the ¬†6th Bat¬≠tal¬≠ion, Royal Aus¬≠tralian Reg¬≠i¬≠ment (6RAR) and enabling the thrash¬≠ing of a Reg¬≠i¬≠ment of Viet Cong.

Each gun fired over 1200 rounds that day and night in sup¬≠port of the Aussies. The bat¬≠tle was fought in a rub¬≠ber tree plan¬≠ta¬≠tion near the vil¬≠lage of Long Tan, about 40¬†km north-east of Vung Tau, South Viet¬≠nam on August 18‚Äď19, 1966. The bat¬≠tle was fought all after¬≠noon and most of the night in pour¬≠ing mon¬≠soon rain. The guns ran so hot that wet blan¬≠kets were draped over them in an attempt to keep the bar¬≠rels cool.

Kevin tells many sto¬≠ries of his time in Viet Nam but they are not at all ‚Äúwarry‚ÄĚ to use his term. They speak a sim¬≠ple truth that war is tough and bru¬≠tal. He often says he hopes his chil¬≠dren never have to go to war and thank¬≠fully they prob¬≠a¬≠bly won‚Äôt have to.

It seems so long ago, yet for some only yes­ter­day. The Gov­ern­ment to this day still treats vet­er­ans with dis­dain with their han­dling, and obfus­ca­tion of the Agent Orange scan­dal. I say a scan­dal because that is what it is. You need only ask any vet­eran about Agent Orange and they will tell you they weren’t just sprayed with they were doused in it, they drank water soaked with it and were often wet to their socks with Agent Orange. Check out this photo of Nui Dat in 1966 . Every coun­try in Viet Nam at the time has acknowl­edged it hap­pened and com­pen­sated their vet­er­ans and New Zealand con­tin­ues to deny it occurred and con­tin­ues to hold spu­ri­ous enquiries. [The Government has since said Sorry, but for me it was too little, too late]

Kevin didn’t want me to write any­thing about him but I insisted. He didn’t want me to make him out to be a hero. In his words he was there, he was a gun­ner and that was all. Like most vet­er­ans he is intensely proud of his achieve­ments and at the same time intensely bit­ter at the way they were treated upon return­ing. It is high time that Kiwis were proud of what our guys did in Viet Nam, proud of their achieve­ments and proud of their for­ti­tude to fight. I admire any­one who has the gump­tion to stand up and be counted with their own life.

My Father-in-Law is a true ANZAC, some¬≠one I am proud to know and love. I admire his achieve¬≠ments. I fondly remem¬≠ber the ANZAC Day we spent in Syd¬≠ney 11 years ago. Aus¬≠tralians cel¬≠e¬≠brate ANZAC Day, Kiwis com¬≠mem¬≠o¬≠rate it. In Syd¬≠ney on that day Kevin was proud to wear his medals and com¬≠fort¬≠able wear¬≠ing them in the street. Syd¬≠ney was one big party that day and we ate and drank pretty much for free where ever we went. Kids and adults alike pat¬≠ted him on the back and shook his hand and called out ‚Äúgood on ya mate‚ÄĚ. The pity is that the same can¬≠not be said of New Zealand. ANZAC Day is treated as a solemn occa¬≠sion. Peo¬≠ple do show their respects and con¬≠tinue to show it by the increased atten¬≠dances at parades all over the coun¬≠try, but is ‚Äúrespects‚ÄĚ as in at a funeral rather than respect as in admi¬≠ra¬≠tion.

It is high time New Zealand ‚Äúcel¬≠e¬≠brated‚ÄĚ the achieve¬≠ments of our sol¬≠diers and stopped ‚Äúcom¬≠mem¬≠o¬≠rat¬≠ing‚ÄĚ them. ANZAC Day should be like it was in Syd¬≠ney 11 years ago. It is cer¬≠tainly a day I will not for¬≠get.

A cou­ple of things remain for me to pass onto my chil­dren. They are vis­its to Gal­lipoli and to Viet Nam to show the kids where our rel­a­tives fought and shed blood so that they may never know war. Hope­fully they will never know war as other gen­er­a­tion have.

Lest we forget.

For Morrie Stanley

Morrie Stanley MBE has his funeral today at 11am.

NZ has lost a hero.

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