Guest Post – Prelude to disaster; the astonishing ANZAC victory at Broodseinde, Oct 4th 1917

“The New Zealanders and Australians raced into Passchendaele…” 

During the Great War their mates in uniform teased them with the moniker ‘The Suicide Club’ while officially they were known as Machine-Gun Specialists. The gunners earned the nick-name from their cobbers in the trenches for very good reasons; the more obvious among them being the effectiveness of a single gun’s fire-power in creating casualties and undermining enemy troop movements and morale, each weapon capable of equaling forty riflemen in discharge-rate but more like sixty in killing-power due its reliable accuracy; the gun’s ‘No.1’, the man at the trigger, not suffering the recoil affecting a rifleman’s aim and having the benefit of a 20kg tripod which held his weapon steady and balanced, placing the machine-gun and squad in the very highest priority targets of any infantry engagement. Often entire companies of enemy combatants would fix on a single gun-crew’s demise.   Read more »

Photo of the Day

Betty Gores house

Desperate Housewife

Anyone who lived in North Texas in the early 1980’s remembers the murder of Betty Gore, and the murder trial of Candace Montgomery, the woman who killed her with an axe. The petite, non-descript Wylie housewife was acquitted in 1980. She claimed self-defense. Then, as now, the case enthralled many people. (Adding more fuel to the sensational story’s publicity fire was the fact that the murder took place on Friday the 13th in June of 1980.)

The year is 1979. Lucas, Texas, is still a relatively small town, just being discovered by the wealthier executives of Texas Instruments who were looking to settle outside the booming city limits of Dallas.

Each day as the men head off to their jobs, the women are left behind to tend to the children and the numerous mundane duties which keep the home fires burning.

These women are bored. Play dates, swimming lessons at the Y, and gossip with the other housewives are the highlight of their day.

Most of the residents attend the Lucas Methodist Church and staying active in church activities gives them one more thing to do. The yearly Vacation Bible School serves as a break to their ordinary lives and the children something to do indoors during the hot Texas summers while their mothers chatter about potty training, their husband’s latest promotions and the upcoming presidential election.

Yes, indeed, they are bored. And one of them is about to break free of it all. In ways, they could never imagine.

Candy Wheeler was quite the prima donna as a child. She knew what she wanted and did whatever it took to get it.

Much didn’t change when Candy grew up. Always the independent spirit, Candy moved out on her own just after high school. And although she worked, she dreamed of being a full-time Mother and wife – she just hadn’t found the right man.

Read more »

ANZAC Day – The Last Post

ANZAC Day – Some gave all

Cartoon of the Day

ANZAC Day – For Skippy

I made this video some time ago for Skippy, my father-in-law.

Some of the photos in the video were taken by him at Nui Dat.

He was an Aussie serving with the NZ Army…he trained at Puckapunyal, Canungra and Singleton…many of the places mentioned in this song he has been to.

ANZAC Day – For our Aussie mates

ANZAC Day – The Battle of Long Tan

My father-in-law Skippy fought in the Battle of Long Tan.

This is the documentary made by Martin Walsh of that battle.

ANZAC Day – Gallipoli

Last year Dad and I were at the dawn ceremony at ANZAC Cove and then the service at Chunuk Bair.

I carried the medals of my great-grandfather Harry Crozier with me. It was 100 years since ANZAC troops set foot on the Gallipoli peninsula in that ill-fated campaign.

Going to Gallipoli had been on my bucket list forever…and last year, with Dad, I finally ticked that off, and on the centenary as well.

It was and remains a very special trip and memory.    Read more »

ANZAC Day – True unsung heroes

Wyn Fountain served as a Welfare Officer in the Middle East and Europe and was away for over 4 years. Later he ran a very successful business in NZ and, with wife Shirley, grew a great family.

At 90 years old (in this clip) he brought history alive.