Greeting loyal readers and fellow maremmas. Today, is ANZAC day in New Zealand and Australia. It is day to remember those who fought in past wars. Daddy’s daddy was a solider during WWII , fighting in Italy (he is 90 years old this year) and mummy’s grandfather was a digger in WWI, fighting at the Somme in France.
Mummy read this poem in the local newspaper and liked it and the sentiment it expressed.
It is noticeable they are walking much slower
And many are stooped with heads of grey
But they still assemble with pride and commitment
On the 25th of April to observe ANZAC Day
The ranks are becoming thinner
And so many walk with pain
Life has had hardship and sorrow
But memories of happy yesterdays still remain
The numbers grow far smaller
Each day and every passing year,
There are fewer now to remember,
Of so many, that we always held so dear.
They are former soldiers, sailors and airmen who wore blue.
Let us never forget the bravery of the nurses too!
Who were also always prepared to make a stand.
To safeguard the freedom of this, our land.
They left their dreams, their loved ones.
To answer the a call and face a fierce unknown,
To battle for our country,
Together, yet alone.
maybe the steps are now much slower,
Maybe the heads are now more grey
With grateful hearts, let’s salute them,
On this nation’s Remembrance Day.
Here is an article aunite wrote about their grandfather, who served in WWI
On ANZAC day I often think of my paternal grandfather – Charles James Hamblyn – who served in World War One. I never met Charlie, but we have both worked for the same organisation – in his day the Department of Agriculture; in mine the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Born in 1895 Charlie grew up on a farm in Taranaki and was educated at New Plymouth Boys’ High School. He left there at a suspiciously early age for WWI where he served with the Rifle Brigade in France where he was wounded three times, after each time he returned to the trenches.
A veteran’s grant after the war enabled Charlie to study agriculture at Canterbury Agricultural College (now Lincoln University). He gained a Bachelor of Agriculture, Gold Medal in 1922 and joined the Department of Agriculture soon after. From 1927 to 1938 he was Instructor of Agriculture in Whangarei; the rest of his career was spent on Palmerston North as Field Superintendent for the lower North Island.
Charlie’s speciality was soil science and pasture management. His experimental work in the late 1920s demonstrated that over sowing with white and/or subterranean clover along with phosphatic topdressing improved pasture more than just applying superphosphate alone.
He was also a prolific contributor to the New Zealand Journal of Agriculture – one article extolling the effectiveness of the now banned agricultural chemical, 2,4,5,T for gorse control.
However, first and foremost Charlie was a hands-on man who eschewed promotions to head office in Wellington to continue advising farmers on the ground with his own brand of pragmatic advice. Farmer JD Easton of Levin recalls in a New Zealand Grasslands publication: “The late Charles Hamblyn of the Department of Agriculture came to the first farm discussion group visit on my farm. ‘Boy,’ he said, ‘fence the farm in rectangular paddocks and with a straight race. A bit of hill in a low paddock is all right, the cows will eat on the flat then rest on the hill, and thus transfer the fertility.’ These words used are mine; the words Charlie used were for the back paddock and expressed in terms not to be forgotten.”
Charlie died in Gisborne on 3 December 1959 at the annual meeting of the New Zealand Grasslands Association, just five minutes after receiving the association’s citation – an award of such distinction that only two others had received it previously.
So this ANZAC day think of people like Charlie who had the courage to serve their country in a time of war and dedicated their lives to improving the lot of the average New Zealand farmer and ultimately the prosperity of our nation today.
From Nellie and Jasper, here in sunny New Zealand.