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Old 04-24-2012, 06:32 PM   #1
TarJak
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Default Anzac Day - Lest we Forget

Today marks the 97th anniversary of the Anzac Cove landings in 1915.

http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/n...425-1xk2k.html

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

Lest we forget

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Old 04-24-2012, 06:37 PM   #2
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That's today??? I guess I forgot.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:42 PM   #3
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A bloody mess that should never have happened, but Australia and New Zealands finest hour.

I salute them all.
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:43 PM   #4
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"Those heroes that shed their blood
And lost their lives.
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side
Here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers,
Who sent their sons from far away countries
Wipe away your tears,
Your sons are now lying in our bosom
And are in peace
After having lost their lives on this land they have
Become our sons as well."
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:45 PM   #5
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To those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

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Old 04-24-2012, 07:01 PM   #6
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The woman who tracked Japanese submarines


New Plymouth woman Kathy Ward joined the army in World War II. She tells Helen Harvey her story.

One of the games Kathy Ward, 91, used to enjoy during World War II involved American marines and Kiwi nurses. Mrs Ward was a member of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corp (Waac) and based in Wellington. When she was out and about with her friends they would often come across a marine with a nurse on each arm. If the Waccs saluted, the marine had no choice but to drop the girls' arms, stand to attention and salute them back. The nurses were not impressed.

''You should have seen the looks we got.''
The Waacs walked away laughing.
But her day job was no laughing matter.

Mrs Ward worked at Wellington's Palmer Head, which was a fortress high on a hill overlooking Cook Strait and over to the South Island. There were guns, a searchlight and underground tunnels. Mrs Ward worked underground tracking Japanese submarines. There were reports of subs in the area in 1942 and in 1943 when one went through Cook Strait and up the east coast of the North Island.

The work at Palmer Head was all hush, hush, she says. She had to swear on the bible she wouldn't tell anyone what she was doing. She worked underground for two hours at a time and then she was allowed to go outside for some fresh air. ''They were well lit and you could stand up in them. There were different rooms off the tunnels.'' In her area there were about seven or eight people around a table each overseeing certain points around the harbour entrance. They worked in conjunction with the New Zealand Air Force trying to spot any submarines on radar.

''You'd see a jolly piece of stick floating around and say 'oh there's a periscope'.'' The fear of invasion was real, she says.
''We had to go round in twos, because we were on the coast. And we were taught an awful thing - if a Jap got us we were taught to chop the back of his neck. I don't know what you'd call it.'' Palmer Head was so exposed that in a southerly the only way the woman could move around outside was on their hands and knees.

They had great lunches, though.
''One of the boys at Palmer Head was an Italian chap and he used to get fish for lunch.'' The job was interesting, she says. There was always something happening. It was a lot more interesting than her first job as a Waac, which was in the bomb disposal office. She had nothing to do but answer the phone. It was suggested to her she could bring her knitting, which didn't go down well. ''I didn't join the army to do my knitting.'' So she was pleased she was sent out to Palmer Head. When the threat of a Japanese invasion eased, Mrs Ward was transferred to the MG (master gunner's) stores, where all the equipment was stored.

People used to have free access to the stores until something went missing one day. The message went out everyone had to go throuigh the bombadier from then on. ''That was me.'' A bombadier is the artillery equivalent of a corporal. Mrs Ward met her husband, Les, in the stores.
Their first conversation was triggered by an empty inkwell missile she threw in his direction.

''Instead of saying he wanted fuse wires or something he asked for some proper name for them. I remember there were two ink wells on the desk. I picked up the empty and said ''You bastard, why don't you say the common name?'' He said ''I'm not allowed to get them myself, you should know.'' She told him to get out. When he returned to his office he rang her up.
''Hey Bomb how's that temper of yours? How about going to the pictures?'' he asked her. She agreed and they arranged to meet at the guard house. The first thing she saw when she arrived was the crown on the sleeve of his jacket. He was a sergeant major. Earlier in the day he'd been dressed in shorts and she assumed he was just a gunner. ''He could have put me on the mat (for the way she spoke to him).''

They went to the old Majestic Theatre where he gave her a box of Queen Anne chocolates. She can't remember the name of movie, but remembers it was sad. ''I bawled my eyes out like a fool.''

Later Mrs Ward was transferred to New Plymouth where she worked on the phones in the army office, which was interesting, she says.
''The colonel's office was next door to me, getting orders from Wellington.''
When she joined up she was 22. To go overseas a Waac needed to be 23.
''I had a chance to go overseas after the war. They wanted tracker girls, as they called them, on ships going where our boys had been.''
But, Mrs Ward had promised her parents she wouldn't go overseas and she stuck to her promise.

''There might have been mines floating around or something. Being an only child I had a restricted life really. Mum and dad were good but you can't do the same as with a big family...go out and do something.''
Mr Ward also moved to New Plymouth and the couple were married in 1946. In 1947 they built a house in Fillis St where Mrs Ward still lives today.
Mrs Ward, nee Huggett, grew up in New Plymouth and went to New Plymouth Girls' High School, which she hated.

''I couldn't get out of that school fast enough. All those old maids. I seemed to land in detention every night. I don't know why. I wasn't cheeky or anything.'' Sometimes she would get pinged for something as trivial as looking out the window. ''It was lovely to go to the headmistress and say 'I've got a job'.'' She began working at Ivon Watkins, which was over the road from CC Ward, selling plants. When war broke out she and another girl were told to join up by Mr Watkins. ''He said his wasn't an essential industry and he couldn't keep us.''

So Mrs Ward joined the army and was stationed at Fort Dorset on the coast in Wellington. There was a paint factory in Seatoun and the smell from it left a lasting impression on her. The first night the women all had their hair cut and doused in kerosene, because some women in an earlier intake had lice. ''Honestly it looked like someone had put a basin on our head. (The sergeant) had long hair and we had this short hair. I don't think she had had scissors in her hand before.'' The women slept in small huts without electricity. Because of the kerosene they were too scared to light the candles. But, they didn't spend their first night wishing they had never left home. Instead they plotted ways to get back at the sergeant.
''We said we'd go to her tent one night and cut her hair. It was all talk of course.'' That was on a Thursday. The women had weekend leave and immediately went to the first hairdresser they could find.
''We got our hair cut short like a boy, which was good when we went swimming.'' The women wore a uniform and after wearing boots for four years was never able to wear high heels again, she says.

When they went dancing they had dress shoes, with a low heel. On one of their first nights out in Wellington they heard dance music near the St George Hotel. They found a serviceman's club and went in. The first person Mrs Ward saw was a very tall African American marine.
''All of a sudden there wasn't a hand on my shoulder, it was a paw. He says ''hey Waac.'' I was on the floor, through his legs, over his hips. I was only 7 stone.'' He was a doctor on a ship, she says.

''We heard later the Japs had got them. The whole lot of them. They were only on rest from the islands. Poor beggars. They were somebody's sons. We were told be nice to the marines. If they come up and talk to you be nice to them.'' The marines were very polite. She would hear a voice in her ear and feel a hand on her elbow. ''Come on Waac,'' and a marine would escort her across the road. Mrs Ward didn't dance with them very often, though, because the Americans liked to dance on one spot. ''We liked to move around.'' But she did go on a date once. She was out one night with three friends and some marines asked them out for dinner.

''We thought, oh crikey, but we did go and they were such nice guys.''
But it is fair to say the ''Maori Battalion boys'' weren't as enamoured with the marines as the women. When the Kiwis came home on leave there was a huge fight, she says. ''Blood was running down the street. We were gated. We weren't allowed out that weekend.'' She will always remember the day the Maori Battalion went back to Europe, she says. ''As the ship was sailing out they were all singing. We didn't know if they were coming back or not. It was rather sad really.''

This year Mrs Ward is looking forward to the Waacs 70th reunion, which will be held in Palmerston North.

There are nine Waacs in New Plymouth who used to meet up at the RSA, however now there is no building, their meetings have been less frequent.
Mrs Ward loved her time in the army she says.
''We felt like we really lived. We felt we were doing something.''


http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/last...ese-submarines
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Old 04-24-2012, 07:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailor Steve View Post
That's today??? I guess I forgot.
It's tomorrow for you but today for us. Unless you slipped across the date line without permission.
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Old 04-24-2012, 08:20 PM   #8
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Or maybe I just slipped.
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:09 PM   #9
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:45 AM   #10
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Had to do a reading at the local Dawn Service, reading Psalm 23 in 5 degree (Celcius) with a 56kph wind.
Lest We Forget
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:15 AM   #11
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~SALUTE~
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