Today is Anzac Day, in Australia and New Zealand. It commemorates the landing of the New Zealand and Australian troops at Gallipoli in World War I. Although the effort to take the Dardanelles was ultimately unsuccessful, the Anzac troops demonstrated great courage and tenacity, and the ordeal the troops underwent in this campaign has a vast meaning to the peoples of New Zealand and Australia.
At the beginning of the war the New Zealand and Australian citizen armies, illustrating the robust humor of both nations, engaged in self-mockery best illustrated by this poem:
We are the ANZAC Army
We cannot shoot, we don’t salute
What bloody good are we ?
And when we get to Ber – Lin
The Kaiser, he will say
Hoch, Hoch, Mein Gott !
What a bloody odd lot
to get six bob a day.
By the end of World War I no one was laughing at the Anzacs. At the end of the war a quarter of the military age male population of New Zealand had been killed or wounded and Australia paid a similarly high price. Widely regarded as among the elite shock troops of the Allies, they had fought with distinction throughout the war, and added to their reputation during World War II. American veterans I have spoken to who have fought beside Australian and New Zealand units have uniformly told me that they could choose no better troops to have on their flank in a battle.
In 1918 four Australian divisions and the New Zealand division were locked in battle on the Western Front, grinding down the initial German offensives and then helping to lead the way in the battles of the Hundred Days that resulted in Allied victory. In the Middle East two Australian mounted divisions and a New Zealand mounted brigade performed prodigies in the battles that ended the Ottoman Empire. In 1919 Field Marshal Allenby praised the New Zealand troops who fought under his command:
“Nothing daunted these intrepid fighters: to them nothing was impossible.”
Let that stand as a tribute to all the Citizen soldiers of the Anzacs who fought in the Great War.
Seventy-five years ago, although they did not realize it, the American and Australian forces had won the Battle of the Coral Sea. The battle which ultimately saved Australia from Japanese invasion has been largely forgotten in the US. That is a pity. Just six months from the Pearl Harbor debacle, the US Navy won a strategic victory that largely shaped the outcome of the battle of Midway, the turning point in the Pacific War.
Admiral Yamamoto, commander of the Japanese Navy, launched an invasion force to take Port Moresby on the south side of the huge island of New Guinea. Once New Guinea was taken Australia was next. Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue, in command of the Japanese of the Fourth Fleet would command this venture.
Allied intelligence learned of this plan, and Admiral Nimitz, Naval Supreme Commander in the Pacific, sent all four of his fleet carriers to intercept the Japanese force. Continue Reading
Something for the weekend. A first rate vido explaining the rollicking song Waltzing Matilda to those of us who do not speak Australian. 🙂 Continue Reading
Father Scott Hurd serves as the liaison with the USCCB for the implementation of the Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum Cœtibus here in America. He has been looking at the options available to all Anglican groups in establishing a U.S. Anglican Ordinariate.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops created an ad hoc committee led by Donald Cardinal Wuerl last September that was charged with assisting the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in implementing the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Cœtibus.
Today Father Hurd concelebrated Mass at Our Lady of Walsingham (OLW) Anglican Use Church as part of his visit to Houston. After Mass there was a tiny reception outside the church which was followed by a short talk with a question and answer period for the parishioners of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Left to Right: Deacon James Barnett, Father Bruce Noble, Father James Moore, Father Scott Hurd, and Father James Ramsey before concelebrating Mass today.
Some major points that were learned today concerning the process as to where we are in possibly establishing a U.S. Anglican Ordinariate. Please note that none of this official.:
Greg Craven, who is the Vice-Chancellor of Australian Catholic University (ACU), wrote a serious, yet funny, article. The article comes from my favorite Australian newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald. In the article, A plague of Atheists has Descended and Catholics are the Target, Greg Craven explains the rise of a new group of atheists that would rather engage in polemics and attacks on the Catholic faith than engage in serious dialogue. These attacks are so vitriol that they descend beyond reason and become humorous to read, but they aren’t intentional.
Today is Anzac Day. It commemorates the landing of the New Zealand and Australian troops at Gallipoli in World War I. Although the effort to take the Dardanelles was ultimately unsuccessful, the Anzac troops demonstrated great courage and tenacity, and the ordeal the troops underwent in this campaign has a vast meaning to the peoples of New Zealand and Australia.