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Special Days

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
While out walking this morning I was thinking about the Camino and the sounds I hear when I am walking. I NEVER walk with anything in my ears partly for safety and partly because I want to hear what is going on around me. This means that sometimes you hear (and perhaps see) unexpected things. This morning my thoughts took me back to 2011 when I was walking the VF from London to Rome. I had detoured down the Western Front and timed my journey to be in Villers Bretonneux for the Dawn Service on April 25th. I was caught totally unaware by May 8th - VE Day in Europe. The first inkling I had was the sound of brass bands wafting from the distant villages I passed, and then of course discovering that there was nothing opening, including where I intended to sleep!

My thought processes led me to think about how this route, and others, were likely to be changed over the next few years. We have read much of those possible changes on this forum in the past months, but really we have no idea what they will be, and only time will tell as to what will be done. The Camino is not the only thing that will be different in the months and years to come.

For many Australians and New Zealanders April 25th is a very important day, which begins with a Dawn Service at the local war memorial. It is generally a short sombre ceremony attended by many thousands, young and old, across our two lands, one at which we remember. On my first Camino somehow I was embroiled in a discussion about Anzac Day when someone told me that they did not believe in celebrating war. It is not a celebration, but a commemoration, and to me, this is a day where we reflect on what has been and we MUST remember so that we NEVER forget, and, hopefully, NEVER allow such a thing to happen again. At dawn, on this morning - and I will leave it to you to research as to why it is always at Dawn - people assemble in their towns, whether in heat, in rain, in fog, or in the frost, and pause to listen to the Last Post. Though these services vary from place to place there is a constant unvarying part of this ceremony - as the sun rises the Ode is recited, the Last Post rings out and those assembled stop for two minutes silence until roused by the bugler (or trumpeter) playing the Reveille.

Australia, with a population then of less than 5 million, had nearly 417,000 enlist. Of those nearly 67,000 were killed and a further 150,000 were injured, gassed or imprisoned. New Zealand had a population of just over 1 million with almost 17,000 being killed and 41,000 injured. Our soldiers fought together and were known by the name - ANZACS.

Those figures are high, and even higher throughout the world with somewhere between 15 - 19 million deaths in total during that conflict. That is why we remember and must never forget. It was compounded by the pandemic virus of a 100 years ago, the Spanish flu, in which it has been estimated that there were more deaths than during the total losses of the war itself.

Let me return to my initial comment about how different things are as I want to share with you what will happen for Anzac Day tomorrow. In these days of social distancing people are planning to go to the edge of their driveway with a candle and musicians all round the country will play the Last Post with people marking the 2 minute silence. The intent is to "light up the dawn" and to hear trumpets ringing out all around the towns and suburbs.

In the years ahead the camino will still be there, we pilgrims will adapt, it will be different, we will be different, but like Anzac day tomorrow when many of us will "light up the Dawn" it will still be special. That won't change.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Jl,

Here in confined France the annual Anzac Day ceremonies have been cancelled. All are invited to join in a virtual worldwide televised commemoration tomorrow at daybreak.


April 25 at 05:55 as dawn breaks I shall stand on our hillside facing NW across the Marne towards Villers Bretonneux united with all who remember and commemorate this special day of memorium, "lest we forget".
 
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jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
As part of MY Anzac Day I have traditionally watched the Dawn Service first at Gallipoli, followed by the one at Villers Bretonneux, after I have played the National Anthems of both Australia and New Zealand at my local Dawn Service. As I said earlier I first attended the Dawn Service in France in 2011, but I have been fortunate to attend it a second time when I was on Jakobsweg walking from Leipzig to Paris in 2015. I am indeed privileged that I have been able to attend this once in a lifetime experience twice! Walking several kilometers to and from the town, the only way to access the memorial at this time, is like a pilgrimage in itself and helps one get into the contemplative mind set. It will be lovely to think of people like yourself mspath sharing this day on the other side of the world. Indeed - Lest we forget.
The Ode has been recited at every memorial service since 1921. For those who don't know the it, it is taken from the poem For the Fallen by Laurence Binyon. The audience always repeats the last line - We will remember them. Here it is :-

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.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'CP, Frances,Norte,Salv/prim;Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, Vdlp 2019>Táb/ Prt Levante 2020
April 25 at 05:55 as dawn breaks I shall stand on our hillside facing NW across the Marne towards Villers Bretonneux united with all who remember and commemorate this special day of memorium, "lest we forget".
Many of us in Australia and New Zealand will stand at the end of our driveways at 5.55am ‘Anzac Day’,

I’ve put a few red poppies on my letterbox.

My daughter spent today at her home with her children making Anzac biscuits and lanterns., as well as cards and banner.
They have made biscuits and a lantern for their closest neighbours and will leave them on the step tonight., hoping they will all join at 6am.
I usually attend the Anzac March in Sydney but I will add to the number around the world standing at home - ‘remembering what our Anzac men and women in service of Australia and New Zealand did for us’.
Lest we forget.
 

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jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Beautiful post, jl.

As an Australian living in Portugal, April 25 has a double significance for me because it is also the anniversary of Portugal's 1974 Carnation Revolution, and it's a very important day here as a result.

Tomorrow I'll be housebound in Lisbon making pies and Anzac biscuits. It will be a rather different experience from where I was on Anzac Day last year!

IMG_6240.JPG
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Jungleboy - was it Gallipoli?

I made Anzac Biscuits yesterday and delivered small packets to the street residents today. When my son got married at the end of Feb (just before all this drama!) I had to find something to do for one of the young boys who had come from Germany with his Mum for the wedding. A fussy eater, he liked Anzac Biscuits, and so together we made a batch for all the house guests staying for that busy week. My "batch" makes 12 dozen so it kept him busy for quite a while and there was something for him to eat! I was struck by the incongruity of an Aussie grandmother making Anzac Biscuits with a German child in peace times, when these biscuits were sent to the front by mothers, sisters, daughters in times of war. In the pandemic these are troubled times, but nothing like back then - thank heavens for peace - if only it could be everywhere.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
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The unmistakable stance of an Aussie digger.

An ANZAC Day unlike any other...
Photo taken at a memorial to honour Australians in the battlefields of Northern France. I was walking through the region just prior to ANZAC Day last year while undertaking the VF (London to Rome).
Hard to believe now...
👣 🌏
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Jungleboy - was it Gallipoli?
No, although I was there on Anzac Day in 2003. For Anzac Day last year I was at the MCG with 92,000 friends for Essendon vs Collingwood (click the spoiler in my previous post for a photo). The atmosphere was absolutely incredible!
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
I was at the MCG with 92,000
That won't be happening this year!. Hard to believe that the Anzac Day game won't be happening this year. I have just been watching the 75th anniversary of D Day from June last year. That too wouldn't be happening this year. My word - what a difference to us all. It doesn't matter where in the world we are, there are so many events, celebrations, concerts etc not happening. We will certainly come out of this knowing what is precious and important to us!
An ANZAC Day unlike any other...
The advantage of the VF and the northern Belgium / French Caminos is that it is fairly easy to divert to these places that are so important in the history of Australians and New Zealanders. Odd that this is still so, given that we are on the other side of the world and that so much time has elapsed.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
That won't be happening this year!. Hard to believe that the Anzac Day game won't be happening this year. I have just been watching the 75th anniversary of D Day from June last year. That too wouldn't be happening this year. My word - what a difference to us all. It doesn't matter where in the world we are, there are so many events, celebrations, concerts etc not happening. We will certainly come out of this knowing what is precious and important to us!

The advantage of the VF and the northern Belgium / French Caminos is that it is fairly easy to divert to these places that are so important in the history of Australians and New Zealanders. Odd that this is still so, given that we are on the other side of the world and that so much time has elapsed.
I think it is ingrained in our DNA; it's part of who we are. I felt compelled to divert to the memorials & the cemeteries.
As I wrote in my posting from the VF;
"they died so far from home but someone from home has come to visit them. It was the least I could do."

For Anzac Day last year I was at the MCG with 92,000 friends for Essendon vs Collingwood. The atmosphere was absolutely incredible!
Yes, it's weird without the footy! As a (comparatively) young nation (in an ancient land), another element which has become tradition. Already it's hard to imagine things will get back to 'our normal' but I'm sure they will. The MCG is a magnet & should be full of people with all the atmosphere & excitement that goes with it. 🐯 🏉
👣 🌏
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
I helped "light up the dawn" this morning. I am compelled to quote a few of the concluding words of Wing Commander Sharon Bown, a nurse, who presented the very powerful address at the National War Memorial this morning. She spoke of her ANZAC ancestor, and of her colleagues, whose names were on the memorial behind her and I was struck that these words - no matter who you are and where you reside - are very pertinent to each of us. She was talking about the qualities of the ANZAC's, but to me these are also the qualities we need to call upon as we assist those around us at home, and far away, as we head towards the ultimate journey out of this crisis, and perhaps, are fortunate enough to return to something near "normal" .

At the end of of her address she said; ........In this time of crises, let us realise the innate capacity within each of us to do the same. To unite and protect the more vulnerable among us. To realise that the qualities for which we honour the ANZAC's live on in each of us. To realise that the qualities with which we honour the ANZAC's endurance, courage, ingenuity, good humour, mateship, devotion.........


I have corrected the spelling of Wing Commander Sharon Bown - not Brown as I had originally written
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
Yes, it's weird without the footy! As a (comparatively) young nation (in an ancient land), another element which has become tradition.
Really!! As someone originally from West Australia, this is a quaint Victorian practice. I personally think it is a complete distraction, and suggesting that it is an Australian tradition an overstatement. For the years where I was posted in Melbourne, I was normally recognizing the service of the ANZACs as a service representative at a small town near Melbourne, and never thought of going to this match.

ps. it would have been the only match where I might have considered supporting Essendon, only because of whom they were playing :).
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF14(21?)
Aussie Camino15
WHW15
CP16
CdelN Fin/Muxia18
GGW StCuthWay HadrWall CotswoldWay19
Dear Australian and New Zealand Readers, Many thanks for your posts and this thread. We watched the National Memorial Service from the Australian War Memorial this morning and heard both National Anthems beautifully sung. It was truly a very moving service of remembrance and gratitude for sacrifice and a legacy of freedom. We then stood at our front gate with our candles, along with, no doubt, hundreds of thousands of others. We were walking the Portuguese Camino on ANZAC Day in 2016 and were also very touched to find that it is a day of equal significance in that nation, also commemorating a deliverance from oppression. On ANZAC Day in 1988 we were at Villers Bretonneux for the annual commemoration of ANZAC Day, coincidentally the day on which the village was liberated by Australians. As both of us are ex-service members and our parents served and fought in WWII we are very conscious of the sacrifices of all who served their nations in war and peace and continue to do so. Lest we forget.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
The kids just down the road from us have decorated their fence with poppies, and have chalk messages on the footpath.
This morning we walked out to our driveway in the dark just before 6am and our neighbours joined us in their driveways shortly after. My husband recited the Ode, and then made a short speech in Te Reo, and we stood and listened to someone playing the Last Post somewhere in the valley. I think my husband was the only ex service person, tradition dictates to wear a dress jacket and service medals.
The wars have touched most families, most of us have grandparents, or great grandparents who fought, or were nurses. Often we see family members, grandchildren, wearing the medals on behalf of their deceased. In small towns in NZ, which would have been barely villages at the time, you will see the names on the cenataph. Sometimes families lost all their sons.
My Dad's father fought in the Pacific in WW2, his brother in law and my grandmother's brothers in Europe. One of my great uncles was taken prisoner of war in Italy, and declared missing likely dead. She was pregnant at the time, and so named her baby after her brother. Imagine her surprise when years later he came back , obviously alive.
In later years my father was in the SAS, and my cousin and my husband also joined the army. So we are grateful for their safety.

In normal times we go to the service held at the beach by the cenotaph, which is well attended by all.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
Many of us in Australia and New Zealand will stand at the end of our driveways at 6am ‘Anzac Day’,

I’ve put a few red poppies on my letterbox.

My daughter spent today at her home with her children making Anzac biscuits and lanterns., as well as cards and banner.
They have made biscuits and a lantern for their closest neighbours and will leave them on the step tonight., hoping they will all join at 6am.
I usually attend the Anzac March in Sydney but I will add to the number around the world ‘remembering what our fathers, brothers did for us.
Lest we forget.
Thanks, this is great. May I respectfully suggest a slight edit to your post though. ANZAC women also died and so we should also remember our mothers and sisters. One random example: Ada Mary Lee, Chief WREN, Women's Royal NZ Naval Service, died 1946 from wounds received at Cyrenaica, 1942.
 

evanscl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Oct 2016
"they died so far from home but someone from home has come to visit them. It was the least I could do
We walked the VF from canterbury to Rome last year too. We stopped at every commonwealth war grave site in every small village churchyard or war grave cemeteries which we passed and paid our respects for the same reason, and also at a very lovely canadian war graves cemetery, very peaceful.
Walking the Somme battlefields and seeing mortar shells still there after more than a century was an eerie experience as the huge open fields were all bare ploughed earth in march and an early morning mist rolled across the landscape making it incredibly atmospheric. An unforgettable experience, and the french part of the VF had the biggest impact on me with all its reminders on both world wars.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
Really!! As someone originally from West Australia, this is a quaint Victorian practice. I personally think it is a complete distraction, and suggesting that it is an Australian tradition an overstatement. For the years where I was posted in Melbourne, I was normally recognizing the service of the ANZACs as a service representative at a small town near Melbourne, and never thought of going to this match.

ps. it would have been the only match where I might have considered supporting Essendon, only because of whom they were playing :).
Well done for representing your community as part of ANZAC Day commemorations. 👏
So you're not a fan but the 'A' of AFL stands for 'Australian'...& WA has always been a footy state. The fact they have 2 teams in the League & regularly pack out their brand new stadium reflects this! Also I'm from Tassie...again showing the Australia-wide nature of the game.
My point was made as an aside to the main message of this thread & in response to several references already made by others.
My photo, words & actions regarding ANZAC Day speak clearly...and yet you seem to have overlooked that electing to be 'distracted' by my comment about football instead! 🙄 😄
Feel free to PM me if you'd like so this thread remains a reflection of the occasion. Apologies to OP @jl & other respondents.
Lest We Forget.
👣 🌏
 
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OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'CP, Frances,Norte,Salv/prim;Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, Vdlp 2019>Táb/ Prt Levante 2020
Thanks, this is great. May I respectfully suggest a slight edit to your post though. ANZAC women also died and so we should also remember our mothers and sisters. One random example: Ada Mary Lee, Chief WREN, Women's Royal NZ Naval Service, died 1946 from wounds received at Cyrenaica, 1942.
So very True @Doughnut NZ
I’ve edited my post to reflect.

My impression of Anzac 2020 after an early start with candles ‘lighting up the dawn’ is that 2020 feels special in such a different way.
The current restrictions all over the world have brought home a great awareness of the freedom we have experienced here until recently and a great appreciation for the servicemen and women who fought for it.
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
We walked the VF from canterbury to Rome last year too. We stopped at every commonwealth war grave site in every small village churchyard or war grave cemeteries which we passed and paid our respects for the same reason, and also at a very lovely canadian war graves cemetery, very peaceful.
Walking the Somme battlefields and seeing mortar shells still there after more than a century was an eerie experience as the huge open fields were all bare ploughed earth in march and an early morning mist rolled across the landscape making it incredibly atmospheric. An unforgettable experience, and the french part of the VF had the biggest impact on me with all its reminders on both world wars.
Walking through the region, you could still feel what happened there even though the muddy battlegrounds were now covered with the grasses & wildflowers of spring. I was brought to tears at the sheer scale of the loss of life...on both sides...& kept thinking it can't be allowed to happen ever again.
One of the saddest aspects were the graves of Unknown Soldiers. Imagine their families waiting at home for someone who will never return...& not knowing their final resting place. 😥
It seems the nation has found its own way to commemorate the occasion under our current circumstances. Still doesn't beat a group or crowd all coming together but we'll take it for now. I look forward to seeing how our friends across The Ditch mark the day.
Thankfully we are at peace today but parts of the world still are not. 😔
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👣 🌏
 
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jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
On my VF journey I detoured through the Western Front, visiting the many cemeteries of significance to Australia and New Zealand. I walked this path - I made my own route - with all its beauty, and often in sunshine, paddocks waiting to be sown, a mound of old shells exposed at the side. Taking about 2 weeks to make my way down about 200 kilometres of path made for a very special pilgrimage within a pilgrimage. As Santiago is the destination for the Camino my destination for this detour was the dawn service at the Australian War Memorial. I began in Tyne Cot Cemetery and Ypres with its moving Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate. I stopped and marvelled and reflected at the various monuments:- at a simple wooden cross on the site of one of the Christmas Truce's, the spectacularly beautiful Canadian Memorial with the mourning figure of Canada Bereft gazing out over the fields, the very moving Newfoundland Memorial, the simple elevated NZ Memorial, and our own pock marked Aust. Memorial to name just a few. There were the immaculately kept cemeteries, many of them with graves of unknown soldiers - the white headstones with the carefully planted and maintained gardens, then there were the simple black crosses in the German cemetery at Flers. So many fallen - so many mothers who had lost sons, young women who lost their loves, or never had a chance to find love, so many brothers never to return. What pathos, what a journey, what a privilege. .

This detour was not the end of that part of the pilgrimage though. The full stop came some months later overlooking the shores of Lake Bolsena, when I accidentally came across another Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery.

We will remember them. Lest we Forget.

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lake Bolsena.JPG
 

evanscl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Oct 2016
shores of Lake Bolsena, when I accidentally came across another Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery.

We will remember them. Lest we Forget.
Great photos, thankyou. I missed the cemetery at Lake Bolsena. I hope to go and walk the Via Sacra once it is completed. Walking through France meant more to me somehow than arriving in Rome, and strange though it may sound one of our most memorable family holidays was taking the kids to visit the D Day beaches and cemeteries and museums . I wanted them to know who and what they owe their current excellent lives, freedoms and democracy to. Lest we forget.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Walking around our suburb after our Dawn Service this morning I was moved at the way so many people had created their own poppies, banners and memorials with photos. It was so much more personal and people seem more invested in the commemoration than when they merely buy a poppy.
(Incidentally I always remind my children on this day about the conscientious objectors who were treated appallingly in our country)
 

PJN

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
-
While out walking this morning I was thinking about the Camino and the sounds I hear when I am walking. I NEVER walk with anything in my ears partly for safety and partly because I want to hear what is going on around me. This means that sometimes you hear (and perhaps see) unexpected things. This morning my thoughts took me back to 2011 when I was walking the VF from London to Rome. I had detoured down the Western Front and timed my journey to be in Villers Bretonneux for the Dawn Service on April 25th. I was caught totally unaware by May 8th - VE Day in Europe. The first inkling I had was the sound of brass bands wafting from the distant villages I passed, and then of course discovering that there was nothing opening, including where I intended to sleep!

My thought processes led me to think about how this route, and others, were likely to be changed over the next few years. We have read much of those possible changes on this forum in the past months, but really we have no idea what they will be, and only time will tell as to what will be done. The Camino is not the only thing that will be different in the months and years to come.

For many Australians and New Zealanders April 25th is a very important day, which begins with a Dawn Service at the local war memorial. It is generally a short sombre ceremony attended by many thousands, young and old, across our two lands, one at which we remember. On my first Camino somehow I was embroiled in a discussion about Anzac Day when someone told me that they did not believe in celebrating war. It is not a celebration, but a commemoration, and to me, this is a day where we reflect on what has been and we MUST remember so that we NEVER forget, and, hopefully, NEVER allow such a thing to happen again. At dawn, on this morning - and I will leave it to you to research as to why it is always at Dawn - people assemble in their towns, whether in heat, in rain, in fog, or in the frost, and pause to listen to the Last Post. Though these services vary from place to place there is a constant unvarying part of this ceremony - as the sun rises the Ode is recited, the Last Post rings out and those assembled stop for two minutes silence until roused by the bugler (or trumpeter) playing the Reveille.

Australia, with a population then of less than 5 million, had nearly 417,000 enlist. Of those nearly 67,000 were killed and a further 150,000 were injured, gassed or imprisoned. New Zealand had a population of just over 1 million with almost 17,000 being killed and 41,000 injured. Our soldiers fought together and were known by the name - ANZACS.

Those figures are high, and even higher throughout the world with somewhere between 15 - 19 million deaths in total during that conflict. That is why we remember and must never forget. It was compounded by the pandemic virus of a 100 years ago, the Spanish flu, in which it has been estimated that there were more deaths than during the total losses of the war itself.

Let me return to my initial comment about how different things are as I want to share with you what will happen for Anzac Day tomorrow. In these days of social distancing people are planning to go to the edge of their driveway with a candle and musicians all round the country will play the Last Post with people marking the 2 minute silence. The intent is to "light up the dawn" and to hear trumpets ringing out all around the towns and suburbs.

In the years ahead the camino will still be there, we pilgrims will adapt, it will be different, we will be different, but like Anzac day tomorrow when many of us will "light up the Dawn" it will still be special. That won't change.
 

PJN

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
-
How beautifully that was written. For some reason I can’t fathom who wrote that.
This morning 2 of us took hot coffee at 5.45 am for the Light up the Dawn service. We played the service from our wee radio. Silent , glorious with the lights of Christchurch behind the Quarry

Anzac Day is our day - Australia and New Zealand. We have our shared tragedy , and we never forget. It is now the biggest day of commemoration in the whole year. Especially the young , interestingly are fascinated by the sense of brotherhood and patriotism

It wouldn’t worry us if no one grasps or understands
Roll on Anzacs x
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Camino Francés
2018 Camino Francés
While out walking this morning I was thinking about the Camino and the sounds I hear when I am walking. I NEVER walk with anything in my ears partly for safety and partly because I want to hear what is going on around me. This means that sometimes you hear (and perhaps see) unexpected things. This morning my thoughts took me back to 2011 when I was walking the VF from London to Rome. I had detoured down the Western Front and timed my journey to be in Villers Bretonneux for the Dawn Service on April 25th. I was caught totally unaware by May 8th - VE Day in Europe. The first inkling I had was the sound of brass bands wafting from the distant villages I passed, and then of course discovering that there was nothing opening, including where I intended to sleep!

My thought processes led me to think about how this route, and others, were likely to be changed over the next few years. We have read much of those possible changes on this forum in the past months, but really we have no idea what they will be, and only time will tell as to what will be done. The Camino is not the only thing that will be different in the months and years to come.

For many Australians and New Zealanders April 25th is a very important day, which begins with a Dawn Service at the local war memorial. It is generally a short sombre ceremony attended by many thousands, young and old, across our two lands, one at which we remember. On my first Camino somehow I was embroiled in a discussion about Anzac Day when someone told me that they did not believe in celebrating war. It is not a celebration, but a commemoration, and to me, this is a day where we reflect on what has been and we MUST remember so that we NEVER forget, and, hopefully, NEVER allow such a thing to happen again. At dawn, on this morning - and I will leave it to you to research as to why it is always at Dawn - people assemble in their towns, whether in heat, in rain, in fog, or in the frost, and pause to listen to the Last Post. Though these services vary from place to place there is a constant unvarying part of this ceremony - as the sun rises the Ode is recited, the Last Post rings out and those assembled stop for two minutes silence until roused by the bugler (or trumpeter) playing the Reveille.

Australia, with a population then of less than 5 million, had nearly 417,000 enlist. Of those nearly 67,000 were killed and a further 150,000 were injured, gassed or imprisoned. New Zealand had a population of just over 1 million with almost 17,000 being killed and 41,000 injured. Our soldiers fought together and were known by the name - ANZACS.

Those figures are high, and even higher throughout the world with somewhere between 15 - 19 million deaths in total during that conflict. That is why we remember and must never forget. It was compounded by the pandemic virus of a 100 years ago, the Spanish flu, in which it has been estimated that there were more deaths than during the total losses of the war itself.

Let me return to my initial comment about how different things are as I want to share with you what will happen for Anzac Day tomorrow. In these days of social distancing people are planning to go to the edge of their driveway with a candle and musicians all round the country will play the Last Post with people marking the 2 minute silence. The intent is to "light up the dawn" and to hear trumpets ringing out all around the towns and suburbs.

In the years ahead the camino will still be there, we pilgrims will adapt, it will be different, we will be different, but like Anzac day tomorrow when many of us will "light up the Dawn" it will still be special. That won't change.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 Camino Francés
2018 Camino Francés
I would like to share with you a poem i wrote at dawn yesterday which was Anzac Day as I stood quietly alone and commemorated soldiers all men and women.


Their eyes are closed
They no longer feel pain,
They are gone
We remain

To see the dawn
They died for,
To hear the bird calls,
They shed blood for

Horror surrounds,
The grave their release
From the battle ground
Where they found final peace

We are left to see this dawn,
Rise above the horizon,
To reflect and to thank these brave men
Who gave, and gave, then gave again.

Sheron Young
25/04/2020
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Jl,

Here in confined France the annual Anzac Day ceremonies have been cancelled. All are invited to join in a virtual worldwide televised commemoration tomorrow at daybreak.


April 25 at 05:55 as dawn breaks I shall stand on our hillside facing NW across the Marne towards Villers Bretonneux united with all who remember and commemorate this special day of memorium, "lest we forget".
Thank you Margaret, I was at the Villers Bretonneux Dawn Service on 25 April 2017 (just a few days before my visit). It was a very special day, as was yesterday.
 

evanscl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Oct 2016
Ve
Thanks for posting this, evanscl, for it reminded me of a personal pilgrimage I made some years ago to this area, particularly to visit the grave of Roland A. Leighton.
Vera Brittains fiance if I remember correctly. I didnt realise at the time he is buried there though i did walk by each grave and read the names, i guess it didnt click at the time. Are you a relative?
 

evanscl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Oct 2016
I have since realised Roland Leighton is buried at Louvancourt. A tragic loss, like all the rest.
 

Mycroft

Active Member
Ve

Vera Brittains fiance if I remember correctly. I didnt realise at the time he is buried there though i did walk by each grave and read the names, i guess it didnt click at the time. Are you a relative?
No, no relation, but VB really affected me in my younger days. (I even was going to write my dissertation on her--until I found out someone was already researching her and had a book contract.) Roland is in the Commonwealth War Graves at Louvencourt. I was surprised that there was a 'guest book' at his grave, and touched that so many people were affected by him, VB, poetry, etc.
 

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