Every year, ANZAC Day provides an opportunity for us to reflect on the service and sacrifice of our servicemen and women. This year holds a special significance, as next weekend we mark 100 years since the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli.
The legacy of those first ANZACs helped to define what we, as a nation, would stand for on the global stage. Having only been a Federal Commonwealth for thirteen years prior to the outbreak of World War I, those men and women earned admiration from friends and foes alike.
The bravery shown by those men and women is a credit to Australia’s history. One night in April 1917, John Woods Whittle’s platoon was suffering heavy casualties when the enemy launched a surprise counter-attack and sought to bring up a machine gun to expose the position. Single-handedly, John Woods Whittle rushed to attack the hostile gun crew with bombs before the gun could be actioned. He was awarded a Victoria Cross for his bravery and in 1946 when Sjt. Whittle passed away, he was laid to rest at Rookwood Cemetery in Reid.
The ideals that are epitomised in the ANZAC spirit continue to be reflected in the work of those who serve in the Australian Defence Force today. The values of endurance, courage, ingenuity, good humour, and mateship are on display from operations in the Middle East, to operations with our regional neighbours, national security operations, disaster relief, and so much more.
Lest We Forget.