Monday, 18 April 2016

ANZAC Day Remembrance 25th April 2016 - The Reality of War

Military In Memoriam card for Private James Clark 29746, 
of the 18th New Zealand Reinforcements who died in action
at Meteren, 
on the 16th April 1918, aged 23 years.
[From my own collection]

This blog, which is primarily in images, highlights the harsh reality of 'The Great War' of 1914 - 1918 by way of ephemera, letters and artefacts from my own collections relating to those who made the supreme sacrifice.

This gallery is not intended to glorify any one serviceman over another but simply to highlight the fate of so many who never returned from war service. Please spare a quiet moment to remember all those who served King and Country and for their grieving families for whom there would be no happy homecoming and who would bear this burden for the rest of their lives.

A black bordered envelope used to post out
In Memoriam cards for deceased military servicemen.

[From my own collection]

"For The Empire's Cause" - Military deaths placed in
newspapers were normally printed within a black
border, and often accompanied by a photograph.
[From my own collection]

The Military Funeral cortège for Private John Watson, Winton,
New Zealand, 18th September 1915
[From my own collection]

A letter from The Southland Patriotic Committee
expressing condolences upon the death of a serviceman,
20th September 1915
[From my own collection]

An extract of a letter sent by the sister of a deceased
serviceman to her grieving mother in 1915
[From my own collection]

A small card showing the Flags of the Allied Forces.
This card was sent by a Scottish serviceman
after the death of a mutual friend.
[From my own collection]

The letter from King George V
accompanying the "Dead Man's Penny"
shown below.
[From my own collection]

A commemorative medal, known as a "Dead Man's Penny",
 for the life and service of Private John Watson
of Winton New Zealand who died in
military service, 14th September 1915.
Posted to families of deceased servicemen in 1923.
[From my own collection]

Fronticepiece of the photograph\of a
serviceman's gravestone sent to family
by the New Zealand Government
in March 1926
[From my own collection]

Formal photograph\of a serviceman's gravestone sent to family by
the New Zealand Government
in March 1926
[From my own collection]

Extract of a letter from Mrs Mary
MacWilliam of Crawfordjohn,,
Lanarkshire, Scotland dated 1915
[From my own collection]

" cousin Mrs H. Hamilton at Dalserf has lost both her sons. Charlie the elder was a captain in the Scottish Rifles and was killed at the Dardanelles in August. He had married a year before and his wife, who had gone home to her mother at Maidenhead, had a little girl on the 12th August and died a few days after. They wired to Charlie but got no reply - he had never got the message. We motored down to Dalserf and found the parents very glad to see us and wonderfully brave..."
- Extract of above letter from Mrs Mary MacWilliam, wife of the Presbyterian Minister at Crawfordjohn, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, 1915

Crosses laid out in Cranmer Square, Christchurch
in memory of those members of the Canterbury
Regiment killed in the First World War.
Taken 25th April 2015
[From my own collection]

Floral Tributes and poppies laid at the temporary
Christchurch Cenotaph in Cranmer Square in memory
of those servicemen killed in World Wars One and Two.
Taken 25th April 2015
[From my own collection] 

"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."

From "For the Fallen" by Laurence Binyon (1914) 

Copyright : All images are from my own collections and may be freely copied for personal and academic use provided this site is acknowledged.

1 comment:

  1. "For The Empire's Cause" was a sensitive way to head up a funeral notice. It recognised the life-long pain suffered by the parents and widows of young men who had been killed serving a higher good.

    But "laid down his life" implied some sort of voluntary action on behalf of the dead teenagers. It wasn't voluntary. It was the hideous War to End All Wars!


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