It’s April 25th today and in Australia and New Zealand that means Anzac Day. For those of you reading this who are not from either of these countries, it is a day when we remember the men and women who have served in the defence of our countries. A bit like Memorial Day in the US, although Anzac Day came into being because of a specific battle in Turkey on April 25th 1915. That is 100 years ago today.
It was the day Australia lost it’s innocence and came of age. 8,700 Australians and 2,700New Zealanders died during the Gallipoli campaign along with many British, French and Indian and Turkish soldiers. With a small population, the deaths of young man during WW1 changed the lives of an entire generation.
Of course in later years Australian troops fought in WW2, the Korean War and Vietnam. During the Vietnam war years, Anzac Day became a focus for anti- war sentiment. Then during the 70s and 80s it became for many a public holiday and the chance for a sleep in and a picnic.
Life changes and in the last two decades there has been a definite shift. Perhaps having forces serving in Afghanistan and Iraq effected us. Perhaps it is to do with more Australian history taught in schools or the fact that more Australians travel and are visiting the Turkish peninsula, but Anzac Day is once again a day where many people take time to reflect and give thanks. There are no longer any Gallipoli veterans alive to march on Anzac day but their descendents proudly march along with soldiers who served in other wars and in peace-keeping missions.
Lest We Forget.
Recipe for ANZAC Biscuits…these are ‘cookies’ that were sent to the soldiers. They had no eggs so could keep for a long time and they are YUMMY! We make them a lot and they’re an Australian cultural icon.
- 1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 3/4 cup desiccated coconut
- 2 tablespoons golden syrup or treacle
- 150g unsalted butter, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda