“great rejoicing”

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Last updated on June 15th, 2017 at 12:54 pm

The Bulletin’s Tony Wright, soon to arrive in Turkey for services at Anzac Cove, recalls a diary entry written by his great-uncle George, who served at Gallipoli 90 years ago:

“A good deal of shrapnel during the day,” he wrote on June 21. “One of the boys killed while swimming.” They came down from the trenches, those boys, to bathe and try to rid themselves of lice and filth. They took their pleasure where they could get it, and the waters of the Aegean both damned and blessed them. In late May, troops all over the hills of Anzac watched as the battleship HMS Triumph was torpedoed and sunk with the loss of 50 men. Twenty days later, great-uncle George scribbled in his diary: “Shell fire on beach in evening. Ninety gallon of wine washed up from Triumph. Great rejoicing.”

The entire piece is beautiful. Tony has visited Gallipoli before; this time his youngest daughter, Georgina, is accompanying him. More reports to come. Also, please enjoy this special photo gallery of Australians at war, in advance of Anzac Day.

Posted by Tim B. on 04/19/2005 at 08:21 PM
    1. I read an article years ago about some Americans who died in Australia when their plane crashed in WW2.

      The locals buried them and provided them with a monument. I thought that a very decent thing to do.

      My uncle told me that the Japanese were terrified of the Aussies, they considered them barbarians.

      Posted by terryelee on 04/19 at 09:20 PM • #


    1. The Japanese considered everyone barbarians. In fact, they still do for the most part, though they are a lot politer about it these days. For some reason.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 04/19 at 10:40 PM • #


    1. “Lest we forget”

      Looking forward to ANZAC Day- it means a lot to me for various reasons. For one thing I met my wife on ANZAC Day- she’s Japanese.

      Andrea, please be assured the Japanese do not for the most part consider everyone to be bararians.

      Posted by Just passing by on 04/19 at 11:23 PM • #


    1. Thank you, Australia, for your veterans and your fallen.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 04/20 at 02:29 AM • #


    1. What! No Navy pictures Tim?

      Posted by Astonished on 04/20 at 03:40 AM • #


    1. Cultures evolve. We cannot pretend that the culture of the time in Japan was anything but appalling in its attitude to foreigners. Diggers had every reason to be disgusted by what they saw of the behaviour of the Japanese when in Victor Mode.
      How deeply this cultural memory runs – and how much the Chinese suffered, is evidenced by recent events there.
      I was reminded of this when seeing a photo of a Japanese Officer about to behead a young Australian soldier who resembled my (now) twenty-something year old nephew.

      Posted by blogstrop on 04/20 at 06:18 AM • #


    1. We don’t EVER forget the Americans who fought and died along with our own magnificent diggers,sailors and airmen.We never forget and we are always grateful.

      Posted by crash on 04/20 at 07:12 AM • #


    1. Hello, world. The Japanese were the barbarians.

      The description flatters them.

      They perpetrated the foulest crimes.

      They were disgusting sub-humans.

      They preyed – the pathetic cowards – on brave, captured, indomitable Australian soldiers; the best of a generation. The result is still felt today.

      Australia lost a generation of leaders in WW1 and a further in WW2.

      Australia’s best was lost – from a low population to begin with.

      Posted by ilibcc on 04/20 at 07:59 AM • #


    1. All countries behave barbarically at different points in their history.  What matters is what they do afterwards.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 04/20 at 10:00 AM • #


    1. Fantastic photos, Tim, though the one that stopped me cold was the one of the wounded Pvt Wells being carried to hospital by the “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’’ – a five-day trip.  When I think that today he could be airlifted to a distant hospital in a matter of hours…well, I hoped he survived.

      And was Captain Frank Hurley (mentioned as one of the photographers) the same Frank Hurley who went with Shackleton on the “Endurance’’ expedition in 1914?  Not a man for the soft and easy life, was he?

      Posted by Sonetka’s Mom on 04/20 at 11:17 AM • #


  1. Absolutely wrong, Rebebecca, not all countries behave barbarically at different points in their history. And certainly not in an orchestrated manner sanctioned by their government and delivered by their people.

    Posted by ilibcc on 04/20 at 05:45 PM • #