Friday, April 24, 2009

It's a long trivial way to Tipperary, it's a long history way to go, it's a long way to April 24 Tipperary to the sweetest girl I know...

 ....Goodbye Piccadilly!
Farewell Leicester Square!
It's a long, long way to Tipperary
But my heart's right there!

For a listen to some very vintage audio files, circa 1914, of that song click HERE.

Just watched a brilliant tv doco Lost in Flanders which was two Aussie historians working with the No Man's Land Group of archaeologists who traced the path some of the Aussie battalions took during WW1 and followed up on the identification of the recently discovered bodies  of the five Aussie soldiers found at Polygon Wood.
Scarily Hill 60 is still a pock-marked, scarred group of earthen embankments; anonymous lumps, bumps and ditches carpeted in green grass with concrete pillboxes poking through.

Had to laugh at the sheer stupidity of some Aussies (and be completely ashamed at the same time) who have no flippin' idea what the NZ stands for in ANZAC and the one tosspot of a Uni student who threw a hissy fit at having a Kiwi *gasp* talking to Aussies about the ANZACS...yep, he'll definitely get the Fark-knuckle of the Year Award LOL.

NZ On Screen is airing some fantastic and exclusive docos and films, for free, to commemorate ANZAC Day.

ABC TV has launched a new interactive educational site Gallipoli: The First Day.

1860 HMCS Victoria (the ship not the state) sailed from Hobart (that's in Tassie) to NZ (that's over the ditch) with Brit troops (from overseas or some say outer space) to fight in the war at Taranaki (that's on the North Island) between the Maoris and the colonists.

1877 Larks a lordy!
The madness of those pollies, ey Kosky?
There they were opening yet another railway line; this time from Ararat to Dunkeld.
Imagine! The hoi polloi could actually travel and get places and rely on the transport...

1899 The Victorian Royal Commission looking into refrigerated stores and a wine depot began....'cause every politician knows you can't start a new century without properly chilled wine, now can you?

1911 The public in Sydney were given a proper treat when Vaucluse House and gardens were declared to be riddled with gold there for the taking a public park.

1918 On the Western Front the second battle of Villers-Bretonneux took place .

1922 NZ held the first Poppy Day.

1998 The Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum was opened.


  1. In Flanders fields the poppies blow,
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep,
    though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

  2. The current HMCS Victoria is a sub.
    I had to check that out seeing Canada wasn't a country til 1867 so there was no Canadian navy. Now I know about a COLONIAL Australian ship.

    Another bit of information to throw out at the dinner parties I don't give or get invited to.

  3. Annie gave me a very long lecture at dinner last night about how the NZ in ANZAC stands for New Zealand. I was very proud of her.

    Almost as proud as when she was telling me about how on ANZAC day we should remember the bad guys who died in war too because their Mummies and children would miss them. ::tears up::

  4. Such an enduring poem that sums it all up, Brian.

    Ahhh, I didn't know that the Canadian navy used the same acronym, Elizabeth, thanks!
    I'll do the same at the same dinner parties (I think we must know the same people ;) )

    Give Annie a great big hug, Marita, and if she gets to be PM one day we'll be pretty safe from war mongering idiots with her in charge ;)

  5. Great information. I love how you find all this stuff !

  6. I find it hard to believe that there ever was a time when people could rely on public transport.

    My step-father used to get "happy" drunk every week and he'd sing songs like Tipperary, but he'd change the words and be singing "it's a long way to tickle Mary". Words like Picadilly and Leicester Square were renamed too,with women's names, then he'd fall asleep at the table and be wrapped in a blanket to stay warm. He always woke up and got himself to bed somehow after midnight.

  7. Nice one Brian. I'd never heard the whole poem before, only the first two lines.

  8. Inspiration for the Poem

    In the second week of fighting during the Second Battle of Ypres a Canadian artillery officer, Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, was killed on 2 May, 1915 by a German artillery shell. He was a friend of the Canadian military doctor Major John McCrae. John was asked to conduct the burial service owing to the chaplain being called away on duty elsewhere. It is believed that later that evening John began the draft for his famous poem 'In Flanders Fields'.

    Just so you know. We Canadians do like to boast sometimes.

  9. shakes head at at the young Australian who did not know what the N and Z stood for. I grew up at school reciting Flanders Field.

  10. Thanks, Rhubarb ;)

    Twas when the gals were running it during WW2, River... ;)

    It is a beautiful poem, Elizabeth, and Canadians should be proud to claim it.

    Same here, Janine ;)