Sunday, July 22, 2012

Australian War Memorial

We paid a visit to the Australian War Memorial. It is supremely moving as a memorial to those who gave their lives so we might enjoy our freedom.

This is Simpson's donkey. John Simpson was a British stretcher-bearer serving in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. At Gallipoli he acquired a donkey and carried wounded soldiers down to the beach for the three and a half weeks that he was there before he was fatally wounded.

Of course, the Gallipoli campaign was an umitigated disaster and is well known in Australian and New Zealand war history. Australian casualties numbered 8,700; New Zealand 2,700; India 1,400; France 10,000; Great Britain 21,000 and the Ottoman Empire an horrific 87,000. More than double that number were wounded. Any lives saved were miraculous.

Simpson and his donkey by Peter Corlett
The statue to commemorate the sailors
and the soldiers

The roll of honour

One of the gargoyles in the Australian War Memorial
The museum attached to the memorial is fantastic. There are artworks and dioramas depicting individual battles, and a massive hall full of planes, tanks and armoury illuminated in thoroughly impressive sound and light shows.

A diorama of the trenches in WWI

Bomber Command Memorial by Neil Dawson

The Animals in War Memorial

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