My maternal grandfather fought and was wounded at Gallipoli. It was not his first armed conflict. 15 years earlier, he had joined a Highland unit that had been raised by his brother to fight in the South African War.
Grandfather had several sons, two of whom fought in WW2 and were awarded the MC. He also had some nephews who distinguished themselves. One became a notable commando who was involved in numerous military excursions, including the disastrous Dieppe Raid, the D-Day landings, at which he was piped ashore, and the capture of Pegasus Bridge. Churchill said of him, ‘the handsomest man who ever cut a throat’. Another nephew, also my mother’s cousin, founded the SAS. My own father was in the SOE and was parachuted into Albania, so that side of the family did not do too badly and that is without mentioning the fact that his grandfather fought in the Peninsular War and was wounded at Quatre Bras, shortly before Waterloo. There were other brave men from countless other families, from around the world, especially so from Australia, New Zealand and other colonies. There was a better generation of women in those days as well; one whose members sacrificed their own wellbeing for the good of the nation.
All this is not to say that I am an advocate of war. I am not. What I am saying is that the men of past generations appear to have considerably more courage and moral rectitude than the current lot who seem to be terrified of a disease that poses minimal threat. Those men took huge risks and were prepared to sacrifice their lives to protect their freedoms and the freedoms of their kinfolk. This generation is prepared to sacrifice its freedoms to protect their lives from a disease that has almost no chance of killing them.
I think the real ANZACs along with my ancestors, would be truly horrified by the craven behaviour of their descendants and those who now lead them. For this generation to celebrate their heroics, is an insult to their memory.
As for that wretched New Zealand woman….