Sunday, 11 November 2018

“100 years since end of first world war: how Hong Kong celebrated” | SCMP

Hong Kong harbour just before WW1. Kowloon at top. Naval shipyards and
Bowen Street military hospital foreground.
I woke up this morning to the sounds of silence. One minute’s silence to honour the end of the First World War.
Lest We Forget. 
When I turned on ABC Australia's Radio National it just happened to be 11:11 in Australia. 11:11 of our eleventh month.  11,11,11.  Of 1918-2108. 
So, one hundred years since the First World War ended and ABC was honouring a one minutes silence, but with tweety birds. Birdsong the only hint that I was actually connected. 
And then came on two women talking about how they'd made 62,000 silk poppies with bamboo stems that they'd planted in the gardens of the Australian War Memorial. That War Memorial that I remember visiting on my bike in 1958, riding down from nearby Ainslie suburb. 60 years ago. 
It's one red poppy for every Australian soldier killed in the Great War. 
Making Australia a country that lost amongst the most, per capita. New Zealand a bit more. So the ANZACs sacrificed hugely, especially given we are half way around the world. 
My grandfather was lucky not to be one of today's poppies. 
He served in that "Great" War. My grandfather. My mother's father. My children's great grandfather. My grandson Rocky's great-great-grandfather. 
Bruce Anderson from Cambridge, New Zealand. 
He fought in the New Zealand mounted division in Egypt. He was a farmer, so they put him together with horses. So I learned from the Military Museum in Auckland, from the very friendly staff there and their now computerised records. The family lore was that  Bruce had been in Gallipoli. It may be that he was, since most ANZACS who stormed its beaches took off from Egypt.  
Bruce Anderson was wounded and shipped back to New Zealand. Family lore has it that he said "well if that's overseas, I think I'll stop home". 
"100 years since end of first world war: how Hong Kong celebrated"

Check out the internal link to the story of the German ship in Hong Kong just before WW1. 

Sent from my iPad