ANZAC DAY 2014
Several months ago I had cause to drive back to the Western District of Victoria to Branxholme, a small town not far from where I grew up. Unless there was some more of the township situated off the main road, Branxholme consists of a typical country store which handles everything from mail to coffee.
While waiting for the other half of the meeting to arrive I noticed this memorial across the road.
Most houses and outbuilding of that era were made of blue-stone pitchers such as these…
Branxholme, in all likelihood was settled by pioneers who struggled to create roads, communities and a lifestyle no-one would ever dream of these days.
The Branxholme timeline traces the history of the township, noting its population decline and the establishment of its school, Number 63, when the town’s population was listed as 221 and ‘probably included Condah’ another nearby town. My home town’s school was numbered 766 which was always thought of as an early school. Branxholme was established years before my home town if the two numbers are anything to go by.
Facing the memorial to the early settlers is another memorial those locals who have served in major conflicts around the globe.
I could only think of the sacrifices made by Branxholme volunteers in all conflicts and how it has impacted this small district.
This morning, at Branxholme’s War Memorial, I am sure the gathering would have been as solemn as it was in other centres around Australia and New Zealand. As well as Turkey (Gallipoli) and townships throughout France reports indicate that many other towns and countries observe ANZAC Day.
I would like to visit Courcelette, in France, sometime in the next few years as my Grandfather served on the Western Front and was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal at Courcelette during World War I.
Links to 2013 ANZAC Day posts: