ANZAC Day is a special and unique event around the world. What started as a commemoration and remembrance of the landings at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, has evolved to its modern form as a day of remembrance for those who have suffered and endured all wars prior to, and since that historic day.
This year was made even more unique by the fact that due to ongoing restrictions on social gatherings in Australia and around the world, the services held at Australia’s Antarctic research stations would be some of the only services held with a public gathering and demonstrated that despite the uncertain times the world is enduring right now, the ANZAC Day would prevail.
So, on the 25th of April 2020, the 24 members of the Davis wintering expedition gathered at dawn to commemorate ANZAC day in our own unique way. The day began with the traditional gunfire breakfast where we discovered knitted poppies which had been painstakingly knitted by our wonderful chef, Donna. We then braved the Antarctic cold for the dawn service to commence. The opening address outlined the history of ANZAC day, followed by ‘In Flanders Fields’ and the laying of a wreath at an unmarked white cross. Then, in the still silence of an eerily quiet Antarctic dawn, we observed a minute’s silence as the last post faded in the distance…..
For me personally, having served in combined Aussie and Kiwi taskgroups in the Solomon Islands and in Iraq, ANZAC day has become about reuniting with mates and remembering what is was like to travel abroad in service of your nation and be thankful for having returned safely, and on one day of the year above all others, remembering those who did not. Lest we forget.
Station Leader — Davis 2020