Alexander Turnbull Library photo
We play wargames as a hobby, but today we remember those men and women who have gone to war in anything but a game. For them it was life or death, and for too many it was the latter.
The above photo is a lovely montage that appeared on the New Zealand news website Stuff today, to illustrate an article on two of the young men of a small town in the Wairarapa, who left to go to war in 1916, never to return.
The picture shows the lovely group of 34 scarlet oaks planted at the Maungaraki war memorial to symbolise the ten farmers, two farm hands, two labourers, a teacher, a mail contractor and the other young men of that small community who never came back.
The soldiers in the picture are from WW2, another conflict that saw New Zealanders travelling halfway round the world to fight, and sadly often to die.
Those of you who have read my previous posting on my father’s war service will realise that my own family’s WW2 experiences had nothing to do with New Zealand or the ANZACs. But because New Zealand became my parents’ adopted country in the 1950s and was the country I was born into, I am proud to commemorate those brave ANZACs, just as much as every 10 May when I think of my Dad’s war service in the Dutch army.