What a great day Anzac Day can be for passing on stories of family tradition and connection with Anzac Day.
All morning my 9-year-old son has been asking if our family had any “solders at Gallipoli”.
Last year, I took my son to see his grandfather march as a “Nasho” who did national service between the Korean and Vietnam Wars. It was the first time we were all in the same city for Anzac Day.
My son was so happy to see his grand-dad march by and I’m pretty sure grand-dad felt good that his son and grandson were watching on.
Boys often want to know about their family military connections – especially Aussie kids on Anzac day.
My son wanted to know how young boys around his age in the march had “won so many medals”.
I explained that they were marching and wearing their “family” medals.
Today, I called my mother to prepare “an Anzac Day briefing” for my son for when we visit her on the weekend.
I know I should have done this before Anzac day – but I’ll make sure my son is prepared to tell his kids about our family connection with Anzac Day.
On my mother’s side of the family (the English-Australian side under the surname King ) we have, like so many Australian families, a relative who was in the first landing at Gallipoli. He survived the campaign – but was killed later in France.
My mum in now on a mission to “dig out” photos etc. for our official family Anzac briefing too. I’ll sit in too because I’m keen to learn.
(Here’s a photo my mother later found of our ANZAC family connection – my grandad’s brother Sydney King)
I remember as a kid, searching for the Biancotti name on War Memorials around Australia.
For me Anzac Day always brings back memories of going to dawn services with my dad – and asking him him the sorts of questions boys ask their dads.
As a boy I’d look for “my Biancotti name” on the War Memorial statues around Australia and the name was never there.
I wanted a name like the names of the fallen heroes. (That’s the way boys think!) I’d search every war memorials in every town I’d visit – searching for my name.
One day, my dad explained why there were no Biancotti names on the statues – the Italians were “on the other side” in World War II. In WWI Australia mainly had people with British names.
Australians with Italian last names did fight for Australia – but I never saw a Biancotti on one of those memorials.
I’ll make sure my son knows of his connection to Anzac Day and to look for the English side of the family (the King name) on War Memorials.
I’ll ask my wife to investigate her side of the family too – on the British side. In my opinion it’s important to investigate these things so you can pass it on to your kids.
Anzac Day – a great day to remember and to reflect on what we can do to make sure our future generations are connected to the Anzac Spirit.