ANZAC Day 2016
100 years ago, in the carnage of the Somme battlefield, Bois Grenier, Northern France, my great uncle Rudolph Schulstad wrote in his diary …..
“Commencing at 7.30 until 9.35 pm yesterday, we were under a terrific bombardment, the enemy sending on one sector about 8,000 shells varying from 6 inch to 9.2 inch. One came through 5 ft of sandbags then exploded, killing Son Wood, Jack McNeill and J.Harding and wounding J. Morris, Vic Braddock, Arch Mullins, L. Hughes, H. Edgar and myself. The first I felt was a hit in the chest which must have been concussion. Poor old Son fell across me and never moved. The rest of the wounded were behind us. Jack McNeill and J.Harding were outside when it happened. We were working all night and today on the wounded. So far our casualty returns are – wounded 71, killed 25 & 37 Missing.
Our trenches are blown to pieces. It is a miracle how any of us are alive. It was indescribable. One poor fellow, all that was found of him was put in a billy can. My wound is slight on the left forearm. On Friday morning a German Taube dropped a red parachute where the bombardment was severest at night. Thank God I was ready if the call had come to me.“
Private Rudolph John Schulstad – 20th Australian Infantry Battalion
“The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war that we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living.“