Soft, Shining Peace

Silence Falls The echoes die, the smoke-clouds thin and pass, The cannons are, like statues, dumb and cold: Silent the crosses wait, and in the grass The spent shells gleam like gold. All spent he lay and dreamed till the moment came: Now, waking with a cry, he looks, all wonder To see the empty [...]

Forever Young

At dawn of April 25, 1918 three years after the landing at Gallipoli, the Australian Imperial Force broken through the German entrenchment at Villers-Bretonneux in northern France. By the next day the town was secured creating a new front line to the east. The town did not fall into enemy hands for the rest of [...]

For the Fallen

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 [...]

The Price of Freedom

“War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.” J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers Inspired by WordPress Weekly Photo [...]

Requiem for the Unknown

As you stand in the Tower of the Australian National War Memorial at Villers–Bretonneux in Northern France, and gaze out over the wide rolling green and yellow fields of the Somme, it is difficult to picture in your mind how this landscape appeared to the soldiers who fought here in 1918. Only fading black and white [...]

The Somme Battlefield

Villers-Bretonneux Poziers Le Hamel Theapval  Will they never fade or pass! The mud, and the misty figures endlessly coming in through the foul morass, And the grey flood-water ripping the reeds and grass, And the steel wings drumming. The hills are bright in the sun: There's nothing changed or marred in the well-known places; When [...]