News and events

Things I didn’t know about ANZAC Day

Tomorrow is ANZAC Day. Obviously up until now I haven’t really been paying attention, because this week I’ve read things I didn’t know about it until now:

  • Four days before ANZAC Day 1918, Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, was shot down over France, probably by Australian anti-aircraft gunners. (Thanks Jayne)
  • On ANZAC Day 1918 (following an offensive launched the night before), the town of Villers-Bretonneux, France was liberated by the ANZACs. According to one report, the town is now affectionately known by Australians as “VB”.
  • Birdwood Avenue, in front of the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, is named after William Birdwood, who was first commander of the ANZACs — though he apparently didn’t visit Australia until after the war had ended.

It would seem that there’s always something new to learn about days gone past. And that the knowledge of what our forebears fought achieved will continue on. Lest we forget.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

5 replies on “Things I didn’t know about ANZAC Day”

And I learnt this year where Tobruk is and who the Rats of Tobruk were. Ever taken your kids to the dawn service Daniel? You should. Go to bed now and get up at Dawn’s crack. Be there by 5.20am. It is solemn, eerie, spiritual and magical.

“Jacka Boulevard” – aka Lower Esplanade St Kilda is named after our greatest ever war hero Albert Jacka, who went on to become St Kilda Mayor and who is buried at St Kilda cemetary.

Some mindless vandals desecrated said grave last year, much to my disappointment.

He is rarely mentioned these days, methinks it is because it’s better to talk about Simpson and his donkey, peacefully saving troops, than Jacka killing the enemy in numbers.


[…] Daniel’s post reminded me that it’s Anzac Day tomorrow, and I was all set to post a picture from a couple of years ago when I went to the Dawn Service with my housemates of the time. We had to get up at some crazy hour to get there – around 4.30, I think – and caught the tram running through the city and down to the Shrine; it’s very atmospheric, hundreds of people turning up, speeches being made and songs from the Victoria Welsh. […]

Tom, Albert Jacka’s grandson ran for Port Phillip Council last year or the year before. Nice guy and he seemed serious. But he failed to be elected against a long standing and highly respected local.

Comments are closed.