April 25, 2012
ANZAC Commemoration at Ashley
I gather flowers for ANZAC tributes,
take them to school for the little ones to make sandsaucers,
and parents to make wreaths and sprays.
I return later in the day with Kitty, full of cold, and her homemade wreath,
to join her schoolfellows at the Ashley Cenotaph
for a pre-ANZAC Day ceremony.
The School Principal addresses the children and I remember my own school days when our Headmaster used to bring us across the road from the school to lay one single wreath in memory of the Fallen. Because ANZAC Day is a holiday, this school commemoration is always held close to 25th April - this year we gathered on 23rd April.
The Ode of Remembrance is recited and a bugler plays Reveille and the Last Post on a 100 year old bugle.
The children lay the flowers prepared in the morning,
and return to school.
I take a silent moment to salute the men who died from Ashley Bank in two wars, and particularly Private Schmidt,
who returned to NZ but died of pneumonia two days later. I suspect he never returned to his family at the Skudder House.