Six Word Saturday: ANZAC Day remembrance — Gray brothers, Hororata

Eric Andrew GRAY: 20 October 1895 – 27 March 1918.

Killed in action during the Spring Offensive in the Somme Valley, France.

Eric Andrew GRAY: record from y cenotaph database

Wallace Oliver GRAY: 21 December 1892 – 19 October 1981

Wounded in action, Christmas Day 1917. Subsequently contracted illness and declared unfit for military service. Discharged 21 May 1919.

Roger Andrew Gray with his parents, Merle Matilda Wright and Wallace Oliver Gray. c. 1956. Photo: Gray-Dove family archive.

Wallace Oliver Gray, far right of photo, with wife Merle Matilda Wright and son Roger Gray. c. 1956. Photo: Gray-Dove family archive.


Hand-written cards of remembrance by Auckland school children. Thousands of these have been placed together to form the shape of a gigantic poppy on the field at Auckland Domain. Photo: Su Leslie, 2015.


18 thoughts on “Six Word Saturday: ANZAC Day remembrance — Gray brothers, Hororata

  1. It is so important that we remember what ordinary men and women went through in 2 world wars – their bravery and selflessness. The Anzacs were such a body of brave-hearted individuals.

    • That’s so true. When I read your post about your great uncle Giles, it reminded me why it is so important to learn about, and tell the stories of our ancestors. We are a story-telling species, and I think it’s only be personalising experiences that we have any real chance of understanding them. I agree that research often poses more questions than can ever be answered, but every little bit of knowledge counts. Thinking about your Uncle Giles, have you contacted the RSL (Returned and Services League) in Melbourne. They may know of local archives or libraries that house letters and memorabilia from local servicemen and women. There is always a chance that Giles/Victor was mentioned in correspondence — or it’s even possible that there are more official archival records that have been preserved. Cheers, Su.

      • You are such a whizz, Su. Thank you for that piece of valuable info. And as to keep telling the stories, you are spot on. It’s the only way to help people SEE what life (and death) was like for others. It would be nice too if we could learn from the past.

        • Thanks Tish. I’m quite glad ANZAC
          Day is over; I was beginning to feel quite angry with the way it was being hi-jacked for some not very honourable political purposes. But it guess it was ever thus.

  2. It has become huge here in Hastings. The Women’s Centre is also putting on a display about the women’s contribution to the war effort – having to cope without their men – fathers, husbands, brothers and sons. Women were encouraged to knit – even school girls had to knit in class. We mustn’t forget that as well.

    • I think huge throughout Aus and NZ. The commemorations always trouble me slightly in the way that war can so easily be glorified and separated from it’s political context. I’m glad the Women’s Centre has created a display that focuses on the women — too often ignored in “war” commemorations.

    • Thanks. The more I learn about WWI, the more I realise the appalling cost of arrogance, incompetence and imperialism. And I wonder how much we have really learned.

        • Certainly peaceful in some parts of the world, but I was thinking specifically of my government committing troops (without parliamentary debate or consultation) to go the Middle East. NZ seems determined to involve itself in conflicts far to win favour from our “friends” the US and (in the past) Britain.

  3. Lovely to see the contributions from the school children. You have seen the giant poppy, I presume? I am also worried that we are ‘glorifying’ the Anzacs, instead of concentrating on honest, simple remembrance. I notice in the Cenotaph records that often 2 vessels are given. Do you know why?

    • The poppy was a lovely idea, but difficult to “see” except from a few vantage points around the edge of the field. I read a lot of the comments and can’t help wondering what teachers told the children about why NZers joined WWI? I agree that the commemorations have got a bit out of hand and have lost touch with remembrance of real people. I read a piece by Rosemary McLeod recently that made the same points (can’t remember where now), and also noted how convenient it is to have a huge anniversary like ANZAC at the time when we are committing troops overseas. With the troop transport records; no I don’t know. Perhaps they made the voyages in stages, changing ships. You’ve got me thinking, so I might email the Museum librarians and ask it someone knows. Thanks, Su.

  4. Great tribute to ANZAC Day remembrance dear Su!The Cenotaph Record and the old family photo are compelling.Loved the card collage also,projects like that help new generations to enrich their history knowledge and to be respectful to their ancestors.Happy Saturday 🙂 xxx

    • Thank you dear Doda. The children’s cards were moving and sometimes unintentionally hilarious. I also heard a preschool teacher trying to explain the Field of Remembrance to her charges and was quite glad I’m not a teacher. I suspect parents would complain that I was too “leftwing” for their children. 🙂

  5. Pingback: “They shall grow not old …” – Shaking the tree

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