Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hobart's ANZAC Day Parade

Uncle Ian (behind RH shoulder of marshall in orange jacket) marches down Macquarie Street with his comrades. Larger view here.

Ian with a comrade in New Guinea, April 1944.

It was bucketing with rain on ANZAC Day morning. I'm sure the Dawn Service musty have been pretty hard going. But, come 10am, an hour before the main parade kicks off, the rain decided to abate.

I headed down to the city, camera in hand ready to watch, and to get a couple of photos of my Uncle, Ian Tynan who served in the RAAF in New Guinea in WWII.

I got a perfect spot, right outside The Mercury building, and directly opposite the Town Hall, where the Governor takes the salute.

First off down Macquarie Street were five infrantry on their horses. Then came those no longer able to walk the parade route, ferried in buses, taxis and WWII Jeeps.

After that, came the various units and battalions, starting with the Boer War, then to WWI (our grandfather, Algy Tynan fought in the 1/12th). It's quite poignant and emotional to see the signs for the units being borne by schoolchildren, with no actual servicemen left. Pop died in 1974, and I think Tasmania's last WWI Veteran died about three or four years ago. I have quite vivid memories of going to the marches with Mum, Dad and Brent when we were kids.

Pop's Battalion, the 1/12th.

A War memorial Portrait of Pop, 1914.

The crew of the HMAS Darwin, in town for ANZAC Day duty were impressive as they marched past with "eyes righted" to the plinth.

As it got to the WWII units, I was keeping my eyes peeled for Ian and his crew. I don't know what happened, but I bloody well missed him as he marched straight past my vantage point. Luckily, I got a picture of the RAAF unit just as it left Franklin Square, and can make Ian out in the shot. Still, quite dissapointing that I missed him.

It's funny how my attitude has changed over the years, from a kid not really understanding what it was all about, to young adult, not wanting anything to do with the march, apart from the opportunity for another holiday, to now, where I'm thinking about what these people must have gone through, and how they're still here today. While I'm by no means a proponent of war as a means of resolving anything, I do thank those who marched, and those who didn't or couldn't for all they've done and been through for the greater good. And Ian, I'll get a much better picture next year!

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