New Zealand commemorates ANZAC 2017   25 Apr 2017

 

?Photo credit: ?Auckland War Memorial Museum dawn service. Photo / Michael Craigh

25 April 2017

Thousands of New Zealander's across the country have gathered at services today to remember the lives lost in battles at the turn of the 20th century. 

The Significance of the Ode

The Ode derives from the fourth stanza of the poem 'For the Fallen' by Lawrence Binyon and is also known as 'Binyon's Lines'.

FOR THE FALLEN
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is a music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

E kore ratou e koroheketia
Penei i a tatou kua mahue nei
E kore hoki ratou e ngoikore
Ahakoa pehea i nga ahuatanga o te wa.
I te hekenga atu o te ra
Tae noa ki te aranga mai i te ata
Ka maumahara tonu tatou ki a ratou.

Ka maumahara tonu tatou ki a ratou.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables at home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

English poet, dramatist, art scholar and Assistant Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, Laurence Binyon (1869–1943) wrote "For the Fallen" in response to the outbreak of the First World War while sitting on The Rumps, Polseath Polzeath, Cornwall. It was first published in The Times (London) on 21 September 1914 and subsequently in Binyon's The Winnowing Fan; Poems on the Great War. Edward Elgar set to music three of Binyon's poems, including "For the Fallen", as The Spirit of England (1917).

Although too old to enlist in the First World War, Binyon went to the Western Front in 1916 to work for the Red Cross as a medical orderly with an Ambulance Unit. He wrote about his experiences in For Dauntless France (1918). Binyon returned to British Museum after the war and retired as the Keeper of the Prints and Drawings Department. He died in 1943.

The Ode was used at the unveiling of the Cenotaph in Whitehall London on 11 November 1919 and, like so many remembrance traditions, passed into common usage across the Commonwealth.

Those in New Zealand are thinking of the New Zealand and Australians who will come together to commenorate our nation's committment to peace.  We trust those who are travelling to Gallipolli are kept safe.

Source:NZ News UK

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