Friday, April 24, 2009

Known Unto God

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"Should anything happen, Mummie, don't grieve for me because it is His will and That is always best. To the best of my knowledge I am pretty well prepared to go and face my God, but of course I have no particular wish to go yet. Somehow or other I feel firmly convinced I will survive and so I do not worry at all.
"Should this be my last letter, dearest, remember I will always be waiting and watching for you and praying also, darling Mother, for your spiritual welfare ... Oh, Mum! How I wish I could have one farewell kiss before going into battle."


Words from a letter written by Lt. Leo Corrigan to his mother in Sydney as he left for Gallipoli. He was killed 2 years later in action at the Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium on September 20,1917 aged 22. The following day, he & five other Australian boys were hastily buried in an unmarked roadside grave, their bodies were wrapped in blankets and tied with signal wire, their hands clasped in prayer. Back in Sydney his father received his war service medals & his mother his prayer book & rosary beads. As a devout Catholic, his mother Sarah had hoped Leo would become a priest after the War. In 1919, when his grieving mother wrote to authorities to request details of her son's final resting place, the reply was 'Place of Burial: Not Known'. Living to her 90's, she always longed for a photo of her son's grave & never recovered from her loss. 91 years on, Leo's grave still remains unknown.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, 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.

LEST WE FORGET

17 comments:

  1. What a lovely, sad, poignant post, thank you for reminding us of the sacrifice these brave young men made for us.

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  2. Thank you for reminding us Mille, those brave brave young men...tears ♥x

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  3. Forever heartbreaking. A-M xx

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  4. Such a lovely letter and poignant post.
    Thank you Millie, we will remember the young and brave Men.
    I love the line ~
    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.

    We are connected here, with Anzac Day and can commemorate together. Lovely that the spirit of Anzac has not been weakened by the passing years.

    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  5. wow... such a reminder for us all...

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  6. * A heartfelt tribute that deeply touches one's very heart n' soul~~~ and this comes from an Army wife of 38 years, who knows much of that devestation. Thank you~ this was "beautifully respectful".
    Warmly, Linda in AZ *

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  7. Beautiful Anzac Day tribute Millie, xv.

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  8. Just one of so many sad stories - thank you for telling it.

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  9. My husbands uncle was killed in New Guinea just before his 21st bday. Greg and my son visited his grave last yr when they did Kokoda. It was the 1st time any one from the family had been able to visit his final resting place. Very moving to know that they were finally able to be there for the family(both living and dead) and hopefully to think that he knew they were there.

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  10. Lest we forget, a beautiful post Millie. Amanda x

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  11. It was nice to read a post about this. I think it is so special that these amazing men and the ewomen in their lives are remembered. My husband and I shared the tradition with our swedish collegues today at work by sharing stories and the meaning of anzac day and of course teaching them 2-up and eating anzac biscuits.

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  12. As my mother-in-law loves to say, "and their boots were wet and they still fought" with a tear in her eyes.
    Brave young men.
    pve

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  13. I've never seen the first verse to this ode. Being a child of a veteran, we certainly knew the last verse.

    Thanks for sharing this!

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  14. lovely tribute... that picture says it all....

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  15. You've given me goosebumbs Millie. Such a lovely tribute for an emotional day.

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  16. Thanks for that lovely post. My grandfather fought briefly in Belgium in WW1 before being medically discharged. He rarely spoke about it and I can understand why they would try to protect themselves from those memories.

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And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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