Sunday, April 25, 2010

ANZAC Day in Jerusalem

The Cross of Sacrifice is a symbol that stands in all British military cemeteries in the world.

The Imperial War Graves Commission began to issue directives for cemeteries in 1917.

Welcome to the Jerusalem War Cemetery on Mount Scopus.
Please click to enlarge the photos and read the nice words.

ANZAC Day was commemorated on April 25 not only in Australia and New Zealand, but also in Israel.

"Their name liveth for evermore" proclaims the Stone of Remembrance, the second of the two monuments which are standard in all such British cemeteries.

A wreath was placed even by the "Office of the Quartet Representative."

You can read the story of the Allied Forces' Egyptian Expeditionary Force on the sign.
It is the reason that there are now 2,515 Commonwealth burials of the First World War in the cemetery.
A nice article in Haaretz summed it up thus:

" . . . Australian and New Zealand Army Corps conquered Palestine in the winter of 1917. General Edmund Allenby's forces, including ANZAC troops, boasted some 75,000 infantry soldiers, 17,000 cavalrymen and 475 cannons. They started out from Egypt, moved northward through the Sinai Desert, and advanced as fast as they could lay railway tracks; some 56,000 laborers and 35,000 camels were employed in this enterprise. Gaza was destroyed almost completely. After conquering Be'er Sheva, the troops advanced toward Jerusalem.
The residents of the country welcomed them enthusiastically, as an army of liberators.
'All are kind and have nice faces,' the author Mordechai Ben Hillel Hacohen wrote. "Their faces are good like the faces of big children.' "

Just outside the gate is the Australian Memorial from 1935.
The inscription reads:
So very many tombstones . . .
They are uniform: the soldier's unit's symbol, his name (first initial and family name), number, age, and date of death. Some families formulated a short personal inscription.
Most of the stones show the symbol of the man's religion.
Tomorrow I will show you examples of the 24 Jewish graves.

Tomorrow I will post the mosaic inside the chapel.
But now let's concentrate on the wall of names around it.
The JERUSALEM MEMORIAL was unveiled by Lord Allenby May 7, 1927.
It commemorates the 3,366 Commonwealth servicemen who died during the First World War in operations in Egypt or Palestine and who have no known grave.

The quotation from the Bible refers to Moses but is also applicable to the poor soldiers.

How sad not to have a marked grave . . .

At least the relatives have a name to touch and adorn with a poppy.

Of the 2,515 Commonwealth burials of the First World War in the cemetery, 100 of them are unidentified.
The stone says simply:

For ANZAC Day--chairs for the living next to tombs for the fallen, all overlooking the city of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem owes so much to these young men who came from so far away to help.
On Lt. Godsill's tombstone, part of Binyon's poem, known to every Australian and to those of us who love Australia:

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.


Robin said...

We will remember them - today and everyday - and what they have given that we might be free.

Reader Wil said...

Remembrance Days are so important. Ours are on the 4th and 5th May. The evening of the 4th we commemorate the victims of WW I en WWII, whereas on the 5th we celebrate our liberation. As long as I live, there has been war.

Virginia said...

Just a beautiful tribute you've brought us today. Lest we forget.

Leif Hagen said...

Anzac Day - that's new to me! I learned something today - others have also posted about it. Your posting really brought me into the beautifulyl maintained cemetery! Of course, it reminds me of our Memorial Day holiday over here, another day to remember...

Anonymous said...

Dina, This was a really moving post, thank you. My bus from Rehavia to HU at Mt Scopus always passed by there and I was intrigued by it. So pristine, thank you for the remembrance. Looks like it was a gorgeous day as well.

J Bar said...

Terrific tribute. I had no idea that there were ANZAC Day commemoration services in Israel. Thanks for showing us this. Lest We Forget.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Dr M said...

Dina, I am deeply grateful for each of your posts. You are ever-so thoughtful in postings like today's, and I think we feel a sense of gratitude as you stand as our proxy at so many events that we, your readers, wish we could attend.

Anonymous said...

Very touching and informative.

I never knew ANZAC Day was commemorated in Jerusalem.

WWI was the start of setting the stage to return Israel to Her people.

Thanks for the close-ups so we could read the inscriptions!


Louis la Vache said...

Superb post, Dina.

The ANZAC troops, often forgotten, at least in the U.S., were among the bravest to defend freedom in two world wars.

As a military history buff, «Louis» thanks you for posting this.

Pietro said...

Surely, Remembrance Days are very important. This post is a significant tribute indeed.

VP said...

A great and exhaustive post with many beautiful images. You know how I am very interested in this period, so I'm glad to see something absolutely new to me.
I have seen those poppies sold for charities in London, I think for the Poppy Appeal of the Royal British Legion.

Hels said...

This weekend I have read many ANZAC Day blogs about Australia, New Zealand, France and Turkey, but I too had no idea there The Imperial War Graves Commission ever involved themselves in Jerusalem.

Spouse and I are in Israel every year visiting all the relatives, but you know what happens! We eat ourselves to a standstill, moving from one brother to another aunt to a first cousin. This time (Rosh Hashana to Succot) I must have a look at the Jerusalem War Cemetery. Many thanks

moneythoughts said...

I concur with Dr.M and his remarks. We all gain so much from your posts and photos. Well done.

Ann said...

Thank you Dina, I remember my friend taking me to some kind of a park or memorial garden (I think) in Tel Aviv but didn't know about Jerusalem or that there was a commemoration there.

jeannette said...

Thank you for honoring those who who sacrificed their lives for freedom! Binyon's poem speaks so strongly here!

Hilda said...

Sad but beautiful posts these past two days, Dina. Thank you for sharing the information. There are so many things I have yet to learn — you are a very good teacher.