Where are we now?

Where are we now?
Where are we now? Tahmoor, NSW. Updated 7th December 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 58. Bremer Bay to Albany

A rich ANZAC heritage

We left Bremer Bay this morning with heavy hearts, and just like our mood to be leaving this beautiful place the clouds rolled in and it pretty much drizzled most of the way to Albany. We didn't bother stopping anywhere on the way to Albany as the weather was so miserable, there wasn't much point.

We have decided to treat Scarlett and book into a Big 4 park for this stop. There were hardly no kids at the last park in Bremer Bay, and this park is so child friendly it guaranteed to have kids. Being $43.20 a night it's the most expensive park we have paid for on the trip so far. It is however literally right on the beach, has a heated pool, spa, two playgrounds and games room. There is no way she can get bored here!

We went into town and did the usual information centre visit, and picked up a million pamphlets. There is quite a bit to do here, so we have decided to stay for five nights. This Saturday, Shane and Scarlett have tickets to see a dinosaur show here at the entertainment centre, so we've decided to stay till Sunday.

We took a drive up Mt Clarence to take in the 360 deg views, and see one of the many sites Albany has honouring it's ANZAC history. This memorial is so significant, I wanted to explain the whole story, so I pulled the following information off Wikipedia;

"The Desert Mounted Corps Memorial stands near the summit of Mount Clarence, and is a 9-metre bronze statue of an Australian mounted soldier assisting a New Zealand soldier whose horse has been wounded. The memorial was originally erected at Port Said, Egypt in 1916, by Brigadier General J.R. Royston, the commander of the 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade. He suggested that a memorial be erected at Port Said in honour of Australian and New Zealand mounted soldiers killed in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign.

The memorial was funded by the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government and surviving mounted soldiers. It was erected in Port Said in 1932 and was inscribed to the memory of members of the Australian Light Horse, New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade and Imperial Camel Corps (all part of the Desert Mounted Corps) who died in Egypt, Palestine and Syria between 1916 and 1918.

The memorial was damaged in anti- British riots during the Suez Crisis of 1956, and in 1959, the United Arab Republic agreed to send the memorial back to Australia arriving in Albany in 1960. A copy of the statue was made and this was erected on Mount Clarence in 1964.

Back view of statue
 Albany is associated with the Desert Mounted Corps in that the mounted troops and the rest of the first detachment of the Australian Imperial Force and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (later know collectively as ANZACs) left Albany in a convoy of ships in November 1914 to join World War I."

There is a rich ANZAC history here and we will be trying to visit as many sites as possible. Albany is Australia's ANZAC capital as it was the first departure point for ANZAC troops to Gallipoli in 1914. This departure consisted of 30,000 Aust and NZ troops, 7,500 horses and supplies on a fleet of 40 transport ships and 5 naval escort vehicles.

The day the convoy embarked to Egypt and Turkey, a Reverend Arthur White conducted a service for the men before dawn broke. The fleet then sailed out of King George Sound early on 1st Nov 1914. This then made Albany the last sighting of Australia for those who fought and died at Gallipoli, in France or in the Middle East. Albany is recognised the world over as the site of the first dawn service, I am hoping this ANZAC day I might be able to bring Shane back here so he can experience a dawn service at this very important site.

We spent the afternoon relaxing at the van and after dinner popped down to the spa for a quick soak. The water in the pool was so cold Shane put his toe in and nearly died. Scarlett was her usual crazy self jumping from the cold pool, then into the spa, she is so mad.

No comments:

Post a Comment