“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.”
As ANZAC Day comes around, we all take the time to honour those who fought for us. The Gallipoli landing 102 years ago is something unfathomable to us today. The illusive ANZAC spirit is true blue like no other. It is craving the feeling of the sand between your toes and the sunburn on your nose. So, to celebrate and commemorate those who battled it out in the trenches and endeavour to protect our great country every day, we will take a ride through time and space (maybe even air) with some notable military modes of transport.
Land Rover 4x4
A mainstay of the Australian Army, the Land Rover has been part of our uniform since 1958. The ‘Perentie’ 110 was developed specifically for the Army and equipped for a range of roles that could be undertaken with a variety of equipment. Made to tackle the toughest terrain, these Land Rovers are tough-as-nails and luckily enough, the parts are easy to come by when maintenance time comes around.
The Unimog is one used by many military forces across the globe, however is popular for troop transportation and dump trucks here in Australia. It is described as the ‘ultimate off-road weapon’ and a pinnacle of front-line machinery. Dressed in the most recognisable camo, you would have been bound to see this one on the highway as the Army moves out of base for field training. Although it is also used by civilians, mainly for agricultural work, and is a regular fixture on safaris due to its carrying capabilities and has even been known as a prime mover for the likes of jet airliners.
Kittyhawk Fighter Aircraft
The Kittyhawk was the main fighter plane use by the Royal Australian Airforce in World War II. It was once described by one of its pilots, Nikky Barr, as a reliable friend. “It was quite capable of getting you out of trouble more often than not. It was a real warhorse.” Australia’s small aircraft industry was challenged until they acquired the Kittyhawk, which fought on the frontline as fighters in the early years of the Pacific War. One Kittyhawk, famously named ‘Polly’, is on display in the Aircraft Hall at the Australian War Memorial.
AC I Sentinel Cruiser Tank
The first tank designed and built in Australia was a result of the strengthening Japanese invasion threat during World War II. With limited industrial capacities, the Australian Army ordered 65 tanks to be built, however these were never issued to operational armoured units. They were placed in storage until the end of the war and the focus was shifted to railway locomotives and supporting the US tanks that were due to arrive in the country.
Simpson and his Donkey
The most famous mode of transport would have to be the tale of Simpson and his Donkey. Private John Simpson served as a stretcher-bearer in WWI. After landing at Gallipoli on 25 April, 1915, Simpson would carry casualties back to the beach over his shoulder. He then encountered a donkey and enlisted the animal as a mode of transport for the wounded. He used at least five different donkeys, known as ‘Duffy No.1’, ‘Duffy No. 2’, ‘Murphy’, ‘Queen Elizabeth’ and ‘Abdul’ at Gallipoli; some of the donkeys were killed and/or wounded in action. Simpson and his donkey(s) rescued over 300 men during his 24 days of service before he was killed, aged 22, in action on 19 May 1915.
Over the past 102 years since the ANZAC landing, the Australian New Zealand Army Corps enlisted many modes of transport for battle. So, this ANZAC Day, remember how fortunate you are to be able to drive your own car to a Dawn Service rather than on foot in a battlefield.
We will remember them.
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