Dannevirke: Lesson to never forget the consequences of war

By Christine McKay

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Students from Room 2 at Dannevirke South School with the wreaths on their Field of Remembrance following their Anzac service. Photo / Christine McKay
Students from Room 2 at Dannevirke South School with the wreaths on their Field of Remembrance following their Anzac service. Photo / Christine McKay

It's important in our busy lives to take time to remember the sacrifices of servicemen and women, Major Craig Dalgleish of the New Zealand Army says.

Major Dalgleish was the guest speaker at Dannevirke South School's Anzac service recently, reminding students and their families of the more than 140 former pupils of the school served in either World War I or World War II.

"So many gave their lives and we will remember them."

Bill Ingram, Navy (left) Monique Ashford, air force and Major Craig Dalgleish of the New Zealand Army take the salute at Dannevirke South School's Anzac service.
Bill Ingram, Navy (left) Monique Ashford, air force and Major Craig Dalgleish of the New Zealand Army take the salute at Dannevirke South School's Anzac service.

However, Major Dalgleish said Anzac services aren't about celebrating or glorifying war, rather to remember.

"War is horrible and while we should be proud of our Anzacs, there are no winners. War is to be avoided but when it's necessary we need to stand up for our rights.

"However, we should acknowledge the sacrifices and learn from the mistakes of the past," he said. "The names on the white crosses in the school's Field of Remembrance remind us of former South School pupils who attended classes and played here. They were ordinary people growing up in our community, who, with their mates, left to fight in faraway lands to never come back. They were farmers, clerks, labourers and bankers."

Major Dalgleish recalled the Anzac story of the Gallipoli landings, where 12,000 troops landed in a month, with half dead or wounded.

"The Wellington Battalion, which most Dannevirke soldiers served with, lost 690 men from 760 on Chunuk Bair. Our Anzacs suffered extreme hardships, but it's there where the Anzac spirit was born, as soldiers looked after their mates.

"Soldiers who fought at Gallipoli showed courage and we can follow their example by standing up for what we believe is right and standing up for others. We should have commitment to face the challenge in everything we do.

"We can only learn if we continue to remember - Lest we Forget."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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