oh double ar, oh ar double oh
I’ve got a million of ’em!
Hello there Harry,
In this late reply to your earlier – much earlier – message, I must relate that I have written several letters to the various Ministers and interested parties about Gallipoli in 2015, pointing out that my dad, Bernard George Morris, was what they called a ‘front line stretcher bearer’, who had the most dangerous job of them all at Gallipoli: that was to go out onto the battlefields with no arms or protection of any kind, to bring soldiers from those areas who were too badly wounded to be able to look after themselves. As you know he was wounded at 8pm on August 6th, on the evening of the Anzac assault on Lone Pine where, in a letter to his mother from the Egyptian Hospital to which he was evacuated, he said the shrapnel was falling from the skies ‘like rain.’
My dad landed on Gallipoli in the second wave at dawn on what we now commemorate as Anzac day; i.e,25th April, 1915. He threw three rifles ashore; two from men who had already been killed even before they landed, and one from a man who died shortly thereafter. I suggested that, as there must be very, very few man who survived on that little beach from Day One, which would mean nothing like the ‘hundreds of thousands’ of first generation descendants the organisers claimed must exist, then perhaps some consideration may be given to the small handful of these descendants when organising the event. Perhaps some recognition on the day? No, they said, not in any way, shape or form, even though representatives of the 40 Nations(?) which were said to have fought on that beach were to enjoy an all-expenses-paid invitation as VIP guests!!
The suggestions we made in our various letters to the Ministers and organisers were met with little more than a form letter, pointing out that my two brothers and myself would have to take our chances in the chook-raffle along with everybody else,which we looked upon as an insult to our dad, as it was to every man who ever fought on that battlefield.
The facts are , of course, that the Turks recognise only four (4) flags other than their own on Gallipoli, which are the flags of England, France, Australia and New Zealand!!.
We didn’t really understand, as little kids, what the ‘Long Dead’ term “Original Anzac” meant, except that our father was greeted as an Original everywhere he went, with small discounts – or the occasional freebie – being made available to him by business people and servicemen of ever rank.
In the mid-fifties he stood at the saluting dais with only two other people during a march through Sydney by current serving soldiers. The lord Mayor was one dignitary, the Officer in Command of the Armed Services was another. He was introduced to the crowd by the Lord Mayor as that rarity, and ‘Original Anzac’ and was roundly applauded for that. Boy, how things have changed, for the term “original Anzac’ has long been confined to the dustbin of history.
To cut a long story short, both my younger brother Andy and I have been successful in the 100- Year Anniversary chook-raffle, which seems to us to ably demonstrate the fact that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ because we fairly bombarded the powers that be with our numerous diatribes, and they appear to have capitulated. One wonders then, how it would be possible for both of us – my other, older brother didn’t pursue this, for he has already been to Gallipoli on Anzac day – to have been successful in the Ballot.
Finally, the Minister told me by letter that they could not single out anybody who landed on April 25th from any of the others who arrived on Gallipoli, because they were not going to be there to celebrate that first landing at all. I pointed out that they are going to do precisely that; that date in now called ANZAC DAY, which commemorates the day our dad landed with other man for that wholesale for slaughter on April 25th, 1915.
With best regards,
To lester Morris.
Thank you for your very welcome post, I am researching your Father Bernard George and your uncle William Robert along with the names of another 700 men from the Scone area that served in World War One, I know your father was wounded on 7th August 1915, returned to Australia, Discharged. Then Married and re enlisted.
As you will realise with 700 men to research it takes a while to get through to M for Morris.
Any assistance will be gratefully accepted.
My Postal Address is
153 Liverpool Street. SCONE 2337
My brother, Andrew Richard Morris, rang today to tell me he had read in the Sydney paper that you, or an associate(?) are looking for men who were born in Scone and went to the 1914-18 war. Our dad was born in Scone and, at 21 years of age, joined the Imperial Forces, trained in Cairo and later became a stretcher bearer on Gallipoli for some three months before being seriously wounded and repatriated to Sydney, whereupon he joined again(!) and was sent – as truck driver this time – to England. He carried the Turkish shrapnel in his body until the day he died in 1957, the fragment being too close to the aorta to be safely removed – in those days, that is. My brother Andy has an enormous amount of material about our dad, including date and place of birth, Army numbers and regiment, service record, discharge(s) and so on. If this is of any interest, and I can get an address – he has no computer – I can have him send whatever material to you which might be relevant.
Have been busy since we last met, writting two books and having articles I have written published 118 times in various forms 34 on web sites, 84 in Mazazines and Journals.
I took six months off UNE to write the first book and it took me five years,
My email is email@example.com we have managed to keep from being engulfed by the coal mines but what will happen after our State elections next year is anyones guess.
Have a Great Christmas.
I can see you have made good use of your love of History since we attended UNE.
Good to see.
Harry Willey, Scone NSW.