ANZAC Day is one of the most sacred days on the Australia and New Zealand calendar.

On April 25 1915 brave soliders from Australia and New Zealand formed part of the allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies.  When they landed on the shores of Gallipoli they were met by fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders.  Many young lives were lost.  ANZAC Day is not only about that fateful day on the Gallipoli shore.  It’s a day to pay tribute to fallen servicemen and servicewomen through other conflicts including World War II, Vietnam and most recently the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This week through News Limited papers we were introduced to St George-Illawarra’s Joel Thompson and his personal ANZAC Story.  For Joel this will be his first occasion to play in the traditional Dragons versus Roosters game.  ANZAC Day games between these two rivals are always played with added passion and intensity.  Joel will get a feeling for what it’s like when he steps out in the Red V in memory of his family’s role in battle.

The grainy black and white photographs from Sergeant Eric Albert Thompson’s army service file are the only record the St George Illawarra forward has of his great grandfather’s role in World War II.

Full story at http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/nrl/st-george-illawarra-dragon-joel-thompson-reflects-on-the-role-his-family-played-in-world-war-ii/story-fni3g99u-1226889967304

Rugby League players aren’t immune to serving for their country with some making the ultimate sacrifice.

Easts lost centre Bob Tidyman, a Test player in 1914, who was reported missing in action near the scene of heavy fighting near Boulogne in the winter of 1916. His body was never recovered although personal effects, including a NSW Leagues Club ticket with his name on it were later found where he was believed to have fallen.

Full story at http://www.nrl.com/rugby-leagues-anzac-heroes/tabid/10874/newsid/62370/default.aspx

We thank our former and current service personnel for their contribution to serving their country.  May the ANZAC spirit continue to grow…

 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.

LEST WE FORGET