Spirit Of The ANZACS

Country singer, Lee Kernaghan, along with other Australian singer/songwriters Garth Porter and Colin Buchanan, were given access to the diaries, letters and stories of Australian and New Zealand diggers held by the Australian War Memorial as a project for the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli. These letters covered 100 years of ANZAC history from the First World War right through to Afghanistan, resulting in the CD Spirit Of The ANZACS. Many of the lines in the songs on this CD have been directly lifted from letters written on the battlefield.

The booklet which accompanies the CD includes pictorial evidence of the individuals, a brief history, and what it was about their letters home which inspired their adaptation to music.

To The Top Of The Hill has its origins in a letter by Roy Denning ( No 1 Field Company, Australian Engineers) who wrote of his first day of the Gallipoli Campaign on 25 April, 1915 – the dawn, the landing, and the charge “to the top of the hill”. Oh Passchendale is based on a 40 page letter written to his parents and sister by Private Leonard Hart, 2nd Battalion, Otago Infantry Regiment, NZEF, describing the horrific events of 12 October 1917 in Belgium, near Passchendale. Inspired by a letter from Private Allen May, forward scout with D Company, 6th Battalion, 6RAR, in Vietnam Tell Carmelita derives from a missive home about a battle he had survived the week before – at Long Tan.

Surprisingly these songs aren’t depressing but rather a celebration of the human spirit. It’s music that can be enjoyed at any time, not just on military anniversaries. 

With Remembrance Day next week I’m sharing I Will Always Be With You.

courtesy of youtube

Commando Private Benjamin Chuck signed the last letter to his wife :

I Will Always Be With You, Ben.

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