Dale Munckton playing the last post in the morning light at Phillip Island on a unique Anzac Day 2020.

Well, that’s Anzac Day for another year.

A pretty strange one.

There was no one up in our street as the ‘Last Post’ was played by mobile phone in the dawn light.

But there were plenty of people who did join the chorus, including former South Gippsland Shire Council Deputy Mayor and South Gippsland Brass Band stalwart Nigel Hutchison-Brooks who played the flugel horn for a cast of cows, up in the hills at Aarawata.

Maybe someone heard him maybe they didn’t.

It doesn’t really matter.

What does matter is that hundreds of thousands of Australians and New Zealanders did ‘stand to’ this morning to honour the Anzac spirit… and we’re going to need plenty more of that over the next 12 months.

The Anzac story

In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the Allied navies. The objective was to capture Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which was an ally of Germany during the war. The ANZAC force landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Army commanded by Mustafa Kemal (later known as Atatürk). What had been planned as a bold strike to knock the Ottomans out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915, the Allied forces were evacuated after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. The Allied deaths totalled over 56,000, including 8,709 from Australia and 2,721 from New Zealand. News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which they remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in the war.