Who was it that said “War is Hell”?

It’s so true and looking at the Wounded Warrior sites on the internet and seeing what has happened to so many fine young men and women who fought in modern wars, one cannot help feel the tears of sadness for their plight and the heartbreaking effect their conditions have on their families and loved ones. Then, there are the many thousands of fatalities of our military, or the affect their deaths will have on families and communities. As one soldier was to remark, if we were there to win, it might be easier to accept but we ask ourselves, “Will our forces have to return to gain the same ground we thought we won”? The two great wars were different, we were truly fighting for freedom and at war’s end, the successful outcome was clearly visible to see.

We looked for someone we could highlight in this year’s tribute but there are virtually thousands that should be singled out, and we can but say thanks for your service and our all-out gratitude for everything you gave to your countries.

Yet, we do want touch on someone and have selected a young boy who was determined to do his bit in World War 1. This came to us by our Australian friend Max and comes from a Michael Fairbairn column entitled, “Last Charge of the Boy Soldier”. We can only say that this story is bound to bring a tear to the eye.

“HE was just a baby-faced boy when he landed on the shores of Gallipoli and was thrust straight into one of Australia’s bloodiest military battles, the rifle and bayonet he grimly carried as tall as he was.

Fifteen-year-old Sydney schoolboy Jack Harris, who lied about his age to enlist in World War I, would soon lay dead on the bloodied battleground of Anzac Cove, the youngest Australian to die in battle.

Despite his young age, Jack was desperate to sign up when war broke out in Europe. Remarkably, he was able to fulfil his goal and enlist because his father supported his decision and signed his papers, declaring he was 18.

A few hours after landing, Jack was in the trenches, with a bayonet on his rifle, waiting for the whistle.

Just visualize that little kid, scrambling up out of a trench, and on those spindly legs. A 303 rifle with a bayonet fixed would have been taller than him,” Retired Army General John Cantwell said from Anzac Cove. “He shouldn’t have been in this country, let alone in the ground.””

In Flanders fields the poppies blow, Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky, The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead.’ Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved,
and now we lie, In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
In Flanders Field
Major John McCrae .