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Anzac Day 2015

Anzac Day, the words alone stir emotions in me as I know they do in many Australians and New Zealanders.
But 2015 Anzac Day was going to be extra special, extra spiritual, extra moving. I first visited the location,  for the 2015 Anzac Day services on 15 March. I had visited Bedourie for a day. The Vaughan Johnson Lookout, on the border of Diamantina and Boulia Shires. It gave me goosebumps at the thought of the planned event. west north west taken Anzac day panorama Lookout copy

This is the west north view from the look out.
Panarama of Lookout
A panorama from the lookout north, east and south

100 horse and words & watermarked
This was the view at the end of the services, now let me take you through the day to get to this point.
BRA_6604 Watermarked OP Garth, Dusty, Lone Horseman
Garth Tully, who devised the original idea with Scott Mason, to have 100 horses as part of the 2015 Anzac Day at Vaughan Johnson Lookout, started the Dawn Service with his horse Daley representing The Lone Lighthorseman.
BRA_6625 Rick laying wreath
Rick, being Mayor of Boulia, unveiled the Plinth with Mayor of Diamantina Mayor Geoff Morton and Lieutenant Commander Iain Hutchins. He also laid a wreath on behalf of the Boulia community.
BRA_6638 Ronnie reading Boulia Anzac poem
Ron McGlinchey, returned Vietnam Vet and also a past Boulia Mayor, read the poem that is read at every Boulia Dawn Service 
Ronnie has a wonderful saying that he used as a advertising plug, during his time as Mayor of a Shire that is very special to him, “there is nothing to see out here but you have to come and see it”
Considering the backdrop of this photo, again his quote rings true.
BRA_6666 sunrise blog photo
The end of the Dawn Service which over 300 people witnessed. The weather was chilly, the wind lazy and fire drums had been lit for the comfort of those attending.
BRA_6668 SNS Lest We Forget
A shot gun breakfast to enjoy while waiting  for the beginning of the next service.
Arriving at the top of the hill in the dark Anzac morning, with my three Swedish backpacker passengers, who I was so pleased were keen to join me to take part in our Anzac Day commemorations, it was like driving into a small town as many people had camped the night before.

Many caravans, campers, swags along with showers, toilets, food and beverages were available thanks to the Diamantina Shire, which were arranged at the top of the lookout.
BRA_6691 Grants trucks Anzac
Boulia Shire’s local mechanic, Grant Jansen, brought his restored army vehicles along.
BRA_6695 start of horses
At the base of the road, leading to the top of the lookout, was where the horses and their riders camped. As they assembled for the start of their way up the hill, to join in the Anzac Day Service, a magnificent sight they created.
BRA_6699 horse coming up on hill Anzac
The horses and their riders made their way up the steep climb of the hill, towards the lookout.
BRA_6703 horses near top of hill Anzac
As horses and riders, made their way closer, I had many goose bump moments and watery eyes. Thoughts of our history, of Gallipoli, of the Lighthorse. Thoughts of how tremendous it was to be amongst people with vision of this event unfolding, and those horses and their riders who had travelled from 80-450kms from every direction, to be part of this historic event. As I write this I tear up. Anzac Spirit could be felt.
BRA_6709 March ready
As those on foot and army vehicles readied themselves to start the Anzac Day March, the horses and riders were making their way closer, to join them.
BRA_6724 leaders of horses Anzac
The first of the horses and their riders (left to right)
Fling being ridden by Rick Britton, Peri carrying Garth Tully, Won a Heart taking Brett Gundersen to the lead, Josh riding Daley (who represented The Lone Lighthorse from Dawn Service) and Vaughan Johnson, riding Cuffy.
BRA_6743 Anzac Day 1
This scene….a view I had a pleasure to be a part of…..many thoughts….why we were there…..the hundred years that represents the little line between 1915-2015…..the amazing effort, organisation, commitment and Anzac Spirit that made this work.
BRA_6795 The Star Anzac Day copy
Hats off, paying respect, saluting, flags half mast and all those horses so well behaved, standing for a great length of time, on a rocky ridge.
BRA_6815 Rick & Claire on horses Anzac Day
How wonderful for Rick and Claire riding Rimini, to be part of this event which our family hold sacred, as do many others.
BRA_6714 Kelsey's Anzac poem & riders on hill
Kelsey Neilson, along with her husband Dale and their eldest son Jack, were amongst the horses and riders. After the event, that moved Kelsey so, she wrote this poem, which I added to one of my photos from Anzac Day 2015.

To read any of the words/poem on the photos, please just click on the photo and open them  on another page, for easier reading.

 

 

  1. Anne@GritandGiggles 

    Amazing and moving. ANZAC Day is all of that and more rolled into one. What a spectacular event and lovely captures of it. I hear the pride in your voice. Ravenshoe on the Atherton Tablelands do the same thing although not with that very special view as well.If I had know of that plan then I would have made the effort to go to their ANZAC Day. Even this morning when I went down to take photos of the cenotaph here in the sunrise, that awe and gratitude still hits in the early morning light. Lovely poem by your friend.

  2. annbritton 

    Thanks Anne,
    I’m truly pleased that you could hear the pride in my voice, thanks so much.
    All Anzac Days, no matter where they are held, are marked with great respect but this one just had the great big dose of being extra special all round.

  3. Kelsey 

    Ann – Fantastic. Thank you for recording this historic event and capturing it so beautifully.
    I love the way you have included the names of the horses as well as the riders. The photo of Garth and Daley in the dawn with the riderless horse, brilliant, so sombre and reflective of the mood of the day
    thanks again Ann – great job

  4. annbritton 

    Thanks Kelsey, for your wonderful poem to add to the photos, to boost helping record this wonderful event.
    Tis nothing but an extreme pleasure to capture the amazing organisation, as well as the tremendous effort by all those who participated and attended to make commemorating this date in the Anzac calendar, that extra special in 2015.
    Appreciate your kind words.

  5. Tania 

    Looks amazing

  6. annbritton 

    It was just that Tania.

  7. Jim WILBY 

    It was great to be part of this amazing day. As a returned Vietnam Veteran I would like to congratulate Garth TULLY, Trevor STEWART and the Diamantina Shire staff for the work they put in to make this event a very memorable one. Seeing one hundred and three horses and almost four hundred people on a barren hill situated half way between Bedourie and Boulia was absolutely amazing. These people sure know how to make it happen in the west. Congratulations to all concerned.

  8. Jan Nolan 

    Well said Jim. The photos are amazing. It looks like it was an emotional day.

  9. annbritton 

    Yes Jim said it so well Jan
    Thanks for your kind words, it was indeed a very emotional day.

  10. annbritton 

    I’m second that Jim, thanks so much for saying it so well.

  11. Liz Corbett 

    Ann I have been waiting to see your images and you didn’t disappoint. What an amazing morning it must have been. Congratulations to you and Kelsey and to everyone who put the services together.

  12. annbritton 

    Thanks Liz,
    Kelsey was moved to write the poem after riding in the event.
    Of course I had the pleasure of snapping away during the very moving event.
    Over two years of planning behind the scenes.
    Just so pleased that those that did organise it had the foresight that it could happen and those that travelled with horses did so.

  13. Fred Read 

    Great shots Ann. I am glad I put my camera away. I did have my heart in my mouth at times when I witnessed you bouncing around in the EWP(Cherry Picker). Once again many thanks for capturing the memories for us diggers and all that attended.

  14. annbritton 

    Rest assured Fred I was in no cherry picker, my feet were firmly on the ground and in amongst crowd capturing the memories.
    Glad you enjoy these shots, thanks

  15. Margaret Maag 

    Greetings, Anne,
    A former teacher in Mount Isa forwarded your gallery of pictures onto me. What memories they brought back of my time with you all when I was a teacher at Mt Isa SotA. I have forwarded it on to many friends and family.
    Take care … Margaret

  16. annbritton 

    oh Mrs Maag how are you going?
    Your comment brought great joy when I read it.
    Thanks so much to the former teacher and thanks so much to yourself for forwarding on my gallery, very much appreciated, thanks.
    Take care yourself, Ann

  17. Garth Tully 

    Fantastic Ann, I’ve sent this on to everyone I can think of even Macca.

  18. annbritton 

    So very pleased you like this Garth
    My pleasure to capture such a fantastic event that you organised, hope your extremely proud of your efforts, so pleased we were a part of it. Thank you very much

  19. Gordon 

    There is only one word to describe the event “Awesome” Makes one proud to be an Australian.

  20. annbritton 

    Extremely so Gordon, it was an awesome event, so proud to be a part of it.

  21. Henry Lawson 

    Bloody Awesome efforts !!
    Thats an Anzac Day !!

  22. annbritton 

    You said that so well Henry, thank you.

  23. Ken Wheeler 

    Bloody Marvelous..

  24. annbritton 

    it was Ken, just that, marvellous

  25. Jim shaw 

    Awesome, it was commemorated far and wide. I attended a a service at Ft Rucker, Alabama,USA

  26. annbritton 

    Oh thanks Jim for letting us know that, how special is that, appreciate your approval also, thanks.

  27. Cheryl Boneham 

    Thank you so much. My darling Dad and his big black horse, Action, were in the 5th Light Horse. So many, many memories. Grateful thanks.

  28. annbritton 

    Grateful thanks go to your Dad and Action Cheryl, many thoughts of the Light Horses and their riders during our Anzac Day, full of respect and admiration. It is my pleasure to have been able to bring our day to you and hoping many of your memories are happy ones.

  29. darren 

    words just can’t express it really, I am speechless!!

  30. annbritton 

    Anzac Day usual does this to me too Darren, speechless, so much to take in, so much to be thankful for, so much respectful thoughts to be sent out.

  31. Bill Scott 

    Great photos and a wonderful poem in the great tradition of Aussie bush poetry. Looks to have been a wonderful event. Also moving to see that the NZ in ANZAC is remembered with the NZ flag flying in the outback of our best friends.

  32. annbritton 

    Thanks Bill. Boulia Shire has flown both Australian and New Zealand flags as well as playing both anthems for some years now.
    Thanks for your kind words re the photography and poem, glad you enjoyed them.
    It was indeed a wonderful event.

  33. Al Harris 

    G’day Bill,

    Birdsville 1997. Wasn’t a hundred persons, let alone a hundred horses. The distances travelled by some people was astounding (Irene and I included). Will post pic on “Chat” site. Respect.

  34. Al Harris 

    I attended a March in Birdsville in years gone by, where the presence of the past was almost touchable.I don’t know why, it was just more poignant. I reckon Boulia would have been spine chilling.

  35. annbritton 

    G’day Al,
    I love your expression of the past being touchable, can totally understand that.
    Yes spine chilling 2015 Anzac Day it was, thanks.

  36. ROBERT WYER 

    I will be visiting your area at the end of the month . your ANZAC DAY Was SPECIAL and I wish I was there to celebrate it with Ron McGlinchy. You should send this to TV stations so all of Australia can see the service. IT is special.

  37. annbritton 

    I’m glad you think our Anzac Day coverage is worthy of Australian TV Robert, thanks.
    Ronnie was as usual good value, but especially on Anzac Day, glad he made it back for this extra special one.

  38. Neil Mangels 

    To Ann Britton, I salute you for recording this event as I have always had interest in the horses and the part they played in WW1. Please pass on my sincere regards to Ron McGlinchie , as we lived to gether for 1yr (same room) gaining our Engineering Quals before Vietnam.

  39. annbritton 

    Thank you very much Neil and I will, with pleasure pass on you regards to Ronnie.

  40. Elizabeth Craig 

    I am English by birth but do attend the dawn service here in Sarina.
    Your story and wonderful photographs brought tears to my eyes and I am not an emotional person.
    Were you really up in cherry picker? Brave and pretty chilly I bet!

  41. annbritton 

    Truly cherish that our Anzac Day touched you so Elizabeth, in the most respectful way.
    No I wasn’t in a cherry picker, my feet were firmly planted on the ground and it was still fairly chilly at that level.

  42. Michael Cotter 

    ANZAC day means a lot to me as im a Viet Vet 7 RAR you did a really terrific job and my thoughts are with the WW1 people and desendants my thoughts are with you and may GOD bless you Im proud to be an Australian. Well done
    Mick.

  43. annbritton 

    G’day Mick, truly wish I could thank you for your service by shaking your hand.
    Thank you for your extremely kind words and your thoughts are very humbling.
    Yes I am proud to be Australian too, twas extremely proud this Anzac Day morning. I sent up many little prayers of thanks to those that gave their all and those that have returned home and have to live with having been in active service.
    So thank you Mick.

  44. Mayne MANSON 

    A great ANZAC Day event, that now has a wonderful collection of photos of the day. Thank you for recording the day for us all to see.

    Regards to all,

    Mayne MANSON. NZ Vietnam Vet. 161 Bty., RNZA,

  45. annbritton 

    It was a pleasure Mayne, and yes it was a great event. Very grateful to those that organised it so that we could be a part of an occasion that was so special.

  46. John caterson 

    Anne, what a fantastic record of one part of our beautiful country. I was a policeman in boulia and bedourie in the very early 80’s. I would have loved to have been there, the locals of that area are very special people.

  47. annbritton 

    G’day John, really was a magic day to witness & pleasure to capture.
    Sincerely hope you enjoyed your time servicing our part of the world. Ann
    PS John I’m working my website from my phone for 1st time. So just realised I hadn’t read all of your comment. So I’m really pleased you did enjoy your time out here. I came to Boulia in 1985.

  48. Ernie Paddon 

    Loved the photo’s especially of the lone horse with the boots reversed in the stirrups, was suprised to see the Navy in attendace, nice touch.

  49. annbritton 

    Thanks Ernie,
    Boulia and Diamantina Shire hosted the Anzac Day event and HMAS Diamantina personal were in attendance. That may give you a clue as to why they were there. It took 12 months of planning and a fair bit of luck to have them there and it was indeed a very nice touch.
    Thanks for your kind words and yes seeing the lone horse as he was in the pre-dawn was a very sobering experience.
    Ann

  50. Doug Mepham 

    This is the most beautiful ANZAC day I have realized , I am a Vietnam Vet and this particular service has truly repaired my thoughts on what ANZAC DAY is all about . Congratulations to ALL. Thank you. LEST WE FORGET.
    Doug Mepham.

  51. annbritton 

    Thanks Doug,
    Firstly for your service and secondly for your high recommendation of this service. It truly was special and glad that you found it useful for your thoughts, that is very nice to know.
    All the best, Ann

  52. Len Kingston-Kerr 

    Ann,
    Do you know who the author of The Anzac Day Poem was?
    Regards,
    Len.

  53. annbritton 

    Sorry Len for the late reply
    I don’t know the author of The Anzac Day Poem Len, I have search the internet for the author with no luck.
    I had the pleasure of reciting that poem at a Boulia Dawn Service one year and was hoping to give credit to its author. It is read each year at our Boulia Dawn Service.
    So no sorry I can’t help you but I would love to know too.
    Ann

  54. John Fullard 

    I am a returned vet from Malaysia and Vietnam and marched in Sydney 2015 first time in 45 years .then I see this from Boulia & Diamantina Shire .it brought a tear to my eyes .Thank you all .Lest we forget J C

  55. annbritton 

    Oh John,
    I hope you realise just how much I truly appreciated your comment. It is my pleasure that I was able to capture the amazing work that the Shire’s did to make this come together so well and for the likes of yourself to, in some way, be part of.
    Thank you so much for your service, Ann

  56. Peter H. Jordan 

    Just to read this through, & to remember those Gallant Lads, Who Gave Their All For The FREEDOM We Now Enjoy.
    From a Yorkshire Ex Serviceman ….A Pomm To You!

  57. annbritton 

    Ha ha Peter, I’m glad “A Pomm” dropped by and left a comment and thank you very much for your service.
    I think that memory you had as you read this Peter was a very vivid thoughts in everyones minds the day of this service. It was extremely special.
    Aussie Annie

  58. SR mary kenny smsm 

    Thank you for sending this to me. First time to see or hear about it. Wonderful to know it is all remembered. God bless all the organizers and horses. CHEERS !

  59. Alan White 

    Hello Anne, this is the 2nd or 3rd year i have received these shots via the RAAF Vietnam Vets, being a vet myself. Truly amazing shots and everybody involved creating a memorable event. The landscape shots had me feeling as if I am there, and for some reason this year in looking at them a deep sense of what it entailed and emotional. With a of number of family generations involved in all WW’s, including in-laws the sense of connection is there and appreciation of what they went through. Your event and the effort by the locals and beyond is commendable, especially the horses involvement..

  60. Ian Ramadge 

    Thanks Anne , as a viet/vet & haveing been too Boulia it is great to see these photo’s of the A.N.Z.A.C. Service and the locals pitching in as usual ! thank u for your beautiful photography….. yours IAN RAMADGE .
    Write a review

  61. Bob Fuller 

    What a wonderful gift to receive this excellent piece of work – straight from the heart! God Bless!

  62. Kingsley McGuire 

    Terrific Ann,,,,it must have been a rewarding experience followed by some great photography.

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