ANZAC Day: A boy Named Tom



ANZAC Day, April 25, 2010
The Battle of Gallipoli, April 25, 1915

The Ode
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


The anniversary of the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during World War I. The day our troops bravely went into battle at the Gallipoli Peninsula, only to lose to the equally brave Turkish Army who were fighting to protect their homes and family. Today we Australians and New Zealanders celebrate in remembrance of all who lost their lives in defense of their country. It is a day to recognize and remember not only those from the First World War.. but all the wars our brave young men and women fought in..


I was going to tell you about my family members who served in the First and Second World War and how bagpipes, kettle drums and bugles playing the last Post factor into many of my happy and sad childhood memories. I was going to tell you about my own trip to Gallipoli and the many gravestones of boys as young as 17...

But instead, as I was looking for a family photo to post, I found this one of a young soldier named Tom. He fought alongside my grandfather in the Salonican Army during the First World War. I don't know anything else about him. I don't know if he survived and lived a long and happy life, or whether he was lost in battle. All I know is he has such a handsome and gentle face that I found myself spending hours working at this photo to remove some of the creases and imperfections it has gained over the years. Still a bit more to go.. but with each and every crease I removed, I'd look up and his eyes would say thank you...
... so I thought I'd post him instead ...

.. A tribute to the Unknown Soldier..

.. representing all those who bravely fought for their countries..
no matter which side of the trenches

Julie b
IMAGE SOURCE: .. the family library of [being ruby©]



the old boathouse said...

So handsome, so sad! I hope he lived a long and happy life with a pretty wife, and loving family and was not too scared by his ordeal. He looks so young...about to watch gallipoli the movie again for about the 100th time...always am on the edge of my seat I want the ending to change so eldest son, Frankie who is 17, and I were chatting today about how strange it would be imagining him going off to war,yet he is older then some of the boys who in peace Tom and thank-you, cheers Katherine

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hi Katherine
You know I had this big long post about going to Gallipoli myself and watching that movie the night before .. all the grave stones said just that.. 17yrs of age... so sad... my brothers just missed out on Vietnam conscription.. thank god. [Julie]

vicki archer said...

A lovely post and tribute for the day, xv.

desde my ventana said...

Hi Julie,
Thank you for thisbeautiful honoring to so many young persons who left his life defending his ideal ones or his freedom.
A wonderful post !!

sharon santoni at my french country home said...

This is a beautiful picture Julie. Here in Normandy where here was so much fighting, there are many commonwealth graveyards. The tombstones of the young men so far from home always bring tears to my eyes.

Jeanne Henriques said...

A beautiful post Julie and a touching way to remember all the brave men and women who lost their lives fighting for peace. My son is in his third year at ADFA, so past, present or future, the fighting spirit of the Australian Defence Force is always with me.

Hope you have a wonderful day...

Jeanne :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and touching post, Julie. It is so important to remember not only our immediate family and friends directly affected by that day, but like you... remember those who we don't know, so many faces and names... all with a story.
thank you.

rjerdee said...

O, what a sweet a lovely post. So many boys, so little time. I soooooo wish they didn't have to's such a cruel waste. Thank you for remembering...we will soon have our American remembering day and I'll think of your post.

Mise said...

Poor Tom, and all the other Toms. Even if he led an long and happy life after that. The war commemorations always make me think of a throwaway remark by Julian Barnes that we commemorate with such ceremony those whose lives we threw away so lightly. Good work with that photo - it personalises our past mistakes well.

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Dear Julie,
It's lovely to see our Australian blogger friends posting about Anzac Day. We must always remember the men and, often quite young boys, who fought for us in the two World Wars.
My grandad fought in WW1 and played in the famous football match on Christmas Day and, survived the horrors of that war. My Dad fought in WW2 in the RAF and, luckily came home and lived to the ripe old age of 91.
Your Tom was one of thousands of young boys who fought for us all and I, for one, would like to remember them today.
We have Remembrance Day in November and remember them them. XXXX

Blondie's Journal said...

Your post put a lump in my throat, Julie. I think you did a great job on fixing up the photo. Let's hope this boy went on to live a long and happy life.

I am thinking of you on Anzac Day.


Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

I can see how those eyes drew you in....Such a poignant and heartfelt post dear Julie. So many lives before us... each with their own story. Thank you for reminding us of those that have come and gone before us...and to live our lives honorably.

Giulia said...

The mere word 'Gallipoli' summons up so much, esp. about the idiocy committed in WWI, on behalf of two empires (& a bunch more of their inter-married "royalty.") Until the movie (so many years ago now), many in the States had no idea what that meant. It didn't really cover how this craziness began, of course (Churchill, et al), but it was a start. Mention it now, esp. in the States & you'll get a blank stare. Mention the poem, even more eyes glaze over. I don't want to pollute your lovely blog any more than this, so I'm off. But with Tom's image firmly imprinted.

No matter what happened to him, you saved Tom, Julie.

julietk said...

You have done a great job with the photo. I join you in thanks for all the men who fought a war for the rest of thier generation and generations to come. Who knows what our world would have been like if they had not been so brave.

1 Funky Woman said...

This is a very beautiful post to remember someone who fought for his country and hopefully went on to have a family and a wonderful life. If he didn't he is still not forgotten. Julie I wanted to thank you for this bit of history that I wouldn't know to think about on this day if I hadn't met you. My husband is a huge history buff so he knows all bout Anzac day and now I do too. I am going to find that movie for us to watch. We will have to see if James can watch it since he loves Australian history also. Thank you!

Renée Finberg said...

this is very touching.
i don't know why... but even more so than if you posted a picture of a lost family member.

i have gratitude for all our lost hero's.
xxx love to you

Anonymous said...

I'll raise a glass to Tom this evening.
X David


A beautiful post, Julie.


p.s. be sure to join my big giveaway;)

oldgreymare said...

when in doubt, post from the heart, and dear, what a heart you have.

all that ever remains are the memories that people hold of us, and today many people are remembering Tom .

A wonderful post


Splenderosa said...

What a poignant, beautiful post. I will not soon forget Tom X10,000. Thank you for requiring we stop and think about all these heros, all of them.

Les Cotrions said...

So beautiful and touching post Julie! It's so sad that so many young boys died just in my we celebrate the Liberazione...that means we celebrate when soldiers from USA and other countries helped us to be free from fascism and nazism. Thanks to all them!!!
Big hugs!

Luiza said...

Julie, I love your post!
It´s breathtaking and sentimental.
And I love what you did to that photograph of Tom!
I´m sure he´s thankful.

It´s wonderful of you to think about this all.
I´m a bit curious...How do you know his name? Was it printed on the backside?

B.T.W, here comes , [finally, haha],the answer to your question a couple of posts ago, at m blog.
You wondered about that Australian newspaper on my photos...
It was a bit of paper they had at that garden shop, in their boxes, so it´s not mine...unfortunately.

I wish you a great start of the week,with lots of energy and joy.


Susie said...

Lovely post Julie - we missed watching the parade this morning and the reminder of all those brave boys and girls who are serving their country so bravely...many who were lost, all with a story to wishes x

Princesa Nadie said...

Wars are so cruel...Tom is lucky as in everyplace where he is now we are thinking about him...

simon said...

Amazing piece of history. The more I read about what the troops did, and what they went through. We have a relative , Tibby Cotter, who was shot in the battle of Bersheeba. Great cricketer too...

myletterstoemily said...

thank you for sharing tom with us. his dear face
will strike a chord with every sister or mother.

how precious of you to work so to reveal that

Stephanie said...

A beautiful tribute and post. Bless you for remembering with love and gratitude.

Carole said...

What a wonderful tribute Julie. So sad that we even have wars to begin with but I guess that is just wishful thinking.
You've done a beautiful job bringing the photo back to it's original state.
I think you're right he does seem to be saying Thank You.


Jane said...

What lovely thoughts and you must try to find out about Tom if you had his surname the AWM could help. ANZAC day is easily the most significant Australian commemorative holiday. These wars have forged our character. xoxo

Millie said...

Such a lovely face - a wonderful post Julie.
Millie ^_^

Pooch Purple Reign said...

to all the toms...xx

Pooch Purple Reign said...

to all the toms...xx

Angie Muresan said...

This is such a touching tribute, Julie. Whether or not he is an unknown to us, he was still someone's son, someone's friend, and his family wished and prayed for his safe return.
Wishing you a happy week, dear friend.

nevin said...

My dear Julie,

my beautiful sister..

I felt sharing this with you as an Turkish background and proud to be Australian..

In 1934 Turkish Commander Mustafa Kemal Atatürk wrote a tribute to the ANZACs killed at Gallipoli:

"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours... you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land. They have become our sons as well."

With my love ..

We will remember them
Lest We Forget

Jennifer Beaudet said...

What a special post Julie, honoring these brave men. And you really did a great job cleaning it up. Have a great week. Jennifer:)

Tamerie Shriver Halliday said...

Well done!

e said...

There is something different about the lads who fought in the first World War, the War To End All Wars. For Remembrance Sunday i posted this video: I still can't watch it without crying. For me it represents all the young lads who went and are still going to war. This is a wonderful tribute, Julie, putting a human face on war. I loved what Nevin wrote, too. At the end of the day, when we count the cost, does any side really win?

Exquisite Accessories said...

Julie what a hansome man I do so hope Tom came home & wouldnt it be great if you blog helps to spread the word & we find out more about him?
have a great week. :)

Ange said...

Another doosy of a post Julie! I have to go out and get Gallipoli now and show it to the kids. Sigh. I have taken to attending the French rememberance days instead of holding up my end of the fort with ANZAC day. Best I can do here is make some ANZAC bikkies, look deeply into Tom's eyes and hope he has grandkids who are thinking of him too!

Beatnheart said...

Did not know what ANZAC meant until today..I never even heard of the term...Stupid, horrible wars fought for what? And today it still goes on nothing ever learned. Beautiful Tom in your photo and all the Toms fighting at this moment..Their bravery, something I cannot even fathom..Lovely post Julie as always...

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

It's sad..., people fighting, killing each other. I couldn't imagine being part of that. Many people are, just like this soldier. I always wonder how they made their decision. Is it love for the country, fear, or a sense of duty. In this regard, I'm glad I grew up in Switzerland..., the "famous" neutral country.

Splendid Willow said...

Very beautiful post Julie. I always leave your blog with a warm and good feeling. Thank you, dear.

ox, Mon

Bree Oliver said...

what a lovely post. Lest we forget.

amanda said...

Like many thousands of other familes on Anzac Day i remember my grandfather, James Wallace who fought at Gallipoli, and what brave and unselfish young men they were, some came home, some didn't, i am one of the lucky ones, my grandfather came home, but he was never the same again,i don't even remember him as i was only a baby when he died, but i always think of him and all who fought for their country,
Lest We Forget. Amanda

Charlotta Ward said...

Julie, what a moving post.

I hope someone sees your beautiful photo and recognizes him so that you get to hear his full story.
If that happens, please let us know.

Warm hugs and happy Anzac Day to you too lovely.

x Charlotta

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

Hi from New Zealand.

Great tribute you wrote. I was in a meeting today, and they say there is a resurgence of younger people being interested in ANZAC. You are doing a great job in doing this.



Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Such a moving post.
I love the idea that so many people are now gazing into his handsome face. I do hope he lived a long and happy life.

Anonymous said...

I am an artist and I was enamored by Tom and the note you wrote about him.
If you will say OK, I would like to paint a portrait of him...a fitting thank you to you for the story and photo.
My email is I do not work with the speed I used to because of neuropathy affecting my hands. But, hopefully it won't be too long before it is completed, if you agree.
Again, thank you for such a beautiful story and introducing all of us to Tom.

Brabourne Farm said...

Julie - I would like to think that Tom had a long and happy life and was not scarred too deeply by the horrors he must have encountered. The thought of this gentle young man not surviving is just too sad to contemplate. Leigh