Friday, April 25, 2008

Anzac Day 25 April 2008

Lieutenant Colonel Henry Edward Tregaskis Spotswood 1894 - 1975

I've spent the morning watching the Anzac broadcasts on TV. I'm too much of a sook to go to the march and service down town.
Graeme has been and gone twice, once for the dawn service and then came home briefly to catch his breath and off again for the march, service and lunch.
He goes with his father, Trevor who has just turned 87, who served in the second world war. Dad looks forward to the day and especially since Graeme has been with him.

Graeme was among the early "Call-ups", the ones who won the lottery in the mid 1960's. He did his 2 years of training, but never put up his hand to go to Vietnam. Not everybody who did National Service had to go overseas, he was one of the lucky ones! I met him one night after he'd been to a funeral of a mate who was killed in Vietnam - I too was a lucky one!

My Grandfather, Harry Spotswood, or Da to his 13 grandchildren and many many surrogates was a wonderful man. He was an original Anzac, another lucky one, who got injured, rehabilitated and then sent to fighgt in the Somme in France. How lucky is that????

He was an orator, a born talker. He came to our school Anzac Day services occasionally and was the guest speaker. He knew the man with the donkey, how cool was that when you were a child!
He also became a Methodist Lay Minister, which also meant we needed to sit still on many occasions, but I will admit that his children's sermons were wonderful. I can still see him with one hand in his pocket and the other with a finger pointed out in front of him.

I miss him, he passed away 6 weeks after Nic was born, I just wish that Nicholas (and Robert) had spent more time with him.

As with many, he didn't talk about the war, he would show us the scar on his leg where he was shot though and then move the conversation on!

He also served in the second world war as Officer in Charge of Elphin Barracks in Launceston. He would have been a good age by then. Years later his Batman, Leith Byard, taught my children the piano and then mum went to art classes with him.

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