On this ANZAC day, I once again remember my family. My grandfather, Edward Jones, was at Gallipoli back in 1915, as a 21 year old soldier, and he dealt with the sheer confusion, horror and mad desperation that must have faced every one of the troops that landed at ANZAC Cove. Edward was one of the boys who did return, and he went on to have three daughters, including my Mum, Alison. And while I never met him, I’ve been told he was a happy and gentle man, much loved by all the women in his family. But approximately 50,000 allied troops did not return from the Gallipoli campaign, and today we have the opportunity to remember their sacrifice and that of all the other soldiers who have been sent to war over time.
Most of you know that I am opposed to the war in Iraq, and that I believe there is no constitutional nor democratic basis for that conflict. This does not mean that I do not appreciate and honour the efforts of all armed service men and women. Their collective contribution has always been worthy of the greatest respect. I honour them today.
I also want to remember my Grandmother, Glad Jones, who died a decade ago today. Here’s to you, Ma.