The Battle of El Alamein

25/04/2021

The Battle of El Alamein.

My father took part in this battle with the 20th Battalion.


70 years on

21/10/2012

He was 29 when he took part in the battle of  El  Alamein as a soldier in the 20th Battalion of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

He never spoke about it much.

He returned to Egypt with the New Zealand contingent to the 50th anniversary commemoration.

He never spoke about that much either and now it’s too late  to ask him because he died 13 years ago.

But if Dad was here I am sure he’d appreciate the words of Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman at the 70th anniversary commemoration:

. . . To the New Zealand veterans who are with us today I know this is a very poignant return to El Alamein. You have all lived a whole lifetime in the seven decades since your service here in the flower of your youth. I know that the experiences of the North African campaign will have shaped those years in ways that only your fellow comrades could truly appreciate.

Subsequent generations of New Zealanders are forever indebted, to you and those who rest here in North Africa. We look at you in awe, because you left ordinary everyday life in the streets, in the workplaces and on the farms of New Zealand, and farewelled your loved ones to serve. You made sacrifices which have meant that we who have followed have been able to live in prosperity and peace. You and your mates were ordinary Kiwis who became the greatest of Kiwis. Your country is very, very proud of you.

We will always remember and honour those New Zealanders who fought and died here, and we will continue to defend the values they upheld with such valour.

Dad would also note with the irony of the anniversary commemorations coinciding with the desecration of Jewish graves in Auckland.

This is the sort of ignorance and intolerance against which the men at El Alamein fought.

It shows that 70 years on some idiots neither share nor appreciate the values the soldiers upheld.


November 3 in history

03/11/2009

1493 Christopher Columbus first sighted the island of Dominica in the Caribbean Sea.

1783 John Austin, a highwayman, was the last person to be publicly hanged at London’s Tyburn gallows.

1801  Karl Baedeker, German author and publisher, was born.

1817 The Bank of Montreal, Canada’s oldest chartered bank, opened.

File:Bank of Montreal Logo.svg

1838  The Times of India, the world’s largest circulated English language  daily broadsheetnewspaper was founded as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce.

1886 Anchor butter was launched from a dairy factory at Pukekura, Waikato,  by Henry Reynolds.

1887 Coimbra Academic Association, the oldest students’ union in Portugal, was founded.

 

1903 Panama proclaimed its independence from Colombia.

1911 Chevrolet officially entered the automobile market in competition with the Ford Model T.

Chevrolet Logo

1918  Poland declared its independence from Russia.

1941  Brian Poole, English musician of The Tremeloes, was born.

1942 Second Battle of El Alamein ended– German forces under Erwin Rommel were forced to retreat during the night.

1948 – Lulu, Scottish actress and singer, was born.

1952 Roseanne Barr, American actress and comedian, was born.

1954 Adam Ant, English singer, was born.

1957 The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2. On board is the first animal to enter orbit a dog named Laika.

1973 NASA launched the Mariner 10 toward Mercury.

The Mariner 10 probe

1974 Daylight saving was reintroduced to New Zealand on a trial basis.

1978  Dominica gained its independence from the United Kingdom.

1986 The Federated States of Micronesia gain independence from the United States of America.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


November 2 in history

02/11/2009

On November 2:

1755 – Marie Antoinette, Queen of France was born.

1868  New Zealand officially adopted a standard time to be observed nationally

1898  Cheerleading is started at the University of Minnesota with Johnny Campbell leading the crowd in cheering on the football team.

1899  The Boers began their 118 day siege of British held Ladysmith during the Second Boer War.

1913  Burt Lancaster, American actor, was born.

 

1917 The Balfour Declaration proclaimed British support for the “establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people” with the clear understanding “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities”.

1930 Haile Selassie was crowned emperor of Ethiopia.

1936 The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation was established.

The current logo of CBC/Radio-Canada

1936  Italian dictator Benito Mussolini proclaimed the Rome-Berlin Axis, establishing the alliance of the Axis Powers.

1936 The British Broadcasting Corporation initiates the BBC Television Service, the world’s first regular, high-definition (then defined as at least 200 lines) service.

1938 – Queen Sofia of Spain was born.

1942 At El Alamein in Egypt, the 2nd New Zealand Division opened the way for British armour, allowing the Allies to force a breakthrough and send the Axis forces into retreat.

1942  Shere Hite, American author, was born.

1947 Designer Howard Hughes made the maiden (and only) flight of the Spruce Goose; the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built.

 

1960 Penguin Books was found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley’s Lover case.

Penguin logo.png

1961 – K.D.(Kathryn Dawn) Lang, Canadian musician, was born.

1983 U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

1988 The Morris worm, the first internet-distributed computer worm to gain significant mainstream media attention, is launched from MIT.


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