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Local History

ANZAC – what it means to me

On Anzac Day I want to remember and honour those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
 |  The Informer  | 


On Anzac Day I want to remember and honour those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

My grandfather was in the Maori battalion. His name was Charlie Thomas Shelford. He was a decorated soldier and fought in Egypt. He believed he was fighting for his country and that he was fighting for freedom.  I never want to forget that. There is a terrible price to pay for freedom and so many paid that price for us. In World War One, the Māori Battalion lost 649 men killed, while a further 1712 were wounded and 237 taken prisoner.

The 12,000 New Zealanders who died during World War II was a large number by comparison to our population which was under 2 million; on a per capita basis – the highest in the Commonwealth.

I want to honour them in the way I lead my life. We can never let this happen again though it seems from what is happening now, we don’t learn from the past.

Richard Shelford-Woodcock


My English father fought as an Officer in the British Army during WWII, in Malaya and Burma, as “these” countries were both called back then.

His memory was closely associated with “Remembrance Day” on November 11th….Sadly this is not so well acknowledged outside of Auckland, as I would have hoped.

I attended, with my poppy on my lapel, at the 11th November event  at the Mercury Bay RSA but there were very few people. The meaning of Anzac Day is for all our servicemen and women.



The traditional ANZAC dawn breakfast consists of bacon and eggs.

The WW2 pilots were reputed to be given a good breakfast before they took to the skies but many of those young men never came home.

My father, Arnot Stewart, flying a Halifax Bomber was shot down over France and captured by the Germans in 1943.They not only shut my father away in a POW camp for 2 years, but the war took the life of my half-brother’s father as well.

Back home, Arnot later suffered a coronary at a relatively young age and with high cholesterol was advised not to eat eggs. (This misinformation about eggs has been largely debunked)

So, upon dawn when attending the Anzac breakfast, Arnot enjoyed his egg with great gusto.……


Now that my father has passed away, we continue to uphold the meaning of Anzac

A poached egg and bacon breakfast on Anzac Day in our home is to remember my dad and my brother’s dad. Our breakfast acknowledges the death and carnage suffered by not only Australian and New Zealand families, but millions of other families worldwide.

We look forward to our 2024 Breakfast.

Wendy Wells