Music in 1914-1918 was a very important part of every day life. Before radios, TVs, Computers and iPads were around, families would stand around the piano or pick up instruments and play or sing together after a meal. Singing in school was a daily activity and continued on the weekends at Sunday School and Church.
Music by the Town Band and other local organisations, such as local School of Arts groups, also played an important role in rural towns across Australia.
When the recruitment marches such as the Kangaroo March came through, the whole community came together to send off their loved ones with pomp and ceremony. As the marchers walked the long 520km journey, the recruits spent many long hours on the road singing together and making up funny songs to pass the time.
For example – they sang- “We’re here because we’re here because we’re here because we’re here”
Also from Old Gallipoli’s A Wonderful Place
“We don’t grow potatoes or barley or wheat,
So we’re on the lookout for something to eat,
We’re fed up with biscuits and bully and ham
And we’re sick of the sight of yon parapet jam.
Send out steak and onions and nice ham and eggs
And a fine big fat chicken with five or six legs,
And a drink of the stuff that begins with a “B”
Where the old Gallipoli sweeps down to the sea”.
For the young men, it was an adventure, an opportunity to see the world. After all, every one was saying that the war would be over by Christmas! Sadly, we know looking back, that was not the case and many of those young men (and boys) never returned. Those who did, were never the same, with whole communities feeling the loss of their best men.
The Kangaroo March Re-enactment hopes to bring families and communities back together as the march comes through those same local towns. We invite everyone to participate in honouring the fallen, remembering their sacrifice and to acknowledge the impact on each town. The aim will be to educate and inspire this generation so that they understand the importance of this time in our history and to continue the legacy .
By the very act of re-enacting something of this nature, we will re-create some of the excitement of the 1915 Kangaroo March. However, we feel strongly that this is not a time of celebration and “razzamatazz”. It is, rather, a time to commemorate the fallen and those left behind. At every end-of-day a commemorative service will be held so that “in the evening we will remember them”. We invite each community to embrace this service as their own and contribute their local history around WW1 bringing forward the good, bad and ugly facets of what that meant, and what it still means for the community today.
We are committed to delivering a memorable, respectful and educational experience; to continue the legacy of the Kangaroo March of 1915 and its surrounding events.
We aspire to connect communities and generations with shared memories and meaningful stories; to evoke a sense of pride to be Australian and to acknowledge the importance of our history. We will remain true to our cause, bringing history to life with integrity and honour.
We aim to educate both adults and children of the historical events surrounding the March; to raise awareness of the sacrifices made by those that went before us. We seek to inspire the children of today; the leaders of tomorrow – to pass the baton and continue the legacy for generations to come.
Music and Education Projects Underway for the March
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