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In dark times leaders stand tall (or Bernardi strikes back)

Posted by on 5:20 pm in Featured, Politics, Values | 9 comments

In dark times leaders stand tall (or Bernardi strikes back)

Wednesday was a dark day for Australian conservatives.

The nation overwhelmingly turned its back on the principles that have been the bedrock of Western civilisation.

A tad under half the nation voted for ‘marriage equality’. And another one in five Australians could not even take the planned revolution of the basic family unit seriously enough to vote at all.

True. Marriage has been dying a thousand deaths since Henry VIII’s time. So it’s not so much that the LGBT Brigade has single-handedly destroyed this institution. To be fair to them, as a legal concept marriage had pretty much been killed off before they even showed up.

In fact, if marriage was still revered in this nation this ‘debate’ would never have occurred at all.

So if there is an analogy that is apt, we should look at this as the vultures turning up to feast on the remains of the rotting carcase of marriage more than anything else.

Nevertheless, for the nearly 40% of Australians who do take marriage, family and life seriously, it is still hard to stomach. It would be easy to be demoralised.

That was Wednesday.

And on Thursday one man gave Australian conservatives hope: Cory Bernardi.

While other conservatives around him appeared to give up the fight, he charged at the enemy in parliament and, in doing so, rallied those around him.

It is the mark of true leadership.

He targeted abortion, turning his sites particularly on gender-selection abortion and White Ribbon (the group supposedly leading the campaign against domestic violence while also campaigning for abortion for any reason at any time even up until the day of birth).

He targeted GetUp! which has ties to George Soros and campaigns for left-leaning parties such as the Greens and Labor while refusing to disclose its donations as required under legislation.

He targeted communism, calling for Australia to recognise its many victims as the United States is doing under Donald Trump.

He targeted the hydra-headed variants of ‘Safe Schools’, backing the New South Wales government for abandoning its radical theories about gender and sexuality in the classroom.

And he targeted the political process itself, noting that since 2007 our nation has been led by those without fiscal responsibility, ministerial accountability or any stability at all.

Simon Birmingham

Education Minister Simon Birmingham abstains from voting on Cory Bernardi’s motion on White Ribbon and its support for abortion.

At a moment when conservatives could have been forgiven for giving up the fight, here was a lone Senator in Canberra taking it up on multiple fronts.

It was a counter-attack at the most unexpected of times and it caused confusion. It also separated the pretenders from the contenders in the Senate.

Because Cory might have started this fight alone. But he did not end it that way.

A number of Coalition Senators joined him: in particular Eric Abetz, Matt Canavan, Anne Ruston Barry O’Sullivan and Zed Seselja who all backed his motion to deny Medicare funding for gender-selection abortion. He also had the backing on One Nation.

Indeed, the majority of Liberal and National Senators also supported his motion calling out White Ribbon for its position on abortion.

We are living in times of chaos and confusion; anarchy seems to be reigning supreme.

Hard Labor seats in Western Sydney were the home of ‘No Central’. And government ministers are backing a Senator from South Australia over the government’s own position on abortion:

The government’s formal position was to oppose the motion. But nine other senators backed Senator Bernardi’s move, including Coalition frontbenchers Matt Canavan, Zed Seselja and Anne Ruston, and One Nation. 

It shows two things.

Firstly, the current system inputs are crumbling and out of touch with the people on the ground. We should expect the unexpected.

Secondly, there are signs of fight and hope. Cory Bernardi is providing leadership but he also has supporters within the Liberals. All of them need backing.

How this plays out only time will tell.

But one thing is certain: without Cory Bernardi’s leadership the day after the marriage plebiscite would have been a lot darker.

*****

A quick word on media coverage.

This are the words of Judith Ireland, who covered Cory Bernardi’s Senate motions for Fairfax:

Abortion law in Australia is a state and territory matter and Medicare does not specifically fund sex-selection abortions.

She wrote them even though Medicare funding of abortion is a Commonwealth matter.

And she wrote them even though if you specifically walk into an abortion centre and specifically request an abortion because your baby is specifically the wrong gender Medicare will specifically cover specific amounts for the termination of pregnancy.

Nevertheless, she still wrote them. That’s called journalism these days.

Investigate the Mincing Poodle’s hack

Posted by on 1:55 pm in Defence, Featured, Politics | 3 comments

Investigate the Mincing Poodle’s hack

It was probably her greatest contribution to Australian politics. On 23 February 2009, then Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard rose to her feet in parliament and stated:

“In a choice between macho and mincing I would have gone for macho myself.

The leader of the Opposition faced with the choice of a doberman or the poodle has gone for the poodle.”

And that is how Christopher Pyne obtained his nickname.

The ‘Mincing Poodle’ is back in the media for all the wrong reasons. Sometime in the night after Australia voted for homosexual marriage, his Twitter account mysteriously ‘liked’ gay porn.


At first glance, it would seem that the Minister for Defence Industry was putting into practice what Defence preaches: gender bending and diverse sexualities.

Indeed, there’s are a whole army of committees, networks, support groups and diversity commissars within Defence at the moment planning for the next Mardi Gras and Defence’s official participation in a parade of pornography down Oxford Street early next year.

As such, ‘liking’ homosexual pornography is a clear demonstration that one is onboard with the new cultureless agenda. And a Minister ‘liking’ it would also explain why Defence is focused on these things instead of capability.

However, Christopher Pyne has made it clear that he was not joining in the action online and a tad early. Instead, he claims that his account was hacked:

Taking Pyne at his word, it seems that some nefarious online vigilante with the ability to hack his way into the accounts of the powerful then used his enormous skill on the Defence Industry Minister’s Twitter feed to ‘like’ a single, solitary video of two men getting it on.

Consequently, the general attitude to this ‘claim’ appears to be:

However, two people have come rushing to Pyne’s rescue.

One of them was Bill Shorten. He ‘helped’ the Liberal Party’s resident ‘GetUp Liaison Officer’ by claiming that he believed Pyne was hacked but that no investigation was necessary.

I don’t think that Bill’s help really helped all that much.

The other, of all people, was Cory Bernardi. And he rightly pointed out that Pyne’s claim of hacking was serious and must be investigated. After all, he is the Defence Industry Minister:

And Pyne’s claim must be taken seriously. The risks to Australia’s security are too great to have this swept under the carpet. And so are the risks to Pyne’s reputation: a failure to get to the bottom of this ‘hacking’ will leave Australians with the reasonable conclusion that Pyne is a liar who is living in the closet and using our military as a shield for his own personal failings.

We wouldn’t want that, would we…unless an investigation would do nothing more than confirm it.

And we wouldn’t want that either.

So I’ll leave the last word on this to Mark DiStafano, who first noticed the explicit ‘hacking’:

*****

In other unrelated news, young players on Twitter should probably be aware of some of the features of the micro-blogging network to avoid embarrassment.

It is very easy to post something on the wrong account.

All you need to do is have two accounts. You log into the first and post away there. You then open a second tab on your browser and log into your second account and start madly ‘liking’ all the gay porn you can find.

And then, after a few banana daiquiris celebrating society’s acceptance of rainbow love, you check back in on the work account to see if they’re any messages praising the liberal Liberals for their part in the destruction of Australia’s concept of family.

Nup. The bloody rainbows don’t even care. They’re still going to vote Labor anyway.

So you flick back over to the other browsing tab for one last video forgetting, however, that you remain logged into Twitter as a cabinet minister and not as ‘Mr Bojangle’s Cat’.

And then when you ‘like’ that video the next 24 hour news cycle is suddenly rewritten to be all about hackers.

Very embarrassing.

It’s day one of the campaign for Sharia marriage equality…

Posted by on 11:01 am in Featured, Politics, Values | 19 comments

It’s day one of the campaign for Sharia marriage equality…

Less than an hour after news broke that Australia is to be lumped with homosexual marriage, Richard Di Natale’s Senior Media Advisor posted this on Twitter:

Thanks for confirmation that key players in the ‘marriage equality’ debate have been knowingly pretending away the consequences.

Many ‘yes’ voters only did tick that box out of weariness and in the vain hope that it would make the culture wars go away.

They were wrong.

Today is day one of the campaign for Sharia marriage equality…

We’ve just given the barbarians control

Posted by on 10:26 am in Featured, Politics, Values | 15 comments

We’ve just given the barbarians control

Australia has just voted for this:

Burn churches

The barbarians have been given the keys to the nation.

Australia will come to rue this day.

It is telling that in just the last 24 hours the Prime Minister and a host of others have explicitly ruled out laws that will allow people to express the view that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

The implication is clear: those who hold this view will not be able to express it in the near future.

This website and others will soon face the prospect of being unlawful.

I confidently predict that in my lifetime Christians will be jailed for holding Christian belief. I can also confidently predict that it won’t be the bishops. With few exceptions, we heard more from them about cutbacks to government funding for private schools than we did about marriage. Collectively, this lot have put money before morality.

They’ve lost the latter and it’s only a matter of time before they’ll lose the former unless they sign up to the church of the state. In the process, the catechism of the Catholic Church will be outlawed in this nation.

The persecution of Christian thought has been ongoing for sometime. However, the real pain is just about to begin.

But fight on we must.

We must do it to protect what little we have left for our children. More importantly, we must face seemingly insurmountable odds to provide an example of courage for our children.

They are going to face enormous difficulties. How can we possibly expect them to stand tall and fight hard in their hour of tremendous persecution if we could not do it ourselves in relatively benign circumstances?

So fight on we will.

The next legal battle will be on 5 and 6 December. The High Court will decide if one state’s anti-discrimination laws can be used against residents living in another state entirely.

We are only here because the highest profile anti-free speech activist in New South Wales complained about a post I wrote in Queensland condemning naked homosexual men who exposed themselves to children at the Toronto ‘Gay Pride’ Parade.

The New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board decided that this complaint had merit. And every state except South Australia is supporting the case. It shows how far we’ve fallen already. It shows where we’re headed too.

I have been advised that I need upwards of $50,000 to cover the legal fees for this hearing. If you can chip in it would be most gratefully accepted. It will be an investment in your children’s future.

And you might pray for a miracle. We surely need one…

We must prevent extreme Labor in Queensland

Posted by on 9:03 am in Featured, Politics | 7 comments

We must prevent extreme Labor in Queensland

Let’s make one thing abundantly clear: a vote for Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Labor government is really a vote for Jackie Trad and extreme Labor government.

The Queensland Premier has spent most of the last three years fending off threats from Jackie Trad. It was surprising that she managed to last this long and it will be even more surprising if she’s leading Labor come the next election.

Every political leader only has a limited time at the top and Anna’s time is coming to end.

And there’s one thing we all know about Jackie Trad: she’s gotta do her best to keep Greens voters happy. They’re breathing down her neck in South Brisbane.

Hence her obligatory nod to Islam; she claimed Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech was a disgraceful hate speech.

Hence her rabid support for abortion; she led the charge for unrestricted abortion for any reason up until the day of birth.

Hence her love of Safe Schools:

And hence her love of sucking up to loony inner-city voters by trashing the prosperity of the regions, even if it also meant destabilising the Premier (or perhaps that was just an added bonus).

Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives are not contesting the Queensland election. It’s unfortunate but not unexpected. His party is still building and its first test will be in South Australia in March next year.

But doing nothing in Queensland is not an option. Moderately bad Labor under Annastacia Palaszczuk will become extremely bad Labor under Jackie Trad.

That will mean more Safe Schools, more Green lunacy, more draconian anti-free speech laws, more mosques, more abortion, more taxes and more of everything that is already destroying this nation.

There are only two serious alternatives in Queensland: the LNP or One Nation.

I am not advocating a blanket vote for either. Instead, I urge all Queenslanders to check their candidates and support those who are worthy. Both parties have them and there are some decent independents and Katter candidates as well.

One Nation’s Queensland leader, Steve Dickson, is a good man but he will face a fight for his seat. Malcolm Roberts will also face a tough ask in the Labor stronghold of Ipswich. If you are on the Sunshine Coast or west of Brisbane you may think about lending them a hand.

Likewise, the LNP has some standouts. Mark Robinson is probably one of the few Australian politicians to truly understand Islam and the threat this ideology poses. He is also rock solid on family and life issues. If he ever becomes Premier, Queensland will be far the better place for it.

If you really want to help, it would be best to contact your local candidate directly. I know both One Nation and LNP candidates are looking for volunteers. Give your best option more than your vote – give them an hour or two as well to make it count. Because if you don’t campaign, the result will be won by those who do. And GetUp! is doing that right now.

Conservatives have the biggest untapped support base in Australia and they’ve really only started this caper. However, we managed to turn the marriage vote into a real contest. We can’t afford afford to stop now.

Finally, remember you have to number every box in Queensland. So place Labor and the Greens last.

40 Syrian jihadi veterans are roaming our streets – it’s time for internment

Posted by on 6:23 pm in Featured, Islam | 4 comments

40 Syrian jihadi veterans are roaming our streets – it’s time for internment

This little whopper seems to have passed under the radar:

ACTING Prime Minister Julie Bishop has warned the 40 terrorists who have returned to Australia from Iraq and Syria — many of whom aren’t behind bars — remain a serious security threat, as a flood of foreign fighters are returning to the region.

You don’t say.

Let’s unpack this a little.

These people went to Syria.

They fought there with the Islamic State.

And now they are back here, roaming the streets.

This is insanity on steroids.

These jihadis should not have been allowed back into Australia. And they should certainly not be allowed to roam free. Next thing we know, we’ll probably find out that they’ve been hoovered up and placed in charge of the ‘de-radicalisation’ programs that are working such a treat.

A grand total of two returned foreign fighters have been charged. And no one even seems to know what has happened to them. Knowing the legal system, which systemically failed in the case of Man Haron Monis, even these two could be kicking around.

I have said this before and I’ll keep saying it until I am blue in the face: you can’t win a war with peace time policing.

And we are at war.

Consider this: 41 Australian soldiers gave their lives in Afghanistan, meaning we lost one son for every 588,536 Australians.

Now consider this: 87 Muslims (as best we know) from Australia have given their lives in Iraq or Syria fighting for the Islamic State, meaning Australia’s Islamic community has lost one son for every 6,944 Muslims.

The Islamic Community’s war time casualty rate is 87 times higher than the rest of Australia’s. As a community this lot is far more committed to the fight than the rest of us.

They’re paying a price in blood because they believe that they are war.

If you add all the Muslims from Australia who have died, fought, been imprisoned for supporting Islamic terrorism, or subjected to security or surveillance measures you start reaching a point where it becomes statistically likely that if you are Muslim, you personally know one of these people.

And that’s only dealing with the terrorists and their sympathisers that we are aware of.

Yet we think that we can deal with this danger by treating it like some common crime with all the legal privileges that peace-time civilisations bestow on criminals.

Only one side is taking this thing seriously and it’s not the side we have entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the nation.

There’s a good reason these 40 psychopaths are free: to charge them with a criminal offence you need evidence that will meet the standards of a criminal court.

It’s a bit hard sending Constable Plod off to Syria to start taking witness statements.

We’re being played for fools by a mob that know our rules don’t work on them, but only work to tie us up.

It is time to rethink internment.

It is a war time solution to a wartime problem: an internal community that represents a threat to the security of the nation due to an allegiance to a ‘foreign power’.

Yes, there’s that term that’s been thrown around so much lately.

Unfortunately, our legal system is so messed up that Barnaby Joyce, who happened to commit the crime of being Kiwi without his knowledge, is deemed to be more of a problem than Jihad Joe who’s returned home from Syria with combat experience and hatred in his heart.

I wrote back in April 2013 that Syria was Australia’s ticking time bomb. It’s about to go off.

Petition: Save our war graves from French windmills

Posted by on 12:39 pm in Featured, Values | 2 comments

Petition: Save our war graves from French windmills

Yesterday I published the third installment of the story of Tom Godfrey MC, one of our family members who served in World War One and who never returned home.

He lies somewhere in an unmarked grave near a small Belgian town called Broodseinde. The 100th anniversary of his death on the morning of one the largest battles ever fought by Australian soldiers has just passed.

The three part series authored by my father and with minor additions from myself has received little attention from this website’s readership; I knew this would be the case. It is a personal story of our family history and I published it for personal reasons.

Those personal details mean a great deal to our family, not so much to others.

However, the overall story of the campaigns in France and Belgium a century ago have a great meaning to all Australians.

That is why I was shocked yesterday. The first thing I did after hitting publish on the final piece on Tom Godfrey was check the news. And I read this in an article written by Paul Murray for The Australian:

A French company’s plans to build a wind farm on Australian war graves is the ultimate test of our national commitment to ‘‘Lest We Forget’’.

Maia Eolis wants to build its wind farm in the fields of Bullecourt in the north of France. Bullecourt was the site of two mighty and bloody battles in 1917. Australia paid a terrible price, with 10,000 casualties.

This is personal for me. Tom Godfrey fought at Bullecourt in May 1917 where he won his Military Cross.

But it should be personal for Australia too.

The 24th Battalion, of which Tom was part, lost 85% of its men in one day’s fighting in early May 1917 to liberate Bullecourt. All up, more than 13,000 Diggers were killed or wounded in the intense combat to free this small French village from German hands.

Possibly up to 2,500 of those men lie in the surrounding fields in unmarked graves.

It is an absolute insult that a century after they gave their lives for freedom, their bones will be used as the foundation for a monstrous monument to the politically-correct folly of our times.

Lest we forget indeed.

It is extremely heartening to hear that the current Mayor of Bullecourt is completely opposed to this insult. I have visited these small French villages; they have great respect for our fallen Diggers.

I also want to thank Campbell Newman for taking this issue up so strongly as well.

I ask you to sign the petition below to the Minister for Veterans Affairs, Dan Tehan, calling on him to raise this issue with the Prime Minister and to urge him to protest this plan with the French President. I did hope to have this petition go to the Prime Minister too but his email system has been set up to prevent these petitions.

So I urge you to copy the petition text and paste it into Malcolm Turnbull’s web-based contact form here and let him know your concern as well.

And if Paris is going to dump on our fallen to meet some climate change requirement, we should dump Paris and its insane climate change accord too.

As Paul Murray said so well, this is the ultimate test of our national commitment to “Lest We Forget”.

Let’s make sure we pass it. We owe it to those who gave everything for us.

Save Australian war graves from a French wind farm

Dear Hon Mr Tehan MP,

A French energy company is planning to construct a wind farm on the Bullecourt battlefield. A century ago more than 13,000 Australian soldiers were killed, wounded or taken prisoner on this battlefield in the fighting to free this small village from German occupation. Up to 2,500 of these men lie in unmarked graves in the area.

As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War One, it is extremely concerning that the graves of fallen Australians could be disturbed for a wind farm.

I call on you to raise this issue with the Prime Minister and urge him to protest this plan with the French President and ensure that we live up to those words uttered every Anzac Day and Remembrance Day: Lest We Forget.

Kind regards,

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Where is Tom Godfrey now?

Posted by on 12:52 pm in Defence, Featured | 1 comment

Where is Tom Godfrey now?

On 4 October 1917, Tom Godfrey MC was killed at the Battle of Broodseinde. His story holds a dear place in our family history but it will also be familiar to many other Australian families – there are 60,000 similar tales that ended with shattered families back in Australian suburbs and in the regions.

The scale of heartache suffered during World War One is something that is entirely forgotten today. About one in four working age males served in the Australian Imperial Force. Half of those were killed or wounded. Statistically, about every 6th home was mourning a dead son, husband or father or tending the shattered body of a broken veteran.

My father finishes Tom’s fascinating story below. 

*****

The plan

As Captain Tom Godfrey (24th Battalion, 6th Brigade, 2nd Division) marched his last march towards Broodseinde Ridge, plans were being drawn up for the attack. It called for the largest operation undertaken by Australian forces to that point in the war and would include three divisions. No battle in World War Two would ever be fought by so many Australian divisions.

As part of the multi-division assault, the 7th Brigade of the 2nd Division would attack its sector of the ridge on the left, the 6th Brigade on the right and the 5th Brigade would be to the rear of both. On the 6th Brigade’s right was 2nd Brigade (1st Division).

The 6th Brigade’s mission was to advance about 1,500 metres and capture two enemy lines: the ‘Red Line’ (1st Objective – before the actual crest of the ridge) and the ‘Blue Line’ (2nd Objective – down on the other side of the ridge).

The 22nd Battalion was to attack first and capture the entire Red Line.

Then the 21st Battalion and Tom Godfrey’s 24th Battalion were to pass over them and move forward to capture the Blue Line. The 21st Battalion was to take the left half of the Blue Line and the 24th the right half.

483px-Battle_of_Broodseinde_-_rough_attack_planning_map

The battle plan for the I ANZAC Corps advance on Broodseinde Ridge. As part of the 2nd Division, Tom Godfrey was to placed right in the middle of the fighting.

Image 1 - Plan of attack

The plan of attack for the 24th Battalion at Broodseinde Ridge.

The advance on Broodseinde Ridge

The 24th Battalion moved to the outside of Ypres on 3 October 1917. They men marched to the ‘jumping off’ positions at Zonnebeke in the moonlight, carefully following the clearly marked white tape to guide the troops.

The attack was scheduled to commence at 6am.

However, at 5.30am, the Battalion was hit by a heavy German bombardment. It was the heaviest shelling the Battalion ever encountered on a jumping-off line. More than 30% of its strength was lost in this bombardment, including 40 killed.

Image 2 - Church at Zonnebeke

The ruins of the Zonnebeke Church and, to its right, the muddy puddle that was Zonnebeke Lake. This photo was taken two days before the battle. Broodseinde Ridge is near the white writing in the upper right hand corner of the photograph (and note the shell bursts above the church ruins).

Light showers were falling. It was a foretaste of the solid rain that was to come in the days to follow, turning everything to awful, soul-destroying mud.

Then the Australian artillery cracked into action with its barrage, like a thunderclap. The advance commenced – the 22nd Battalion went first, to seize the red line, followed by the 21st and 24th Battalions, through the gloom and haze and smoke from the artillery.

And then the reason for the German bombardment became clear:

“… a strong force of German troops with fixed bayonets was advancing from the German lines with the intention of recapturing Zonnebeke, which they had lost in our last attack. These enemy forces met battle sooner than they had anticipated. Our troops, with a desperation born of their impatience, charged into the surprised Germans with so much vigour that all who were not put out of action were soon rounded up as prisoners … The bayonets of our attacking waves had an awe-inspiring effect upon the Germans, many of whom shammed to be wounded or dead”.

The attack

Shortly thereafter De Knoet’s Farm was captured and the 22nd Battalion gained its objective – the Red Line – by 6.50am.

A number of concrete pill boxes were thoroughly mopped up after heavy fighting around them, including one at De Knoet’s farm. It was found that many Germans remained below the pill boxes in the safety of the bunkers beneath, thereby enabling the Australian soldiers to either capture them in large numbers or kill them where they were if they refused to surrender.

Image 3 - German pillbox

German pillbox.

At about 7.30am, the 21st and 24th Battalions moved beyond the Red Line, behind the protective artillery barrage, to form up for their assault on the Blue Line.  The artillery, with the two battalions following closely, moved forward toward the top of Broodseinde Ridge. At 8.10am it was noted:

“Fleeing Huns made good sport for our keen snipers”.

Just before reaching the road that runs along the crest of Broodseinde Ridge, the 24th Battalion captured two German 77mm field guns whose crews fought bravely until the end. They also captured three enemy food wagons containing hot soup, black bread, margarine and more.

After the Battalion crossed the road on the top of the ridge and began to move down the slope towards the Blue Line, they were subject to heavy sniper fire, machine gun fire and artillery.

By 9.30am all the 24th Battalion’s objectives had been reached, captured and secured – and all flanks were protected by other units who had enjoyed similar success.

The troops immediately began to dig in under German artillery and machine gun fire. The troops were reluctant to simply stop and dig in when the Germans were fleeing in obvious disarray before them. They knew the opportunity was right there to keep moving and seize the last ridge on the Flanders plains.

But the orders had to be followed.

So they stopped and dug in and watched while the Germans returned to the next ridge, reorganised and regrouped. The Australians knew this halt meant the next advance would be difficult and bloody:

“The British regiments which fought their way to Passchendaele later realised the truth of these fears”.

The battle was one of the largest ever fought by Australian soldiers and the capture of Broodseinde Ridge was a major achievement:

“Looking back from Broodseinde Ridge, one wondered how in the earlier fighting around Ypres, the British units had been able to effect reliefs and to deliver rations and other materials to the troops in the line while the enemy held such commanding positions. From the Broodseinde Ridge the whole position was under observation, and as we gazed back over the country we could see plainly the movement of our own units on various duties. Guns, transport and men were all exposed to the splendid observation from this position. It was a prize worth having, and our men realised the importance of the victory they had gained. Having gained such a prize, they set themselves to hold it”.

It also produced one of the iconic images of the war:

Photo

In one of the captured bunkers, a high-magnification German periscope was discovered, meaning that Germans in the safety of their below-ground bunker could peruse the British lines at their very safe leisure – just like a submarine commander out at sea.

In addition to the ridge, hundreds of Germans were also captured.

At about this time and a little to the north of Tom, Walter Peeler and Lewis McGee were commencing the heroic actions that would earn them the Victoria Cross that day while fighting with the 3rd Division. Both would survive but only Peeler would personally receive his decoration. McGee had just eight days left to live.

Image 4 - 24 Bn captured trench

24th Battalion personnel in a captured German position on Broodseinde Ridge.

The death of Captain Thomas Godfrey MC

But Tom Godfrey had no care for any of this. He was dead – sniped in the head after C Company crested the ridge at about 8.30am and was moving down towards his objective, the Blue Line.

The young captain and only remaining child of a widow from Melbourne was killed instantly. He was one of about 6,500 Australian Diggers killed or wounded on that day.

The Official History of the 24th Battalion had this to say about Tom’s death:

“Captain Godfrey embarked from Australia with the original Battalion as a Lieutenant, and had served with the unit continuously. As an officer his ability, tact, and winning personality made him popular with all ranks. His fellow-officers, the N.C.O.’s, and his men spoke of him affectionately as “Tommy” Godfrey – a name which was respectfully honoured during his long service with the Battalion, and which will always be affectionately remembered by his comrades in arms. Captain Godfrey’s death was one of the greatest losses the Battalion ever suffered. When it was known that he had been killed, strong men’s eyes moistened at the knowledge of their loss, and everybody, from the C.O. to the men in the ranks, was deeply affected. The Battalion had lost one of the men who had been strong links in its bond of comradeship. He was a brave soldier, a faithful leader, and an unselfish commander. His personal devotion to his men, in battle or in camp, made him a man beloved by his troops, who would have risked their lives at any time to save him. In his death he crowned with glory his long and faithful service to his country, his regiment and his men”.

Tom was taken back to De Knoet’s Farm, where the Battalion aid post had been established. He was buried there the next day, 5 October 1917, with all the other 24th Battalion men killed in that sad battle.

Next to him was buried Captain George “Tiny” Harriott, one of Tommy’s fellow company commanders, the Officer Commanding D Company. He was shot in the chest and killed at about the same time Tom Godfrey died. Captain Harriott was 6’3″ tall – hence his nickname “Tiny” – and had been promoted from Sergeant to Lieutenant at Gallipoli. He was described as:

“… a man of perfect physique, amiable disposition, and a lovable companion (who) had also seen long service with the Battalion. As transport officer he had discharged his duties with ability, and was beloved by every man of that section. As a company commander he gave promise of equal success”.

Image 6 - Tiny Harriott

“Tiny” Harriott as a Sergeant, before the 24th Battalion served at Gallipoli.

The Commanding Officer of the 24th Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel James, led the burial party the next morning when Tom Godfrey, “Tiny” Harriott and all the others were buried.

So Tommy Godfrey (5’7″) and “Tiny” Harriott (6’3″) were buried side by side.

We know exactly where they were buried because a friend of Tom’s, writing a letter of condolence to Tom’s mother, wrote as follows:

“… his grave is at the rear of a farm named De Knoet and the map reference is D28.b.5.6”.

In addition, the Battalion records state that the grave is at DE KNOET FARM D.28.b.50.60 POLYGON WOOD Sheet 28 N.E. and that a Battalion cross was erected close to Tom’s grave.

Tom’s mother also received a letter from the Regimental Medical Officer informing her that Tom, a Catholic, had received the sacraments the day before the battle.

Image 5 - 24 Bn

24th Battalion officers, probably about July 1917. Tom Godfrey is third from the right in the front row.

Where is Tom now?

Despite the precise locations detailed above, both Tom Godfrey and “Tiny” Harriott are listed as having no known grave. Why is this so? Well, there can only be three possible answers to that question:

(1) the graves were subsequently blown to pieces by artillery;

(2) the grave markers were knocked down before the end of the war, so that when the bodies were recovered and relocated (probably to Tyne Cot Cemetery which is only 1.7km away), they were interred in graves marked “A soldier known unto God”;

(3) they are still right there where they were buried and have not been recovered.

Here is where they were buried, at de Knoet’s Farm, at grid ref D.28.b.50.60:

Image 7 - Map of grave

And here is what the battlefield and De Knoet’s Farm look like today, 100 years on:

Image 8 - Image of grave

View towards farm2

The image today on Google Maps looking back towards De Knoet’s Farm from near the crest of Broodseinde Ridge. The 24th Battalion would have advanced over this ground towards the camera and then past it another several hundred metres to the 2nd objective at the Blue Line. It is likely that Tom was killed not long after passing this point.

One story amongst a sea of suffering

In terms of Australians killed in World War One, 1917 was the worst year.

And October 1917 was the worst month within that year. It was the worst month for Australian casualties in the entire war.

Tom’s mother, Mill, mourned his loss for the rest of her life. She usually wore black and had the Battalion colour patch, the Red and White Diamond, over her heart. Tom’s personal possessions were returned to Aunty Mill on HMAT Euripides – the same ship that carried Tom away from Melbourne and off to war back in 1915.

Aunty Mill was visited often on Anzac Day by the bloke who had been Tom’s Platoon Sergeant at Gallipoli, Stan Savige.

Stan was promoted to Lieutenant after Gallipoli and remained in the 24th Battalion where he was a Captain by war’s end.

After his return to Australia, Stan Savige played a key role in the establishment of Legacy – the fund set up to assist war widows and orphans.

By World War Two, he had risen to the rank of Brigadier and commanded the 17th Brigade in North Africa, Greece and Syria. He went on to become a Lieutenant General, serving as Corps Commander, II Corps, in the Bougainville Campaign at the end of the war.

Stan Savige embodied the calibre of soldiers with whom Tom Godfrey served. What men they all were. And he never forgot Aunty Mill in all the decades that stretched out beyond the end of World War One.

So ends this account of the life and death of Captain Tommy Godfrey MC – a very typical Australian soldier whose very typical Australian family mourned his loss for endless years ahead – and still do, even today.

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Amen.

Aunty Mill

Tom’s mother – Elizabeth Amelia Godfrey (‘Aunty Mill’), taken in about 1920. Born in County Roscommon, Ireland, in 1863. Died in Melbourne, Victoria, in 1956.

Image 9 - Tom Godfrey

Image 10 - Menin Gate

Tom’s name on the Menin Gate at Ypres, together with the name of “Tiny” Harriott.

533255_orig

More than 55,000 Commonwealth soldiers have no known grave in Belgium, including 6,000 Australians. Their names are recorded on the Menin Gate where the Last Post is still played every day.

5051

*****

Read Part One here: 100 years ago today, Tom Godfrey had one day left to live

Read Part Two here: For conspicuous gallantry

A mess of foreign origin

Posted by on 8:04 am in Featured, Politics | 6 comments

A mess of foreign origin

Let’s face it. The parliamentary citizenship crisis is beyond a farce.

It’s an entirely complicated and convoluted mess of gloried confusion and outrage, where simple and practical details are thrown aside in an endless tail-chasing exercise of pointless and fruitless complexity.

As best I can make out, for a person to run for parliament they must have complete loyalty to Australia. But, at the same time, a foreign nation which they have never visited can simply pass a law making that person one of their own for whatever reason it may decide and, hey presto, that person is ineligible.

In other words, you must have no citizenship with a foreign nation to contest an election, but a foreign nation over which you have no power has the ultimate authority to decide whether you have its citizenship.

Or, in other other words, we have reached a point where we protect the Australian parliament from foreign powers by giving foreign powers the power to decide who can’t stand.

That all makes sense in the same way that shooting yourself in the foot does.

To throw in added confusion, it is a matter of historical reality that English, Scottish, Welsh and other ‘citizens’ of Commonwealth nations have legally stood for parliament and held seats in it.

In fact, if the rules today were applied in 1901 we probably wouldn’t have had any parliamentarians at all.

And if you want to make it even more complicated, this is what is written on the Department of Border Protection and Immigration website:

Prior to 4 April 2002, Australian citizens who became citizens of another country lost their Australian citizenship automatically.

Here we have a crystalised mud nugget of clarity: in a classic case of double, double negatives it was the law that before 2002 an Australian citizen could not be a citizen of another nation.

Hence Larissa Waters, Scott Ludlum, Malcolm Roberts, Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash could not have been dual citizens up until at least that date but could have been so afterwards. On the evidence, none of them took steps to activate their potential citizenship yet they have all been ruled ineligible.

There has been all sorts of wailing and gnashing of teeth over this affair, with calls for audits and the PM introducing disclosure requirements.

These ‘solutions’, just like the problem itself, are complicated, convoluted, miss the point or threaten to turn a legal crisis of sovereignty into a real one.

Australia’s elected representatives should not have allegiance to foreign powers. Yet we now face a real possibility that in the midst of this confusion there will be a renewed push for a republic or an attempt to change the constitution to allow what no one in Australia wants: parliamentarians who do hold real allegiance to other nations.

There is a simple and easy solution to this farce: reinstate laws that prevent dual citizenship altogether.

It would solve the parliamentary problem and also help address another larger and more important issue.

It’s one thing for a parliamentarian to be elected with an allegiance to a foreign power. It’s another thing entirely for them to be elected by voters who hold allegiance to a foreign power too.

And we might just be in that situation, with claims that half of people living here could be dual citizens. True, the vast majority of Australians would hold dual citizenship without their knowledge or consent due to random law changes in England or New Zealand.

But the point still stands.

Get rid of dual citizenship and you get rid of this problem.

And then we can all start to focus on the real crisis of allegiance that this nation faces. And to highlight that point, I’ll leave the last word to the always brilliant Mark Steyn:

A casual observer might have assumed that a crisis about “allegiance to a foreign power” Down Under would be something to do with the remarkable number of “Australians” signing up for the Islamic State and head-chopping their way across the Levant and the Sunni Triangle. One thinks, for example, of Khaled Sharrouf’s seven-year-old son, born and raised in Sydney but an Internet sensation after he was snapped waving around the bloody, dripping head of a Syrian soldier. Yet the Australian state is genially relaxed about that. It’s only when Fiona Nash starts waving around a bloody, dripping haggis that everyone shrieks, “Oh, my God! How did she get in here?”

He won’t sign

Posted by on 6:34 pm in Featured, Islam | 7 comments

He won’t sign

Some people claim that Islam is peaceful.

One of them is Ali Kadri, the Vice President of the Islamic Council of Queensland. Indeed, this is what he told the Courier Mail in 2014 about Islam in Queensland and its network of mosques:

“Our mosque and those around the nation are about peaceful co-existence.”

Very nice.

Strangely, however, Ali Kadri refused to sign a pledge stating that the violent verses of the Koran were not applicable today at a recent counter-extremism meeting he attended with several government representatives and Harry Richardson (the bestselling author of The Story of Mohammad).

A transcript of that meeting is available on the Pickering Post and part of it is detailed below:

Harry: So, we have a declaration here today for someone to sign and say that they understand that there are commands in the Quran which compel Muslims to kill, behead, crucify or commit unprovoked violence against non-Muslims, Jews, Christians, atheists or apostates from Islam. I fully, completely, unequivocally, 100% reject, and refuse to believe, practise or teach any of these commands. I believe these commands from Allah are not applicable, not relevant and should not be practised in any form in today’s world by anyone.

Signed: Witnessed Dated… Now we would like members of the Islamic community to sign this, just to say that they don’t believe that those commands…………….

Government Representative: Ok, so you do realise that a lot of the radicalisation is not from the masalas or the mosques. The radicalisation is online from children who are at home, that…..

Harry: Yes, I think so, so I’m hoping Mr Kadri would be happy to sign this

(This is when Ali dropped his bombshell. He looked me in the eye and said:)

Ali Kadri: Are you asking me to renounce Koran, is that what you are asking me?

Harry: I’m asking you to renounce the violence in the Koran

Ali Kadri: Are you asking me to declare that I don’t believe in my faith because you have obviously misinterpreted the Koran. Like the terrorists have.

And a little later in the meeting  this was said:

Harry: Do you believe that these verses are relevant today?

Ali Kadri: These verses are out of context, they are in a time and a place.

Harry: So, they are not relevant today?

Ali Kadri: They are in a time and a place and they are not relevant for Australia no.

Harry: Right, so you wouldn’t mind signing it then, because it says that you believe that these verses, that these commands from Allah are not applicable, not relevant and should not be practised in any form in today’s world by anyone. And no one should murder the unbelievers today.

Ali Kadri: Absolutely, nobody should,

Harry: Have you got a pen?

Ali Kadri: Again, again Harry, Harry, Harry……..

Harry: Hang on, I’ve got a pen here (reaching into bag)

Ali Kadri: You are asking me, do you think that declaration, or whatever (unclear) that declaration and me reading this and me signing it will solve the problem of terrorism?

 

So there we have it. A leading figure in the government’s counter-extremism program won’t sign a document stating that Islam’s violent teaching is no longer relevant or applicable today.

This should not come as a surprise.

After all, the Australian National Imams Council actually wrote to the parliament a few years ago complaining that laws prohibiting the advocation of terrorism infringed the free speech of the ‘moderate’ imams, muftis and mullahs they represent.

And if you have your eyes opened to Islam, it won’t be a surprise.

Unfortunately, for many others it won’t come as a surprise either. If they haven’t woken up by now to the reality of violence that is inherent within the largest ‘religion’ on this planet to have been started by a warlord, nothing will surprise at all.

Not even when the terrorist attacks get real personal…or if they are the product of the government’s ‘de-radicalisation’ program.

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