ANZAC day commemorates the lives that selflessly fought for our freedom in the Great War at Gallipoli.  For me, Anzac day is also a day of memory for all the men and women that have fought and died in all our wars. 

I try to imagine what it was like to be one of the servicemen, almost 100 year ago, staring at the face of war.  They were mostly just kids.  Scared.  Not knowing whether they were going to live or die.  They were surrounded by bombing, fighting, injury, death, madness.  I cannot even begin to imagine.

I never knew my two grandfathers (they both passed away before I was born), but they both served in World War 1, both at the Somme.  They were the lucky ones that returned.  They both survived, but the British suffered around 420,000 casualties there.

Many of my friends here in Australia would also be touched directly by family that fought at Gallipoli during World War 1.  We (the Australians and New Zealanders), lost over 100,000 lives in this battle.  It was an atrocity.  It was a catastrophic loss. 

Mothers and wives of our troops lovingly baked biscuits to send to them while serving in Gallipoli.  The biscuits kept well with the addition of golden syrup and coconut.  These ANZAC biscuits are delicious any time of year, but their consumption bittersweet on April 25th.

This year, I have baked these biscuits in memory of my Uncle C. who passed away this week in the UK.  He also served his country.  Along with my father, he was posted in Malaya for two years and supported the Korean War effort for the British Army during the 1950s.

To my family, my daddy, my grandfathers and my uncle C, to these four lives that have now passed, I thank you.

To all the men and women who have served their countries, with immense gratitude, I thank you all for the simple and uncomplicated life I have now been afforded.  Thank you for your bravery.

Lest we forget.

{ Anzac Biscuits } recipe by Belinda Jeffery
Makes about 30 biscuits

* Ingredients *

90g rolled oats
50g shredded coconut
150g plain flour
165g castor sugar
125g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* Directions *

Preheat your oven to 160′C. Line a couple of large baking trays with baking paper and set aside. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the oats, coconut, flour and sugar.  Put the butter and golden syrup into a small saucepan over low heat and warm them, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda and stir them in briefly.  Pour this buttery liquid into the oat mixture along with the vanilla extract.  Quickly stir the two together until they’re thoroughly combined.  Roll the dough into small balls, then flatten slightly.  Sit about 5cm apart.  Bake for 15 minutes or until the biscuits are deep golden brown but still soft, then remove them from the oven. Leave them to cool on the trays for a few minutes, then carefully transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.