Previous month:
March 2019
Next month:
May 2019

April 2019

Saudi Arabia beheads 37 men in one day in the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful

With a view towards not joining the newly headless, editors of Saudi Arabia's newspapers this week congratulated the Keeper of the Two Holy Mosques and his Kingdom on their fine butchery.

Screen Shot 2019-04-27 at 1.12.06 am

And here's the formal announcement and headcount for the day.

Screen Shot 2019-04-27 at 1.08.00 am

Riyadh, April 23, 2019, SPA -- The Ministry of Interior announced that capital punishment has been carried out in the regions of Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah, Eastern, Qassim and Asir on a number of culprits who have adopted the extremist terrorist ideology and formed terrorist cells to spread corruption, insecurity, chaos, sedition and sectarianism and threaten the public peace and social welfare in addition to attacking security headquarters by using explosive bombs, killing of a number of security men and breaching of the trust in cooperation with hostile parties harming the supreme interests of the country.

The Ministry of Interior issued a statement as follows:

"In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of all creation. 

The following names, who are all Saudi nationals, have adopted terrorist and extremist thinking and formed terrorist cells in order to wreak havoc, destabilize security, spread chaos, stir sectarian sedition and harm social stability and security, through attacking security posts using explosives and bombs, that claimed the lives of an array of security men attacked from aback and showing disloyalty by collaborating with hostile parties aiming at demising the ultimate interests of the nation:

1. Ahmed Hassan Ali Al Rabee.

2. Ahmed Hussein Ali Al-Aradi.

3. Ahmed Faisal Hassan Al-Darwish.

4. Jaber Zuhair Jaber Al-Marhoon.

5. Hussein Hassan Ali Al Rabee.

6. Hussein Ali Jassim Al-Humaidi.

7. Hussein Qassem Ali Al-Abboud.

8. Hussein Mohammed Ali Al Musallam.

9. Haidar Mohammed Ibrahim Al Leif.

10. Khaled Hamoud Jawir Al-Faraj.

11. Khaled Abdulkarim Saleh Al-Tuwaijri.

12. Salem Abdullah Awad Al-Amri Al-Harbi.

13. Saeed Mohammed Saeed Al-Scafi.
14. Salman Amin Salman Al Quraish.
15. Taleb Muslam Suleiman Al-Harbi.
16. Tahir Muslam Suleiman Al-Harbi.
17. Abbas Haji Ahmed Al-Hassan.
18. Abdulaziz Hassan Ali Al Sahawi.
19. Abdulkarim Mohammed Al-Hawaj.
20. Abdullah Salman Saleh Al Asrih.
21. Abdullah Adel Hassan Al-Aujan.
22. Abdullah Hani Abdullah Al Tarif.
23. Aziz Mahdi Abdullah Al Rafi Al-Amri.
24. Ali Hussein Ali Al-Ashour.
25. Ali Hussein Ali Al-Muhanna.
26. Fadel Hassan Abdulkarim Labad.
27. Mujtaba Nader Abdullah Al-Sweikt.
28. Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Ashour.
29. Mohammed Saeed Abdrab-ul-Rasool Al Khatam.
30. Mohammed Ayed Mohammed Al-Namlan Al-Qahtani.
31. Mohammed Abdulghani Mohammed Attieh.
32. Mohammed Mansour Ahmed Al Nasser.
33. Mustafa Ahmed Abdullatif Darwish.
34. Muntazer Ali Saleh Al-Sobaiti.
35. Munir Abdullah Ahmed Al Adam.
36. Hadi Yousef Reda Al Hazim.
37. Yousef Abdullah Awad Al-Amri.

As they were referred to the judiciary, following establishing accusations against them for committing such crimes, legal deeds against them were issued upholding these accusations and thus verdicts were made to execute them, through corroboration, and carrying out the punishment of waging war on Aziz Mahdi Abdullah Al Rafi Al-Amri  and  Khaled Abdulkarim Saleh Al-Tuwaijri.    

The verdicts were ratified by the pertinent court of appeals as well as the supreme court and a royal order was issued to carry out the legally approved sentences, following verifying the accusations with the culprits.

Executions have taken place, accordingly, in various regions of the Kingdom, on Tuesday April 23, 2019.

As it announces that, the Ministry of Interior reiterates that this country will not desist of deterring anyone who may think of trying to harm its security or stability as well as the nationals or the residents, either, on its territories, adding that it is resolutely and firmly continuing to seek justice through carrying out the rules of the sacred Sharia, on anyone who may crosses the set limits of Allah, it also warns against anyone whose self may rationalize to him committing such terrorist and criminal acts, that the Sharia prescribed punishments shall be imposed upon him/her.

-- SPA

19:30 LOCAL TIME 16:30 GMT

How delusional we have become if this is the new face of our tolerance

Thanks to Jason Morrison for these snapshots of our community on ANZAC Day - Jason said:

We have a lot of problems in Australia if we now need sharp shooters, war-zone like barricades, and semi-trailers to protect the ANZAC march and commemorations.


Screen Shot 2019-04-26 at 10.40.51 am
Screen Shot 2019-04-26 at 10.40.51 am
Screen Shot 2019-04-26 at 10.40.51 am
Screen Shot 2019-04-26 at 10.40.51 am

We have gone crazy with our embrace of "tolerance" and "diversity".

Meanwhile in a very confident Muslim nation that's sure of its own identity - Malaysia - we celebrated an overtly Christian Anzac Day with not the slightest problem at all.

So why the need to kow-tow to Islamists in Australia and New Zealand?

Screen Shot 2019-04-26 at 10.50.22 am

Screen Shot 2019-04-26 at 10.50.22 am

Screen Shot 2019-04-26 at 10.50.22 am
Screen Shot 2019-04-26 at 10.50.22 amScreen Shot 2019-04-26 at 10.50.22 am

Screen Shot 2019-04-26 at 10.50.22 am

Lest We Forget.

At the going down of the sun, And in the morning, We will remember them. Lest We Forget.

100+ years ago my family well and truly answered the call.

Gerald Patrick Smith left home in late 1911 to go to sea on the Royal Australian Navy's first day of service.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 6.35.24 pm

The King had just approved formation of the RAN and Gerald was one of its first members.


When war broke out, Gerald had already been to England to sail back on the pride of the fleet, HMAS Australia.



Grerald Patrick was one of the first Australians to see action in The Great War.  

He was in the landing party that secured German Rabaul New Guinea.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 6.40.25 pm

The elder Smith boy Leslie John was a famous musician and the manager of Stanley MacKay's Royal Pantomime Company.   He was constantly on tour with glamorous stars throughout Australia and New Zealand.

I reckon he was a lady's man.   Maybe Eydie Stamp does too.  After he'd sailed away to war Eydie tried to find him and didn't want the letter in reply sent home.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 7.21.27 pm

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 10.00.52 pm

119 Leslie John Smith went straight into action as a machine gunner on The Somme.

That's him on great grandma's Catherine's lap with great grandpa the stern school teacher watching over them.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 6.17.21 pm

My grandpa Percy Leo Smith was a telegraph operator at the Melbourne GPO.

Les, Percy and Gerald were solid Irish Catholic working class boys.

Waltter Geappen was a 3rd generation protestant Australian.  His boys signed up too, as you'd expect of the sons of the Victorian Government Printer and Grand Master of Melbourne's Masonic Lodge.  Here are the Geappen boys with my grandmother Myrene just before the war.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 7.55.32 pm

20 year old blacksmith  Les was always going to be a Sapper!


But Les hadn't attained his majority..

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 8.06.22 pm

Les was an Australian Native just like me.



My grandfather Percy Leo Smith was first allocated to the 7th Battalion.   He first served in Cairo Egypt.


Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 6.11.58 pm



When Les went into action on The Somme, Percy transferred to the 3rd Division to be near him.

In December 1916 Les copped a shocking whack - a gunshot wound penetrating his face and eye.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 7.14.03 pm

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 10.03.33 pm

This photo was taken a year later, even in the grainy sepia wash you can see the damage.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 8.36.00 pm

Les was a fighter.   After he came out of hospital in London he was sent to the machine gun training school at Grantham as a Sergeant Instructor where he spent the remainder of 1917.

Gerald was by then on HMAS Warrego sailing out of Brindisi, Italy hunting subs and enemy ships in the Mediterranean.  When Les suggested the boys get together over Christmas 1917 Gerald was on to it like a shot!  Somehow he got leave and made his way from Brindisi to London via the Channel - 2,200 kilometres during the war!  Not a bad effort.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 8.46.16 pm

And so the Smith boys were together again for one final Christmas in London, December, 1917.

Their priority mission was to get this photo to send back home to their mum Catherine in Richmond.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 9.17.43 pm

Imagine her excitement going to the letter box in Sherwood Street Richmond with the two girls to see her 3 boys together!

Here's Catherine with the two girls after the war - granddad has written "my best pals" on the top of the photo.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 9.15.03 pm

I hope that Percy, Leo and Gerald had the best of times in London and partied like it was their last Christmas together on earth.   Because it was.

Les had been seriously wounded.   He had a good job in England training machine gunners.  He was part of the war effort.  But his loyalty lay with his mates and brother.

On 10 March 1918 he rejoined the 10th Machine Gun Company on the Somme.  

He didn't know, but allied commanders suspected that the Germans would soon launch a major push from the Hindenburg Line trying to breach the Allies line and thrust through to the sea.

This is Field Marshall Hindenburg and General Ludendorf.

Ludendorff was planning a surprise offensive to divide the French and British forces on the Western Front. As anticipated, the German army amassed its troops and launched an offensive on 21 March, on a front south of Arras in St Quentin sector.


German reserves advancing through St Quentin.The Germans wanted to capture the strategically important area of Amiens, to divide the Allied armies and to weaken them to the point where a combined counter-attack would be impossible.

Sixty-three German divisions attacked over 60 miles of the front held by 26 British divisions, overwhelming British defences and driving them west. The Germans concentrated on infiltrating strongly in one central area, whereas the British expected that the attack would be spread out, and that the Germans would attempt to outflank them in the Somme woods and valleys. The British 3rd Army and 5th Army were taken by surprise, divided and forced to retreat. German troops then rapidly advanced across the Somme battlefield towards Amiens. In five days, they had recaptured all the land they had lost around the Somme in the previous two years. This was disastrous for the Allies. Not only had they lost all the land which thousands of men had died to capture, but also the Germans were now dangerously close to Amiens, a vital rail junction, which in March lay defenceless.

In the short space of ten days since launching the offensive, German troops were almost at the gates of Amiens. The Allies had to prevent the Germans from passing through Villers-Bretonneux, the main area before Amiens. On 25 March, the 3rd and 4th Australian divisions were on their way, hastily instructed to plug the gap and to assist in stopping the offensive.

On 30 March 1918 my grandfather saw his brother Les shot and killed in action at Dernancourt, The Somme.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 7.16.50 pm

There wasn't much to send home.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 9.59.14 pm

His effects were boxed and placed on the Barunga, formerly the German liner Sumatra which was captured by the Royal Australian Navy in Sydney Harbour at the start of the war.  Gerald Smith was there when she was captured and put into service for Australia.

He was also there on the Mediterranean Sea when a German submarine torpedoed her and sent the ship and his brothers earthly effects to the bottom of the sea.H02017A01043

I wonder if Catherine knew the little trinkets left to her by her son were on Barunga when she read about her sinking?

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 10.15.21 pm

There was no homecoming for the dead in World War One.

Grieving mothers were asked to pay for a copy of the gazette entry recording the headstone details of their dead boys.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 10.06.34 pm

But a mother's love for her son never dies.

When the Australian men came home the official historian Charles Bean's first order of duty was to oversee the creation of an Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Today, new generations of Smiths can see the name of 119 Smith, Leslie John in bronze on the Roll of Honour.

A few years after the war, Catherine Smith received a polite note from the official historian asking for details about Les.

I can imagine her tears as she wrote about the lad who won the Royal South Street Open Violin solo - at the age of 17!  And the memories of treasured letters from his tours of the major provincial centres of Australia and both islands of New Zealand with the pantomime company.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 10.37.21 pmScreen Shot 2016-07-01 at 10.27.57 pm

I'd also lay odds my great grandmother never forgot the Dept of The Somme, France.

Nor should we.

On the centenary of the first of the bloody battles of the Somme.

At the going down of the sun,

And in the morning,

We will remember them.

Lest we forget.

PS - The Hall of Memory in the Australian War Memorial has stained glass windows on 3 sides, each window divided into 5 panels.   The 15 panels represent personal qualities of Australians at war.

As I write these last few words with tears flowing freely I'm particularly moved by one of the qualities we used to value.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 10.45.26 pm

Leslie John, Percy Leo, Leslie Claude, Gerald Patrick and my many other ancestors who fought for the idea of Australia must be looking on and wondering at what we have become.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 10.47.19 pmScreen Shot 2016-07-01 at 10.47.31 pmScreen Shot 2016-07-01 at 10.47.46 pm