Here’s to the Heroes
Winston Churchill famously stated, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”
Few these days are encouraged to study the ancient history and traditions of the British and their colonial sons and learn of the unbreakable link to biblical heritage possessed of those whom Churchill termed “the English-speaking peoples.” In fact, that heritage has a linkage with the fighting forces of these peoples today that extends 3,000 years back to, believe it or not, King David of ancient Israel! If only we would take the time to look that far back in our history, we would be ever so well prepared for the volatile future that today’s global disorder portends.
It was Churchill who also declared that “war is history.”
There is a lengthy heritage that links the ancient King David to the armies of Boadicea on to King Henry v’s merry few, to Drake and the Spanish Armada, on to Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, to Lord Kitchener, to the gallant Chauvel and the galloping horseman of Anzac tradition and beyond.
This is a heritage that had the kilted fighting men of the Highlands, for countless generations, stirred by the skirl of that ancient instrument of Davidic lineage, the psaltery, today called the bagpipes, to fight fearsomely in battle. It is a heritage which links the English-speaking peoples powerfully to ancient Israel by their tradition of singing the great psalms penned by the great warrior King David.
Benjamin Disraeli, twice prime minister of Britain during the British Empire’s time of greatness (the years 1868 and 1874-1880) observed in his famous novel, Tancred, “The most popular poet in England is the Sweet Singer of Israel. Since the days of the heritage, there never was a race who sang so often the odes of David as the people of Great Britain. It was the ‘sword of the Lord and of Gideon’ that won the boasted liberties of England; and the Scots upon their hillsides achieved their religious freedom chanting the same canticles that cheered the heart of Judah amid their glens.”
Heritage—that’s what once made Britain great! That’s what moved these peoples to carve great nations out of the continental extension of North America, of southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand! Disraeli rightly attached the true heritage of the English-speaking peoples to the great psalmist of ancient Israel. It was a heritage acknowledged by Victoria, Queen of the British Empire at its peak. That was a heritage known to the Anzacs of old, they who joined the fight to free the world from the tyrant in the Great War, World War i.
So we should think it not strange to read that occasionally one of Australia’s great sons, the Australian bushman, geologist, miner, hunter, explorer, author and Anzac soldier Ion Idriess, was inspired by the biblical setting of the desert war of 1914-18. Written amid the heat and sand, the fire and the blood of desert warfare, some of Idriess’s phrases were, at times, attached to, even inspired by, the ancient biblical heritage upon which the British Empire was founded. As the famed Desert Column filed along the old Way of the Philistines heading toward Gaza, Idriess reflected, “The joy-spots of this old Bible desert are the oases. … It is in tiny wells which have been used since countless centuries before Moses” (The Desert Column).
Ion Idriess, an Australian of Davidic Welsh stock, enlisted as a trooper in the Australian Imperial Force at the opening of World War i. He was attached to the 5th Light Horse Regiment. Wounded twice, once at Gallipoli and again at Gaza, Idriess witnessed the famous Anzac mounted infantry charge at Beersheba that led to the taking of Jerusalem by British Imperial forces. His writings made between marches and skirmishes in the desert at times reflected the deep emotion of a soldier, a son of Australia, conscious of Palestine’s link between the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. At Rafah, en route to Gaza, he pondered, “Britain has brought along the 20th century into a land that was ancient when Christ was a child.”
On leave in Greece, recovering from injury before the great march to Gaza and conscious of the seemingly overwhelming combined superiority in arms of the Turks, Austrians and Germans that awaited on return to active duty in the Sinai desert, Idriess mused, “The story of David and Goliath is not repeated in modern warfare when it is a handful against many men and many machines.” He was later to eat those words as he witnessed the Australian Light Horse charge the cannon, bullets and cold steel of the enemy, by whom they were vastly outnumbered, and capture the ancient city of water wells, Beersheba, opening the way for victory over the Turks at Jerusalem.
Of the great warrior psalmist, King David, we read in a few words in the biblical book of Samuel a summation of the man. 2 Samuel 23:1 describes him as “David the son of Jesse … the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel.”
“The man”! That term in this verse is translated from the Hebrew Ha-Gever, meaning mighty, he-man, HERO!
Recently, while attending a performance of the Australian group the Ten Tenors, I was inspired to think on the power that the true heroes of the English-speaking nations have demonstrated in securing the freedoms that those nations, together with much of the rest of the world, presently enjoy due to their selfless sacrifice in many battles, on many fronts, over the past hundred years.
While listening to the Ten Tenors’ rousing rendition of lyricist Don Black’s “Here’s to the Heroes” at a time when deep into a reading of Ion Idriess’s book The Desert Column, my mind filled with the images of the clash of steel, the fire of cannon, the pounding of hooves and the shouts of men in the bloody heat of battle as portrayed by Idriess at Gallipoli and on the desert sands of Sinai.
As those 10 young Australians sang out lustily the words, “Here’s to the heroes who change our lives. // Thanks to the heroes, freedom survives,” the great mounted charges by those hardy bushmen who, nine decades ago, made up the thin, brown ranks of the Australian Light Horse as they fought heroically to break centuries of Ottoman rule in the Middle East, flashed through the mind in movie-like imagery.
In my mind’s eye I saw the frenzied gallop of horsemen, vastly outnumbered by the entrenched enemy, swoop down in the face of ravaging fire to take ancient Beersheba of Abrahamaic tradition and open the way for the seizure of Jerusalem from the Muslims, a victory denied to the Crusaders who over the centuries had sought to take the Holy City in the name of Rome. I visualized General Allenby dismounting in respect to the ancient heritage of the Holy City, marching through the Jaffa Gate to secure the City of Peace under British martial law.
Australia was founded on the blood and sweat of its pioneers, and gained maturity as a nation in the face of fire and steel in the desert of the Middle East and in the mud of the Western Front in World War i. Its military record is foremost a history of gallantry, of self-sacrifice in the best traditions of the human spirit that, in the words of the Savior of mankind, bespeaks this reality: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).
That’s the true Anzac spirit.
It is, to a degree, reflected in what Idriess declared was his dearest memory of his fellow soldiers in the desert: “… the memory that will linger until I die, is the comradeship of my mates, those thousands of men who laugh so harshly at their own hardships and sufferings, but whose smile is so tenderly sympathetic to others in pain” (op. cit.).
Do today’s Australians still reflect that spirit?
Grave doubts are being raised on that question as we see representatives of Australia’s fighting forces taking part, for the first time, in a “celebration” of lifestyles specifically condemned within the book that was the foundation of the country’s moral strength through its pioneering history and its blooding as a nation in warfare. Great shame was brought recently upon the Anzac heritage at the 30th anniversary “celebration” of the homosexual and lesbian mardi gras in Sydney as, for the first time, a contingent of Australia’s military marched in Sydney’s annual day of shame.
My father carried a standard military-issue pocket Bible with him into battle. The greatest of the English-speaking military leaders have been Bible-reading men, some of them even basing their tactics on ancient battles of Israel. These men would roll over in their graves, if it were possible, to see the debacle of representatives of their country’s fighting forces marching in a parade in celebration of lifestyles that are not only condemned in the Bible but were—as part of that same biblical heritage passed down from Israel through her progeny to recent times—condemned as criminal acts barely 30 years ago!
We would do well to ask, where are the true heroes today who are willing to fight for the preservation of the heritage of King David, the psalmist hero?
It was Sir Winston Churchill who also pointed to the truism that any nation that forgets its past does not deserve to survive.
If you are one who is disturbed at the moral slide in your country, disturbed at the creeping replacement of old, eternal truths with the dumbed-down myths of political correctness and the adverse change this is having on national character, you need to prove the link that binds the English-speaking nations profoundly to their biblical past, to a singular heritage, alone, upon which true greatness can be built.
You need to study our free book The United States and Britain in Prophecy and know without any serious doubt just what is really happening to sap the moral fiber of your nation, and just what that portends for the future.
You can read The United States and Britain in Prophecy online now, or request your own hard copy, which we will send you gratis. This book is an eye-opener that will enable you to view current events in a far different and more spectacular—even hope-filled—light than you ever have before!
It’s the only book you will read that gives the plain, unadulterated revelation of the true heritage of the English-speaking peoples!