ANZAC TRIBUTE ETCHED IN SKIN:
Tattoo commemorates Anzacs
MOST people honour the Diggers by attending a dawn service on Anzac Day or visiting a war memorial.
But St Clair resident Brandon Hallett has permanently marked his body to remember their sacrifice.
The 44-year-old’s tattoo covers his upper arm and includes a slouch hat, a soldier, a silhouette of another soldier looking at a cross, a Gallipoli beach scene and the words “Lest we forget”.
He said it was a “great way to remember what the Anzacs have done”.
“My great-grandfather was at Gallipoli and was killed at the landing,” he said. “I didn’t know him.
“Other than that, I don’t have any association with it through family but I’ve been participating in Anzac Day ceremonies since being a child. When I lived in Adelaide, we used to go into the city and participate.”
Mr Hallett has lived in St Clair for 15 years and attends local RSLs every Anzac Day.
“I’ve been to St Marys and Blacktown and this year I’m going to Penrith,” he said.
Mr Hallett came up with part of the design – the large soldier – and let the artist at the Hills Social Club and Tat- too Parlour work out the rest.
The tattoo was done in three stages, over 12 hours in the chair. It is Mr Hallett’s second tattoo, following a crucifix on his back.
While much of the design harks back to the Gallipoli era, he doesn’t just think of World War I veterans.
“When we think of Anzacs, we usually only think of the older veterans, but not about the guys who are still active or the recent campaigns the same way,” Mr Hallett said.
“I think more recognition in association with those more recent fellas would be nice. They’re all there for the same job.”
To Mr Hallett, the sacrifice of Anzacs put Australia on the world stage and gave birth to the nation, so remembering them is as important as remembering the First Fleet landing or celebrating Australia Day.
When asked if the ink was one of the more painful ways to remember the Anzacs, he said tattoos were “always painful” but did not compare to the pain from “what they went through”.
“I had 12 hours’ worth of pain,” he said. “Some of those guys had 12 months’, maybe even longer if they came back.”
My greatgrandfather was at Gallipoli and was killed at the landing
Brandon Hallett shows off his tattoo commemorating the Anzacs. Picture: Peter Kelly