War Image statue
Two days ago we remembered D-Day, when on 6 June 1944 the Allies begin their quest to re-take Europe from the Nazi's. What of the longer view of that momentous event. In the 1970's the British comedy series Dad's Army gave us a glimpse, amongst the humour, of a hope, a free world.
There are many telling lines, not least the very first program titled 'The Man and the Hour' where the opening scene has a post war function celebrating the launch of the 'Back Britain' campaign.
The guest of honour is the indubitable Captain George Mainwaring introduced by his trustworthy Sargent and Chief Clerk at Swallow Bank Arthur Wilson. Captain Mainwaring in responding to such an introduction said that he has always backed Britain and harked back to 1940 when the Home Guard was formed.
Indeed if anything we learn at all amidst the humour of the Dad's Army series is that these men of the Home Guard did back Britain. They were determined to do their bit in the defence of the their home land which at that timed looked likely to be invaded by the Nazi's.
In every program this theme of Backing Britain, regardless of the plot or the characters, all under the threat of invasion, this backing the home side, comes through loud and clear. This was in spite of the hilarious stereotypes displayed by the characters.
Mainwaring is depicted as a pompous, self important and often over the top self appointed 'captain' yet his loyalty to Britain is never out of the picture. He was backing Britain from his waking hour to the time he took his sleep late at night.
His whole life outside his role as a bank manager was singularly focused on his Home Guard platoon and was fiercely loyal to his men regardless of their eccentricities and Arthur Wilson's flippancy at the whole enterprise - the public school boy of whom Mainwaring is envious as!
But backing Britain they all did and at this “town function” where this post war Backing Britain campaign is being held, we see these characters now years later and yes, much older (if that could be), the leading businessmen in the community, all still backing Britain.
An important theme
This theme of backing the home team is an important theme never to be underestimated. The tradition of Test Match Cricket is seen as an illustration of this idea of backing the home team. Remember the Body Line television series bought this out demonstrating how the nation got behind their boys in the 1932-33 cricket Ashes series on Australian soil. Our lads were ducking, weaving and being hit by the Harold Larwood thunderbolts, all aimed at the chest and down leg side.
It illustrated, that it hardly matters what State you're from, what city or regional community or country town, when facing an opponent whether in business, sport or war, you all become members of the same team (as it were).
This is part of the reason why there is such support for national icons businesses and when they go offshore there is a sense of losing something precious, something we all grew up with. Yes, there was a sadness with Arnott's Biscuits was sold offshore and Vegemite.
Backing Australia is as important to Australians as were the Dad's Army boys of the Home Guard backing Britain, and so it should be.
The evangelical wing of the Christian movement has many difference amidst its various parts.
There are the Southern Baptists, European and Scandinavian Lutherans, British Methodists, Scottish Presbyterian’s (the Kirk) and the length and breadth of the Pentecostal movement across the globe.
But one thing they all have in common is the message of Jesus Christ's Salvation.
They back the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Repentance, Forgiveness of sin through Jesus' death on the Cross, the physical Resurrection of Jesus and the Second Coming. All that and living a life worthy of being called a follower of Jesus. Evangelicals back the Good News of Jesus Christ.
That is what is comforting about all those D Day newsreel films – they show the soldiers kneeling at the foot of the cross with their Padre's conducting Christian services as they are preparing to enter into battle.
Their goal, was to free Europe and the world and we are custodians of that gift and why someone was desecrates this memory they have their television show truncated. Likewise when champion Tennis player Margaret Court of whom there is national recognition for over 50 years expresses a Biblical opinion, we back the right to free speech. The implications are legion.
Mark Tronson at Berkenau Auschwitz laying a plaque
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at