Over the past 100 years, there have been many poignant symbols and phrases that have come to be associated with military loss. One of these is the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross, also known as the Battlefield Cross or Battle Cross, which was believed to have first been used during the American Civil War to mark the location of fallen soldiers on the battlefield. The symbolic cross is made up of the fallen soldier’s rifle, their helmet or hat, and sometimes their boots and dog tags. The cross was created by plunging the bayonet into the ground and placing the deceased man’s headwear over the butt of the weapon.
Today, the cross is used less as a means of locating the fallen and more as a gesture of respect. It is recognised as a tribute to all soldiers who have lost their lives in battle, and is often used during memorials and military ceremonies.
One of the most famous phrases associated with military loss, ‘their name liveth for evermore’, was a biblical phrase selected by famous British poet and author, Rudyard Kipling, when he was a member of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The original phrase read, ‘Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore’, with the latter words inscribed over lists of fallen soldiers and Stones of Remembrance in Commonwealth war cemeteries.
The phrase ‘Lest we Forget’ is often added as the final line in the Ode of Remembrance which is taken from Laurence Binyon’s poem For the Fallen, first published in 1914. The Ode of Remembrance is regularly recited at memorial services commemorating the First World War around Australia, including Anzac Day and Remembrance Day.
The The ANZAC Spirit – Lest We Forget 2015 1 Kilo Silver Proof Coin‘s reverse features a coloured image of a Fallen Soldier Battle Cross with the sun rising in the background. The image is framed by a list of words and phrases, and the names of battlefields and cemeteries, associated with the First World War. No more than 500 of these coins will be released.