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Remembering our practical Christianity on the battlefield and beyond

Remembering our practical Christianity on the battlefield and beyond

Remembering our practical Christianity on the battlefield and beyond

25 April 2018

The "Sallyman" and "Sallyma'am" are a regular part of ANZAC Day services around the nation, serving refreshments to servicemen and their families.

By Major Brett Gallagher

As we pause this week to remember the sacrifice of thousands of Australians made in conflicts from World War One to the present, remember to also spare a thought for the Salvos that have stood alongside these servicemen and women since the Boer War and still do today.

For 120 years Salvos have lived and served with Australia’s defence personnel, often being found in the background, but always playing a vital role in supporting them at their time of need. Whether in barracks, out in the field or while serving overseas the “Sallyman” or “Sallyma’am,” as they are affectionately known, has provided comfort and ministered in practical and spiritual means to those soldiers at just the right time.

The Salvos have supported defence personnel at their time of need for more than 120 years.

Complementing the work of the military chaplains, Red Shield Defence Services representatives have shown the love of Jesus through a “brew” and a listening ear, arranging cards and flowers for families of soldiers separated from loved ones on significant occasions and helping families at home while the serving parent is away on deployment. It is through this very practical, and often selfless ministry that soldiers have seen Jesus as reflected in our RSDS representatives.

Some have argued that the most significant growth seen in The Salvation Army in Australia occurred after soldiers returned from conflict challenged by the practical Christianity that the Sallyman provided.

As we commemorate the Centenary of ANZAC for the last time this ANZAC Day, let’s also pause and thank God for faithful men and women who continue in the tradition of their forebears by serving those who serve, showing the love of Jesus through practical means.

Major Gallagher is the Chief Commissioner, Red Shield Defence Services.


  1. Bless all the Red Shield Defence personnel, past and present.

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