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Australian and New Zealand Army Corps

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War Memorials ANZAC

Their Service, Our Heritage

ANZAC:
was the name given to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps soldiers who landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey early on the morning of 25 April 1915 during the First World War (1914-1918).

We honour those men and women who have fought and died in all wars, in ceremonies of remembrance, gratitude and national pride on April 25th - ANZAC Day.

 

THE ODE

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

The Ode’ or the ‘Ode of Remembrance’ is taken from Laurence Binyonís poem, ‘For the Fallen’.

History:
Australia was at war. The Allies (Britain, France, Russia, Italy, Japan, and the USA) and Australia were fighting against the Central Powers of Germany, Turkey (then known as the Ottoman Empire), and Austria-Hungary.

In response to a request for help from Russia, which was being battered by the Turks in the Caucasus, the Allies decided to begin a campaign which they hoped would distract Turkey from their attack on Russia. The plan was for the Allies to attack and take the Gallipoli Peninsula, on Turkey’s Aegean coast, from which point the Allies believed they could take control of the Dardanelles, a 67 kilometre (42 mile) strait which connects the Aegean Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and lay siege to Turkey’s main city, Istanbul (then Constantinople).

The Landing at Gallipoli:
As part of the larger British Empire contingent, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps: the ANZACs, were brought in from training in Egypt to participate. The ANZAC comprised the 1st Australian Division and the composite New Zealand and Australian Division. On April 25th, 1915, the ANZACs landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Instead of finding the flat beach, the soldiers found they had been landed at the incorrect position and faced steep cliffs, with constant barrages of enemy fire and shelling. About 20,000 soldiers were to land on that beach over the next two days. They faced a large well organised, well armed Turkish force, who were determined to defend their country. They were led by Mustafa Kemal, who later became Atatürk, the leader of modern Turkey. Thousands of Australian and New Zealand men died in the hours and days that followed the landing at that beach. The beach would eventually come to be known as ANZAC Cove.

What followed the landing at Gallipoli is a story of courage and endurance, of death, despair, and of poor leadership from London, and unsuccessful strategies. The ANZACs and the Turks dug in. Creating kilometres of trenches, and pinned down each other’s forces with sniper fire and shelling. The ANZACs were pinned down, with their backs to the water and unable to make much headway against the home-country force.

Leaders argued about whether the campaign should be continued, due to their lack of success. While they argued, the Australian and New Zealand soldiers kept dying in battle, from sniper fire and shelling. Those that were not dead suffered from a range of ailments due to the dreadful living conditions that included typhus, lice, gangrene, lack of fresh water, poor quality food, and poor sanitary conditions. All took their toll.

It is this battle that is the heart of the ANZAC story. A legend was created, not of sweeping military victories, but about triumphs against the odds. About courage and ingenuity in adversity. It is a legend of free and independent spirits whose discipline derived less from military formalities and customs than from the bonds of mateship and the demands of necessity.

Source: Culture and Recreation: ANZAC

Some Facts:

ANZAC is an abbreviation for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

April 25, ANZAC Day, was the day the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915.

The first dawn service on an ANZAC Day was in 1923.

The ANZACS were on the Gallipoli Peninsula for only 8 months, and around 8,000 of them died there.

ANZACs were all volunteers.

Gallipoli refers to a narrow peninsula of northwest Turkey, extending between the Dardanells and the Gulf of Saros. There is also a city of Gallipoli (called Gelibolu in modern Turkish), located on the Gallipoli Peninsula (Gelibolu Yarimadasi), at the east end of the Dardanelles, near the neck of the Gallipoli Peninsula. The name derives from the Greek Kallipolis, meaning “Beautiful City”.

The Gallipoli Peninsula is very near the famous ancient city of Troy.

Alec Campbell (1899-2002), one of our Australian AnzacsAlec Campbell
(1899 - 2002)
• The last of the Australian Anzacs,
who served his country in that extraordinarily tragic campaign at Gallipoli.

 
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