Anzac Day, 25 April, is one of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as Anzacs, and the pride they took in that name endures to this day.
When war broke out in 1914 Australia had been a federated nation for only 13 years, and its government was eager to establish a reputation among the nations of the world. When Britain declared war in August 1914 Australia was automatically placed on the side of the Commonwealth. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The ultimate objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire, an ally of Germany.
The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, 1915 meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated from the peninsula, with both sides having suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. More than 8,000 Australian soldiers had died in the campaign. Gallipoli had a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who died in the war.
Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the actions of Australian and New Zealand forces during the campaign left a powerful legacy. What became known as the “Anzac legend” became an important part of the identity of both nations, shaping the ways in which they viewed both their past and their future.
It is with pride and awe that we still celebrate the courage of those forces 104 years later.
So, on this national day of importance, whether you celebrate gathered with friends and family for a relaxed, Aussie-flavoured feast, are marching with schools or spending it playing Two-up at your local RSL, here are a couple of our favourite Aussie classics we think you will all love.
Damper is a traditional Australian bread. We love to serve it warm with lashings of butter and golden syrup.
This Ginger Infused Silverside is incredibly easy to make with just 3 INGREDIENTS!
I leave you with a well-known prose, written by Laurence Binyon (10 August 1869 – 10 March 1943) an English poet, dramatist and art scholar.
His most famous work, first published in The Times in 1914 is well known for being used in Remembrance Services.
FOR THE FALLEN
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.