Cultural Insights to Australia 11: ANZAC Day Marches

Insight 11: The ANZAC Day March

When World War I started in 1914, the rather new country of Australia responded. So did New Zealand. The Inspector-General of Australia’s army decided to put all the soldiers into one single force (rather than sending them over to Europe piece by piece). When the New Zealand soldiers joined this force, there had to be a name for this combined force. They were eventually called the ‘Australia and New Zealand Army Corp’, but the army clerks were soon using stamps which said ‘ANZAC’.

On April 25th, 1915, this force landed on a Turkish beach under heavy fire. The British and French landed further south. It was a complete disaster for all, and nine months later they left, with the French and ANZACs having lost over 10,000 men each, the British 20,000. The landing day is still remembered, though. ‘ANZAC Day’ is a public holiday, and veteran soldiers (from more recent conflicts) will often march through the streets. You might find the following pictures interesting.