Gunfire Breakfast

ANZAC Day – April 25 2018

0700 – 0900 | Government House Gardens, St Georges Terrace, Perth

What is the Gunfire Breakfast?

Many communities follow the dawn service with a ‘traditional’ gunfire breakfast. ‘Gunfire’ is a British tradition and was:

… the usual term for the early cup of tea served out to troops in the morning before going on first parade, whenever possible. In the War [WWI] recruits in training always had ‘Gun Fire’ supplied to them, the work before breakfast being found particularly trying. The morning gun in a garrison town suggested the name probably.

(E Fraser and J Gibbons, Soldier & Sailor Words & Phrases, Routledge, London, 1925, p. 113)

The ‘gunfire breakfast’ seems to have evolved from the above, and comprises whatever is available at the time—it could be ‘coffee and rum’ or ‘stew, sausage and bread’, or even ‘bacon and eggs’ (which is served by the War Memorial for their ‘gunfire breakfast’ on Anzac Day).

Explanation from the Parliament of Australia.

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