“ANZAC” was the name given to a combined force of First Australian Imperial Force and New Zealand Army troops who landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey at dawn on Sunday, the 25th of April, 1915, barely nine months after the outbreak of World War I.
It was the start of a campaign that lasted eight months and resulted in some 25,000 Australian casualties, including 8,700 who were killed or died of wounds or disease.
The men who served on the Gallipoli Peninsula created a legend, adding the word ‘ANZAC’ to our vocabulary and creating the notion of the ANZAC spirit. It was with this landing that there began to emerge the tradition of ANZAC with the ideals of mateship and sacrifice that distinguish and unite all Australians irrespective of their origins.
In 1916, the first anniversary of the landing was observed in Australia, New Zealand and England and by troops in Egypt. That year, 25 April was officially named ‘ANZAC Day’ by the Acting Prime Minister, George Pearce.
By the 1920s, ANZAC Day ceremonies were held throughout Australia. All States had designated ANZAC Day as a public holiday.
ANZAC Day is the day Australia commemorates with services and marches in cities and towns and throughout the world where servicemen, servicewomen and peacekeepers are stationed, to remember all those who lost their lives in service to their country, in all wars.
We Will Remember Them
Lest We Forget