‘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.
ANZAC stands for 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 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.
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.
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. In 1916 the first Anzac Day commemorations were held on 25 April. The day was marked by a wide variety of ceremonies and services across Australia, a march through London, and a sports day in the Australian camp in Egypt.
During the 1920s Anzac Day became established as a national day of commemoration for the more than 60 000 Australians who had died during the war. In 1927, for the first time, every state observed some form of public holiday on Anzac Day. By the mid-1930s all the rituals we now associate with the day – dawn vigils, marches, memorial services, reunions, two-up games – were firmly established as part of Anzac Day culture.
Later, Anzac Day also served to commemorate the lives of Australians who died in the Second World War, and in subsequent years the meaning of the day has been further broadened to include those who lost their lives in all the military and peacekeeping operations in which Australia has been involved’. 1
The ANZAC Day page covers history, traditions, services, Order of Service, information from New Zealand and Turkish viewpoints, images, music downloads, more.
Years of ANZAC
‘The Centenary of Anzac 2014 to 2018 was an important period of national commemoration for Australia. Marking 100 years since our involvement in World War I, the ANZAC Centenary was a time to honour the service and sacrifice of our original ANZACs, and the generations of Australian servicemen and women who have defended our values and freedoms, in wars, conflicts and peace operations throughout a Century of Service’. Ran from 2014 to 2018.
- Forgotten Voices, Hidden Histories
‘Uncovering the University of Melbourne’s Anzac heritage’. Stories and articles covering multiple aspects from a Letter from Gallipoli to Dead Man’s Penny, even to The Poppy that survived a hundred years. Many have photos and/or audio as well. Some of the links in the About sections still work.
- The ANZAC Centenary – Remembering 100 Years of Service
Created by the ANZAC Research Institute. Starts from WW1 and the beginning of the tradition, provides some of the first major actions of the war, The ANZAC Centenary and has a number of links to further information.
- WW100 New Zealand
This is a similar site to the Australian one. The ‘program marked the First World War centenary from 2014 to 2019 [when our troops came home] - through a range of events, activities and projects in all parts of the country’.
ANZAC Day Service and Speeches
Portal - Speeches for commemorations
‘Use these sample speeches as a starting point to develop a script for Anzac Day. We encourage local communities to research a veteran who enlisted in, or was born in, their local area and to highlight their service in the speech. You could adapt them for use at other ceremonies, such as Remembrance Day’.
- Bugle Calls
Download both the Last Post, Rouse and Reveille. Available from multiple sources in .wav and .mp3 formats. Includes other material which may also be useful.
- Military Bugle Calls
Download both the Last Post and Reveille. Other calls are also available. MP3 format.
- Outline of ANZAC Day Commemoration
‘Suitable for high schools and communities’. You can find a suitable service outline for Primary Schools here.
- The Last Post
Information on the Last Post, a recording [1.75min.], more.
- ANZAC Day [ACT]
Information from RSL ACT.
- ANZAC Day [Sydney]
Start times, guidelines, map. Links to services being held by other RSL branches around NSW. Information about the History of ANZAC Day, The ANZAC March, even the ANZAC Day Appeal that is run by them. Other military information as well.
- ANZAC Day [Qld]
Find information via this page at RSL Queensland.
- ANZAC Day [SA]
ANZAC Day Service information. RSL South Australia.
- ANZAC Day Commemorations [Tas]
Find information about the commemorations to be held in Hobart as well as links to commemorations in other parts of Tasmania. RSL Tasmania. Select “Commemorations” from the top menu, then “ANZAC Day” from the sub-menu
- ANZAC Day [Vic.]
From RSL Victoria.
- ANZAC Day [WA]
Use the Commemoration/ANZAC Day/History of ANZAC Day to also access four major sections of information from RSL Western Australia : ANZAC Requiem, ANZAC Spirit, ANZAC History and Youth Resources. Opens at History.
The ANZAC Legend
- Dawn of the Legend
‘This exhibition tells the story of the Australians who landed at Gallipoli, and of the creation of the ANZAC legend’.
- The ANZAC Legend
The Spirit of the ANZACs. ‘The Anzac Legend emerged from the tragic events on the Gallipoli peninsula, which has now become an important part of our Australian History’.
- The ANZAC Legend [DVA]
‘Origins of ‘ANZAC’; The first ANZACs; The ANZAC newspaper men; Other ANZACs; Other battlefronts and the ANZAC legend; Australia’s home front and the ANZAc legend; Women and the ANZAC legend; Turkish view of the ANZAC legend; The ANZAC legend today; Using sources to learn more about the ANZAC legend; Sources’.
- The Anzac Legend :
‘Great Debates is a series designed for teachers to encourage discussion on topics from military history. This debate focuses on the variety of attitudes Australians have had toward the Anzac legend over the past century’.
- The ANZAC Legends
An article from the Museum of Victoria.
The ANZAC Tradition
- A is for ANZACs
‘The publication is intended for use by students as an introduction to some of the traditions and terminology associated with Australia’s recognition of ANZAC Day as an important national holiday’.
- ANZAC Day Tradition
Provides links to sites covering this and other ANZAC topics. Some are already listed here.
- Anzac Day Traditions and Rituals : A quick guide
Parliament of Australia. History, Dawn Service and March, Wearing Medals, The Ode, The ANZAC Biscuit, ANZAC Speeches, The meaning of ANZAC, Poetry, links to many other resources. You can download a copy here.
- The ANZAC Day Tradition
From the Australian War Memorial.
A doctor’ s view of Gallipoli landings [ANZAC Portal]
‘Many people involved in planning the landing at Gallipoli seemed to think it would be accomplished without too much fuss. Captain Benjafield [as he was then] was a prolific letter writer and echoed these sentiments in his letters home. These were copied for him and widely distributed among his friends’.
- ANZAC Troops at Gallipoli
‘The Australian War memorial has released rarely seen film taken at ANZAC Cove and Suvla Bay in 1915’. 8min.39sec.
- Battle of Gallipoli
HISTORY.com. Article with links to related information about other aspects of The Great War. Updated by them in 2020.
- Despatches From Gallipoli
‘Charles Bean, Keith Murdoch, Phillip Schuler and Charles Smith were four Australians who went to Gallipoli as journalists during World War 1. This website aims to introduce these men and their writing, as well as to highlight their role in the development of an Australian identity’. Site now archived in TROVE.
- Diary of an ANZAC
Recording what happened to one specific Anzac at Gallipoli.
and the Anzacs
‘This education resource shares some of the experiences from the Anzacs at Gallipoli in 1915. It focuses on the involvement of the Turkish, British, French and other Allied forces in the campaign’.
- Gallipoli and the
Free Podcast by La Trobe University. ‘The Anzac involvement in the Gallipoli Campaign has had a lasting cultural impact in Australia. These podcasts will draw together different perspectives on Gallipoli, the ANZACs and the Great War’.
- Gallipoli and the Great War Podcast
‘The Anzac involvement in the Gallipoli Campaign has had a lasting cultural impact in Australia. Why is it considered such sacred ground ? These podcasts will draw together different perspectives on Gallipoli, the ANZACs and the Great War’.
- Gallipoli Campaign
Background; Prelude; Landings; Land Campaign; Aftermath; Legacy; References [books, diaries, newspapers, journals, websites]; Links; more. Wikipedia.
‘Background to the campaign; Preparations in Egypt; Original plans; Preparations at Lemnos; Map of the landings; Summary of the campaign’. Part of the new format for the Anzac Portal, Department of Veteran Affairs.
- Gallipoli diary and sketches by Signaller Ellis Silas
‘About the artist; Sketches from Silas’ book; Diary of Ellis Silas’.
- Gallipoli : The Story of
The First Day
‘An ABC documentary site about the WW1 ANZAC landing at Gallipoli’. Story of the Day; Event Timeline; Eyewitness Accounts; Commentaries; Campaign Overview; Teaching Resources.
- Glossary of Slang and Peculiar
Terms in Use in the A.I.F.
Australian National Dictionary Centre. ‘This is an annotated edition of the Glossary. There is the original entry [errors are corrected; the original manuscript retains all spelling and grammatical idiosyncrasies]; a line providing information about the word [for example, if it was generally used, if it was Australian, and so on], the first date it was recorded, and a reference to other texts that attest to the word’s usage’. Soldier’s Slang, compiled by the Australian War Memorial, also has examples of these words and expressions.
- Indigenous Service
during World War 1 [Anzac Portal]
Has information covering ‘Discriminatory enlistment standards; Some freedom in service; Reasons for joining up; Wartime service and illness; Brave men recognised on their merit; Research into Indigenous service’.
- Investigating Gallipoli
‘Designed for primary students in years 4-6, and focuses on the campaign and the experiences of the Anzacs at Gallipoli in 1915. Students use collected evidence to create their own storybook. The published resource includes a copy of the ABC website Gallipoli, The First Day and a DVD Video containing a documentary on Gallipoli : Australians at War Episode Two’. You will need to have Flash PLayer to view the interactive component of this.
- Jack Hazlitt - World War 1 Digger
A video clip in which a ‘World War 1 digger reflects on his work as a runner in the trenches at Gallipoli. Hopping across the trenches in full view of the Turkish snipers, the average life of a runner was 24 hours’. MP4 format.
- Not Only A Hero
‘An Illustrated Life of Simpson, the Man with the Donkey’.
- Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918
[The Australian War Memorial]
Volumes 1 and 2 cover the Gallipoli Campaign and can be downloaded from this site. Each contains multiple chapters covering specific aspects and times..
- Revealing Gallipoli
‘Five broadcasters from across the globe are uniting to tell the tragic story of Gallipoli - from all sides. First-hand accounts tell viewers what Gallipoli looked, felt and smelled like, and remarkable 3D archival images bring these scenes to life. Animated maps illustrate the forbidding terrain the soldiers faced, and illuminate the strategies behind the conflict’. From Enhance [Free]. You can also purchase the DVD from December Films.
- The Gallipoli Campaign, April 1915 -
Extensive range of photographs, letters to loved ones, the Christmas Truce, more. Imperial War Museum, UK.
Timeline of Australians and the Gallipoli Campaign
‘Events leading up to the campaign; The landing at Gallipoli; Early battles at Gallipoli; Allied operations and Turkish counter-offensives in May; Allied operations in June and July; August Offensive; Evacuation of Allied troops from Gallipoli; and Commemoration of Gallipoli Campaign veterans’.
- Understanding Gallipoli
‘Provides a summary of Australian service on Gallipoli in 1915, as well as stories of those who were there. It includes learning activities for upper primary and secondary students, which encourage students to investigate events and analyse ideas and concepts relating to Gallipoli and the Anzacs’.
- Voices of the First World War - Gallipoli - Conditions and Evacuation
[BBC Sounds]. While not specifically Australian, it does provide information about the conditions suffered and the departure from Gallipoli as seen by those who were there.
- Who really died at Gallipoli ?
‘Somehow the impression has taken root that in that terrible Battle of Gallipoli  only the ANZAC troops fought and suffered in Turkey. The reality is different, but the overwhelming attention that Australia and New Zealand place on Gallipoli is understandable’. Information and images.
- With the Camera at
‘This album contains 41 views of ANZAC Beach and the surrounding hills and gullies. Taken in 1915, the photographs it contains capture Gallipoli through the eyes of the digger’. You can download the images as a folder.
- World War I Gallipoli
Australian Army. Overview, with links on the left not only to information about parts of The Great War but also other conflicts.
- 1914 to 1918 -
World War One
Provides links to a wide range of Documents, Imagery and Maps and Training Materials related to WW1 including the Gallipoli Campaign.
- Ancestry - Stories of
‘Aimed at upper primary and lower secondary school students, it explores stories of individuals and families from different cultural backgrounds who served in Australian units during the First World War’. Note that by clicking on this link, you gain an automatic download of the information. It is fairly sizeable
- An introduction to ANZAC
Day for Early Childhood
‘Young children have a fascination with all things to do with the past. By learning through hands-on, sensory and real-life experiences about ANZAC Day, young children will have an opportunity to understand the importance of this national day, and its role in building peace in communities today’.
Of particular interest would be the section on The ANZAC Story.
- Anzac Biscuits
This Australian War Memorial page gives you general information, plus links to other resources about these including 2 special Anzac biscuit recipes.
- ANZAC Day for Early
A page for younger children and their covering resources, plus links to additional resources
- ANZAC Day [Lower
‘Introduction; Facts for students; Lessons & activity sheets; Extra resources’. There is also a similar package for Primary/Middle years. [For Teachers for Students]
- Anzac Day Stories [findmypast.com.au]
‘Browse the findmypast Anzac Memory Bank and join us in honouring the Anzacs. Read heroic stories, photos, diary entries, poems and words of appreciation’.
- ANZAC Day [TES Australia]
‘What is ANZAC Day and why is it important to New Zealanders and Australians. Powerpoint with key facts and information for the children’. [TES for schools]
- ANZAC Day - The Spirit of ANZAC
‘Provides information for all who wish to understand more fully the history and origins of these ANZAC traditions’. Also has a link information on Gallipoli today.
- Anzac Day Websites
‘Resources for Anzac Day lessons : Websites for classroom use by students and teachers. Main themes : Gallipoli history, Anzac Day activities for students, Anzac Day lesson material’.
- ANZAC Day [Wikipedia]
History; Dawn Service and commemoration in Australia; Commemoration in New Zealand; Commemoration at Gallipoli; Commemoration other countries; Commercialisation; Criticism of some commemorations; Criticism of ANZAC Day; References; Links.
- Anzac Diversity
Australian War Memorial. ‘Case studies exploring the ethnic diversity of the Australian Imperial Force [AIF]’. Other material also from the site.
- Anzac Kids
‘Anzac Day games and activities for kids : crosswords, word searches [word finds], quizzes, games, puzzles, activities, online colouring, multimedia interactives, songs, videos, photos’.
- ANZAC Portal
Links to a vast range of topics relating the ANZACs. A few specific topics from the listing have already been included.
- ANZAC Quiz
‘A selection of questions and answers on the topic of ANZAC’. Quite extensive.
- ANZAC [Scootle]
70 classroom resources currently listed. Refine your selection with the options on the left.
- ANZAC Correspondent
From the Queensland Museum. ‘We collaborated with historians, teachers, and students to create ANZAC Correspondent, using AR technology to help younger generations feel connected to these stories’. Android.
- Diaries 14-18
Apple, Android. Free. ‘A young British film-maker, takes you back to the First World War in the footsteps of his ancestor. His grandfather was a British stretch-bearer, and with the help of his diaries, he not only gives a moving account but also relives his grandfather’s inspiring story’.
- Gallipoli The First Day, Centenary Edition
‘Experience the events of the first day of the Gallipoli Campaign in this App especially designed for tablet devices. This new App lets you explore the incredible story of the Gallipoli Landings. Download the app for free’. Android and Apple.
- Spirit of ANZAC
Apple, Android. Free. ‘Explore the spirit of ANZAC Centenary’.
- Understanding ANZAC Day
‘This course is perfectly suited for primary aged school students in the week leading up to Anzac Day’. Developed by Autism Spectrum Australia.
- Years 5-8 : Anzacs
Free Course by Keilor Views Primary School. ‘Designed as a complete unit plan : a progressive series of learning intentions and tasks accompanied by a range of high quality resources. It culminates in a higher order rich assessment task’. Apple iTunes.
- Black Anzacs
Elizabeth Shenstone. Tertiary level. ‘This book follows the story of one particular serviceman William Williams’ while covering a range of information about Indigenous servicemen. Suitable for Apple technology. Free but a big download [200+mb].
- Charles Bean
Biography, and related information, leading to his role as a War Correspondent and his role in establishing the Australian War Memorial.
- Digger Smith
A story [in verse] by CJ Dennis who wrote The Sentimental Bloke. ‘Digger Smith studies its [World War 1] effects upon the men who fought it - the men with “ANZAC eyes”’. Written in 1918.
- Discovering ANZACs
‘Explore a growing selection of government records about Australians and New Zealanders in World War I and the Boer War’.
- Education and Community Awareness for the Anzac Centenary
‘The Department of Veterans’ Affairs produces a range of resource material for schools’. It covers the full range of conflicts including WW1.
- First World War 1914-18
Australian War Memorial. Multiple sections covering Conflicts, Units, Official Histories, Records of CEW Bean, Publications, more.
- Perspectives on The
Provides links to multiple online resources and interactives.
- Remembering Them
Apple, Android. Free. #8216;Providing the public with a geocoded list of memorials, museums, war graves and other Australian sites that commemorate our wartime history’.
- The AIF Project
‘Australian ANZACS in The Great War 1914-1918. The AIF database is drawn from a range of official sources, including personal files on the National Archives website, and Embarkation and Nominal Rolls on the Australian War Memorial website’
- The Anzac Spirit
State Library of Victoria. ‘A selection of Rev Bennett’s collection of hand-coloured and black-and-white glass slides’ done while serving at Gallipoli.
- The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
‘Recorded in these pages are the names of 492 officers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps [ANZAC] known or believed to have died as the result of their service on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, in 1915’.
- Their Spirit, Our History
‘Discover and imagine, through letters, journals, newspaper clippings and telegrams, what life was like for Australians during World War I. Learn about the origin and historical significance of Anzac Day through research-based activities’.
You need to contact the Australian War Memorial to access this material.
- The Relevance of Anzac
Parliament of Australia. Links to information about the legal protection of the word ANZAC. Extensive information often with embedded links to related material from many sources.
- Two Up
A guide to the game played legally on ANZAC Day. History; Gameplay; Variations; Popular culture; Notes; References; External links. More information can be found at the Two Up [Digger History] page. You can also access images and more on this Two-Up [AWM] page.
- World War I and Australia 1914 to 1918
Department of Veterans’ Affairs. ‘Find out about Military organisation and weapons; Where Australians served during the war; Personnel and wartime experience; Politics in Australia during the war; Home front during the war; Commemoration of war veterans’. Renewed presentation from this Department.
New Zealand Sites
- Anne’s Guiding Pages - ANZAC Day
Background, quotes, recipe, more.
- ANZAC Day Resources [NZ History]
The New Zealand government site covering the significance, Gallipoli Guide, resources, ANZAC Day Today. The Introductionis found here.
- ANZAC Commemorative Site, Gallipoli
From the New Zealand Ministry for Culture & Heritage.
- Revealing Gallipoli
: a Study guide
Downloadable document developed by the ABC in conjunction with Australian and New Zealand authorities.
- The Gallipoli Campaign
‘Adapted from an essay by Ian McGibbon from the Oxford Companion to New Zealand Military History’.
Other Historical Information
- ANZAC Memories
Historical notes, articles, letters and images.
- Australia & WWI
Done in 2 parts - Home WWI and Abroad WWI.
Australian Identity and the First World War
‘This unit will lead an investigation of how Australia’s participation in the First World War [or the Great War], impacted on its growing sense of itself, and how it continues to influence the national imagination and identity’.
- Australians in World War 1
Research Guide at State Library of Victoria. ‘This guide focuses on Australians serving in World War 1. It also includes some information relevant to Great Britain, other Commonwealth nations and other combatant nations. There is a section on nurses and women’s war occupations’.
- Education Programs, Australian War Memorial
Information about programs for Primary and Secondary levels including ANZAC Legacy and Australians and the First World War. Option to make bookings for visits to the War Memorial.
- Effects of WWI lingered long
‘World War One changed Australia substantially, from its significance on the world stage to the economic impact it suffered as a result of the conflict’.
- Europeana 1914-1918
‘Collection of untold stories and official histories of World War I, in a unique blend of cultural heritage collections and personal items contributed by European citizens’.
- Lives of the First World War
Imperial War Museum, UK. ‘Help IWM piece together the Life Stories of over 8 million men and women from across Britain and the Commonwealth who served in uniform and worked on the home front during the First World War’. Multiple examples, e.g., Wilfred Owen.
- Origins of the acronym ANZAC
Australian War Memorial. Overview, suggested origins of usage, links, more.
- Our/Your War Stories
State Library of NSW. ‘A rich collection of resources on the Great War including diaries, letters, maps, photographs, artworks, posters and newspapers’. Information is titled “ World War I Collection”.
- Resources, Australian War Memorial
Multiple options are available to work your way through these to find the exact information you are seeking. These include Virtual visits.
- The Australian Home Front
during World War 1
An overview by Robert Lewis; Initial reactions; Gallipoli; Deaths/casualties; Recruiting; Government powers; Economy; Conscription; Easter uprising; Political change; War weariness; Women’s role and place; Sport; and ‘The enemy within’.
- Victoria Cross Recipients -
‘This list includes Australian recipients of the Victoria Cross and the Victoria Cross for Australia’.
- World War One - [BBC]
Presents information on a wide range of topics including some related to Australia, e.g. Injured Anzacs in England.
- World War I and Australia
Research guides at the State Library of New South Wales. Multiple sections from War Begins through Gallipoli and the Western Front, Women at War to Diaries and Letters.
- Defending Gallipoli : The Turkish Story
‘Based on exclusive access to Turkish archives, Defending Gallipoli reveals how the Turks reacted and defended Gallipoli. Author and Turkish-language expert Harvey Broadbent spent five years translating everything, from official records to soldiers’ personal diaries and letters, to unearth the Turkish story’.
- Gallipoli - The Frontline Experience
A Turkish film by Tolga Örnek [Roadshow DVD] using still photography, re-enactments and writings from people on both sides of the conflict. Done in English. Available for purchase from this site. Also possibly from the Australian War Memorial library
Brilliantly, factually presented !
- Gallipoli : The Turkish Story
Details of a book looking from the Turkish point of view. ‘For anyone interested in Australian history and/or of the battle from the Turkish point of the book is a goldmine of information’. Check the Publisher’s Site for other information including teacher comments, or on Google Books which provides access to a section of the book for free.
1. The ANZAC Day Tradition. Australian War Memorial, Canberra, Australia, Unknown. Web. 12 February 2021. https://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac-day/traditions.