What Does Anzac Day Mean For Us Today

by | Apr 25, 2024 | Blog

What Does Anzac Day Mean For Us Today

ANZAC stands for the Australian & New Zealand Army Corp which was a name referring to the Army regiments from the 2 countries in general and to individuals within the interactions of World War I with soldiers they were fighting with from other countries. 

The Australia Light Calvery were renowed for their horses and their horsemanship during the war.  Over 136,000 horses were sent from Australia and became known as Walers.  They were a cross from the wild brumbies and thoroughbreds and became famous for their hardiness and endurance being able to go for 3 days without water.  Many were used for transport as well as riding.

However, whilst there are many famous battles that the ANZACs were part of, Anzac Day is a commemoration of the anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli, Turkey on 25 April in 1915.

When Great Britain declared war against Germany for its invasion of Belgium in 1914, Australia and New Zealand, as Dominions within the British Empire, regarded themselves automatically also at war.

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At dawn on 25 April 1915, the first of approximately 70,000 soldiers from the Allies landed at Gallipoli.

Out of these 70,000 soldiers, more than 20,000 were Australian and New Zealand soldiers.  The ANZAC contingent came from Egypt where they were stationed with their horses and had been in training for several months.

The objective was to drive through to Istanbul, take Turkey out of the war and to provide supplies to Russia in its fight against Germany.

What had been planned as a bold stroke became a stalemate after the invading troops failed to reach their objective on the first day.

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For the next eight months they clung to the land they had captured, before eventually withdrawing at the end of 1915.  After both sides had suffered heavy casualties, the Allied forces were evacuated.

It is estimated that 8,700 Australian and 2,700 New Zealanders were killed

One year later, 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 Australian Prime Minister, George Pearce.

On Anzac Day, now declared a day of remembrance for the many ANZAC soldiers killed in the war at Gallipoli, commences with a break of dawn ceremony laying wreaths of flowers at the many cenotaphs throughout Australia, New Zealand a Brittan.

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In Perth Western Australia, our Cenotaph overlooks the beautiful Swan River and the City of Perth in Kings Park where the euclyptus trees that line the roads in the Park have a memorial plaque on them in remembrance of a soldier that died in World War I & II.  What better fitting place for it to be.

Today, ANZACs are remembered and honoured for their courage, endurance, mateship and fighting skills – they grew up in a tough country with very little to start with.  This is the integral start for many of us in Australia, even today.

It is fitting that we remember today how we got to where we are in Australia – what is the back bone of Australia that “when things get tough the tough get going” typifies who we are as a nation. 

We need to bring to mind that freedom and our civil liberty in the western world is precious, not to be taken for granted, and to be protected – many lives were lost and blood spilt for these two ideals and for us to have the country we have today in Australia.

HOW IS IT CELEBRATED TODAY IN PERTH?

Dawn Service At the Cenotaph

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As a result of COVID today, in many suburbs families meet outside their houses in silence at dawn to pay homage and remember those lost….. it is a beautiful tribute

DON’T MISS OUT!

Let’s honor the courage and sacrifice of our ANZAC soldiers by actively participating in remembrance events and by cherishing the freedoms they fought to defend. Join us in commemorating their legacy and ensuring that their bravery is never forgotten.

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