World World I


One cause of the first world war was the shooting of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. At the age of 51, Franz Ferdinand took a hold of the throne to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. On the 28th of June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand had organised to inspect the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo. He met with his wife there and they had set out on a route to City Hall. Without their knowledge a Serbian terrorist group known as "The Black Hand" had planned to murder Archduke Ferdinand. There were seven different points at which terrorist were placed to attempt to kill Archduke. Only on the fourth attempt did they manage to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand and along the way his pregnant wife also. The successful killer was 19 year old, Gavrilo Princip who was soon after arrested for his actions, sentenced for 20 years imprisonment. After 4 years in jail, Princip died at the age of 23.

Australia's Involvement in WWI

The Australians side of the war was on the side of the Allies. They were mainly a part of the battle on the Western Front and the battle at Gallipoli, but were also a part of the battles in Fromelles and Somme. In each of these battles many of the troops fought and unfortunately died. The numbers were significantly great. The number of soldiers gone was:
Gallipoli: 7,594
Western Front: 61,966
Somme: 60,000 (British Colony)
Fromelles: 5,533
There were many more battles Australia participated in. Australia did lose battles and with the bad come the good and Australia thankfully won quite a few as well. In the end it all came down to who won World War 1 and not surprisingly the "Allies" came out on top. Australia had a massive role in World War 1 and all their involvement was worth it in the end (according to the past war veterans of Australia).

Significant Battles (for the Australians)

The battles many Australians were part of during WWI were: the battles at the Western Front and Gallipoli. (Picture on right shows the landing at Anzac Cove). The war at Gallipoli started when the Australian troops landed at Anzac Cove on the 25th of April 1915. When the army had landed, an Australian official correspondent declared that the nationhood of Australia was born.

The Turkish had a game plan to take down the Allies. This strategy was to attack the Allies from the top of the Cove. The Australians were at the beach/shore and were having to climb up enormous amounts of hills. Unfortunately the attack of the Turkish out-smarted the Allies and thousands were killed several times. The advantage went to the Turkish, which made life at Gallipoli very hard. This meant that the Australians had to adapt to their environment, therefore soldiers were making grenades made out of jam tins filled with explosives, nails, stones and shrapnel. Eventually the Australians started to then the strategies of the Turks and started to strategically fight back.

Finally after seven months, the British command realised that victory could not be achieved, therefore the Allied troops were withdrawn from the battle at Gallipoli during December. Everything and everyone was secretly evacuated at night and on the 20th of December, when they charged down the hills, the Turks came down to find no one at the beach.

The Impact of Great War on Australians at home

Australians back at home were also impacted just as much as the soldiers at war. One group effected was the families of the many troops. Children were affected by their fathers not being home and having that encouragement and influence. Children felt closer to their fathers at school as they were constantly encouraged to support the people at war, examples of this are: schools and social groups raising money for the war effort or 12 year olds being allowed to join Army cadets.
A large majority of Australia was lead to believe that the war was good and that the war was worth dying for. For quite a long time a lot of people had stood against the war but so much advertising lead them to believe it was worth their lives. Australia was greatly impacted during the time of the war.

Significance of ANZAC Day for Australians

ANZAC Day is a commemorative time for many Australians and New Zealanders. On the 25th of April 1915, troops of the British army landed at Anzac Cove. Basically the battle at Gallipoli was described at a battle that was a long way away from home, that was going on fora long time. The significance to Australians and New Zealanders was the bravery, comradeship, ingenuity and endurance undertaken at the war. A sense of nationalism was born at Gallipoli and has been remembered for many years and many years to come. The event was declared a military disaster and was a minor, failed campaign however is still close to many people's hearts. The battle at Gallipoli has become a part of the history, nationalism, achievements and existence of Australia.

Want to learn more?

Friday, May 31st, 11:30am

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Melbourne, VIC

If what has been said in this bulletin has intrigued and lured you in, how about coming along to the exhibition at the Melbourne, City Town Hall. There will be more exciting and interactive components to teach you more about the beings and happenings of the First World War. Be sure to go and speak to the many Veterans that will be attending the event, sharing their stories and more!