A Centenary Since Gallipoli

Honouring those who fought in World War 1

Fascinated by WW1 but you have very little perception? Questioning why a minute of silence is held now and again? Discover more.

The Causes of World War 1

How WW1 broke out is a question that is still debated to this very day, however many argue that there are four reasons, four MAIN reasons:

Militarism, Alliances, Imperialism, Nationalism

militarism: the policy of building up or creating a large military

alliances: an agreement between two or more countries to help each other out and defend each other

imperialism: a country attempts to extend its power and influence over other countries, through diplomacy or military force

nationalism: pride in one's country; extreme nationalism is to believe you're better than other countries and/or people are willing o defend your country

With growing rivalry, increased tension between colonies, strong alliances being formed (that of the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente), and the prevalent nationalism in the years leading up to 1914, we can gain some insight as to what caused war.

We also know that on the 28th of June in 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by the Serbian Blank Hand group, this was said to have sparked war.

Australians in the War

The Australian Involvement in the War

It was Andrew Fisher, Australia's Prime Minister, who in the year of 1914 promised support to Britain 'to the last man and the last shilling'. Australia's contribution in war came at a heavy price, of the 324,000 who were enlisted and served overseas, 61,720 died and 155,000 were wounded. The Anzacs were known for there legendary involvement in World War 1, for taking part in in the Allied campaign against the Turks, upon which the name ANZAC became famous with the landing of the Corps on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, on the 25th of April in 1915. The Gallipoli campaign ensued in the deaths of many Anzacs, and even though defeat was apparent, a sense of legend, heroism and national identity and pride is certainly evident to this very day.
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Significant Battles for Australians

World War 1 saw many significant battles, for Australians important and major battles include:

~Gallipoli, Turkey

~Fromelles on the Somme, France- July 1916 ..this was a battle that was aimed to break stalemate, after intensive fighting for several weeks the gain of capturing the German town in a matter of hours was finally consolidated

~Bullecourt, France- 1917 ..it was here that Australians were sent against the German lines , two lines of German trenches were captured, but in the end 80 per cent of the attacking force was lost

~Messines, Belgium- 1917

~Ypres (the battle of Passchedaele), Belgium- 1917 ..this battle ensued in 38,000 Australian causalities, in attempting to break through the German lines to the North Sea ports

~Hamel Spur, France- 4th of July 1918

~Mont St Quentin, France

~Peronne, France

~Hindenburg Line, France

The Impact of the Great War on Australians at Home

The effect of the war was deeply felt at home, with families in mourning, trying to rebuild their lives following the loss of so many men, and women burdened with the role of caring for families, having to deal with physical and financial struggles. Prices rose during the war by about half, and considering that wages weren't going up as quickly as prices were, families became worse off. The impact of war in the business world had both positive and negative outcomes, for example, because the Government spent money on war there was more business, however because more men went off to war there was a shortage of labour. The Great War also cost the Government heavily, and not just financially. The Government was forced to consider how to pay for the war (to do this they borrowed a large sum of money) and how to maintain support for the war (propaganda was often used). With opposition to the war posing as a threat, more complications were aroused for the Government, who were in favour of conscription, however they ultimately lost the referendum. The Women's Peace Army strived to destroy militarism, 'with the same sprit of self-sacrifice that soldiers showed on the battlefield', with the motto of 'we war against war'. It is quite evident that war impacted Australians at home as well as those on the battlefield.

Women in the War

Many Australian women volunteered during the war in service such as cooks, nurses, drivers, interpreters, munitions workers and skilled farm workers. The Government was welcoming of nurses, although women in other professions and positions were generally rejected to serve overseas. Nurses often served in testing conditions or close to the front, in exposure to aerial bombardment and shelling, in Egypt, France, Greece and India.
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Commemorating World War 1

The Significance of ANZAC Day for Australians

ANZAC Day marks the date that Australian troops landed on the shores of Gallipoli, now known as Anzac Cove, on the 25th of April in 1915. This was the first time that Australians fought in war as one. The campaign attempted to break through Turkish lines, and the Turks tried to ward off the Australian troops from the peninsula. These aims saw failure on both sides, resulting in the stalemate that continued for the rest of 1915. On this day, the sacrifice and bravery of the Anzacs is remembered. Every ANZAC Day a minute of silence is held in respect. We remember the 7779 men who lost their lives in the battle at Gallipoli, we remember those who served, we remember the courage and the spirit. Lest We Forget.
Adam Brand - The Anzac

The Significance of Remberance Day

Remembrance Day, also referred to as Armistice, commemorates the end of the Great War. On the 11th of November, 1918, war was declared to be over. With the aid of America from 1917, the Allies had won, and the war could finally conclude. On this day, we recognise the end of such an integral part of the world's history, and especially remember those who gave their lives for us.

Memorials and Monuments

There are various memorials and monuments dedicated to World War 1 throughout Australia. Honour rolls and walls of remembrance can be found in many Anglican Churches and in assembly halls. Monuments and plaques can often be found in parks, buildings, on certain roads and on highways.

The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, the vast memorials throughout Gallipoli, such as the Beach Cemetery, the Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial, in Ari Burnu, Shell Green and Walker's Ridge, and those of which are on the Western Front, are all devoted to preserving the legend and spirit of the Anzacs .

History Study

The Great War is not only a significant part of Australia's history, but of the world's too. Australian students study World War 1 in much depth as part of their curriculum, just as flyers such as this very one are the product of this study. Through learning about war, students can gain an understanding of such a dark and important aspect of history.