WW1 100 years since Gallipoli

Commemorating our Australian soldiers


On 28 June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, and his Wife Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot dead in Sarajevo by Gavrilo principle one of a group of six assassins five Serbs and one Bosniak. And then sparked the First World War.
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How the building tensions broke

Tensions throughout Europe had been growing for many years – nationalism, an arms race, disputes over territories and spheres of influence, greed, fear, distrust, and the division of Europe into two hostile alliances were all contributing factors. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, by Serbian terrorists led to the Austro-Hungarian invasion of Serbia, on 29 July 1914. Russia mobilised troops to prevent Serbia being crushed. Germany declared war on Russia and, realising that France would support Russia, declared war on France as well. When Germany invaded neutral Belgium, Britain declared war on Germany. Japan, seeing the chance to seize German territory in China, also declared war on Germany. Bulgaria and Turkey sided with the Central Powers and soon most countries in Europe had become involved in the war.

The role of women

Women were not involved as fighting personnel during the war. But they served as members of the Australian army nursing service dealing with injures and immense suffering in the field.the first draft of nursing sisters left Australia in September 1914. Through out the war they served wherever the Australian troops went. In total 2,139 served over seas, 423 severed in Australia,25 died and 388 were decorated for there services.

Australia's involvement

When Britain declared war on Germany on 4 August 1914, most Australians greeted the news with great enthusiasm. Volunteers rushed to enlist for an exciting war which was expected to be over by Christmas. For Australia, as for many nations, the First World War remains the most costly conflict in terms of deaths and casualties. From a population of fewer than five million, 416,809 men enlisted, of which over 60,000 were killed and 156,000 wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner. Australia’s early involvement in the War included the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force taking possession of German New Guinea and the neighbouring islands of the Bismarck Archipelago in October 1914.

Significant battles

Battle of the Somme

The battle of Somme, from July to November 1916 was aimed at braking the stalemate. The plan was to launch a major attack on German lines in the Somme river valley. The aim was to cut the Germans off and demoralise them. Although on the first day the Germans killed over 20,000 allied soldiers.

Passchendaele in Belgium

From mid to late 1917 fighting took place around the Belgium town of Ypres known as the battle of passchendaele. The battle was aimed at breaking through German lines to the North Sea ports were German u-boats were docked. Germans had the advantage of higher ground. Over 14 weeks allied troops made 10 attempts to breakthrough to passchendaele.


In April 1917 the Australians were sent against the German lines near Bullecourt. Tanks were supposed to spear ahead the attack, however they broke down. The Australian broke threw the barbed wire entanglements and captured the first two lines of Germany trenches. But they were struck by a misdirected British artillery barrage as well as German artillery and Germany counter attacks.

WW1 impact on Australia's at home

The war had a great effect on the Australian economy, and the impacts of these changes were mixed.One of the earliest impacts of the war was the government’s cancellation of existing trade agreements with Germany and Austria-Hungary. So Australian firms in industries such as steel-making and pharmaceuticals suddenly found themselves taking up contracts that had previously been filled by German rivals.The government was keen to make sure that Australian wheat, wool and meat reached Britain and helped the war effort there. So it passed a law giving it the power to compulsorily acquire the whole wheat and wool harvests - an impossible action under the Constitution, but able to be done under the War Precautions Act.

How Australians remember those who fought for us

Anzac Day

ANZAC Day, the 25th of April each year, 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.

Remembrance day

Remembrance Day falls on the 11th of November each year. On the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, a minutes’ silence is observed and dedicated to those soldiers who died fighting to protect the nation.
In Australia and other allied countries, including New Zealand, Canada and the United States, 11 November became known as Armistice Day – a day to remember those who died in World War One. The day continues to be commemorated in Allied countries.