Anzac Day

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Anzac Day
Dawn service gnangarra 03.jpg
Anzac Day Dawn Service at Kings Park, Western Australia, 25 April 2009, 94th anniversary
Observed byFlag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
TypeCommemorative, patriotic, historic
SignificanceNational day of remembrance and first landing of the Anzacs at Gallipoli
ObservancesDawn services, commemorative marches, remembrance services
Date 25 April
Next time25 April 2020 (2020-04-25)
FrequencyAnnual
Related to Remembrance Day
The remembrance poppy is an artificial flower that has been used since 1921 to commemorate war dead. Remebrance poppy ww2 section of Aust war memorial.jpg
The remembrance poppy is an artificial flower that has been used since 1921 to commemorate war dead.
Flags on the cenotaph in Wellington for the 2007 Dawn March. From left to right, the flags of New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia WGNT Cenotaph 07 ANZAC.jpg
Flags on the cenotaph in Wellington for the 2007 Dawn March. From left to right, the flags of New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia

Anzac Day ( /ˈænzæk/ ) is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served". [1] [2] Observed on 25 April each year, Anzac Day was originally devised to honour the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who served in the Gallipoli Campaign, their first engagement in the First World War (1914–1918).

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.

New Zealand Country in Oceania

New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, and the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 mi) south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga. Because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal, fungal, and plant life. The country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington, while its most populous city is Auckland.

Australian and New Zealand Army Corps First World War army corps

The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) was a First World War army corps of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. It was formed in Egypt in December 1914, and operated during the Gallipoli campaign. General William Birdwood commanded the corps, which primarily consisted troops from the First Australian Imperial Force and 1st New Zealand Expeditionary Force, although there were also British and Indian units attached at times throughout the campaign. The corps disbanded in 1916, following the Allied evacuation of the Gallipoli peninsula and the formation of I ANZAC Corps and II ANZAC Corps. The corps was reestablished, briefly, in the Second World War during the Battle of Greece in 1941.

Contents

History

Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first campaign that led to major casualties for Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, whose soldiers were known as Anzacs. Anzac Day remains one of the most important national occasions of both Australia and New Zealand; [3] [4] however, the ceremonies and their meanings have changed significantly since 1915. According to Dr Martin Crotty, a historian at the University of Queensland, Anzac commemorations have "suited political purposes right from 1916 when the first Anzac Day march was held in London and Australia, which were very much around trying to get more people to sign up to the war in 1916–1918." [5]

University of Queensland University in Australia

The University of Queensland (UQ) is a public research university primarily located in Queensland's capital city, Brisbane, Australia. Founded in 1909 by the state parliament, UQ is Australia's fifth oldest university. It is one of those colloquially known as a sandstone university. UQ is considered to be one of Australia's leading universities, and is ranked as the 48th most reputable university in the world. The University of Queensland is a founding member of online higher education consortium edX, Australia's research-intensive Group of Eight, and the global Universitas 21 network.

Gallipoli campaign, 1915

In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula to open the way to the Black Sea for the Allied navies. The objective was to capture Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which was an ally of Germany during the war. The ANZAC force landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Army commanded by Mustafa Kemal (later known as Atatürk). [6] What had been planned as a bold strike to knock the Ottomans 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 after both sides had suffered heavy casualties and endured great hardships. The Allied deaths totalled over 56,000, including 8,709 from Australia and 2,721 from New Zealand. [7] [8] News of the landing at Gallipoli made a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders at home and 25 April quickly became the day on which they remembered the sacrifice of those who had died in the war.

Allies of World War I group of countries that fought against the Central Powers in World War I

The Allies of World War I or Entente Powers is the term commonly used for the coalition that opposed the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria during the First World War (1914–1918).

Gallipoli peninsula

The Gallipoli peninsula is located in the southern part of East Thrace, the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles strait to the east.

Black Sea Marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and Asia

The Black Sea is a body of water and marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean between the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Western Asia. It is supplied by a number of major rivers, such as the Danube, Dnieper, Southern Bug, Dniester, Don, and the Rioni. Areas of many countries drain into the Black Sea, including Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Though the Gallipoli campaign failed to achieve its military objectives of capturing Constantinople and knocking the Ottoman Empire out of the war, the actions of the Australian and New Zealand troops during the campaign bequeathed an intangible but powerful legacy. The creation of what became known as an "Anzac legend" became an important part of the national identity in both countries. This has shaped the way their citizens have viewed both their past and their understanding of the present. The heroism of the soldiers in the failed Gallipoli campaign made their sacrifices iconic in New Zealand memory, and is often credited with securing the psychological independence of the nation. [9] [10]

From 1915 to World War II

On 30 April 1915, when the first news of the landing reached New Zealand, a half-day holiday was declared and impromptu services were held. [11]

Adelaide, South Australia was the site of Australia's first built memorial to the Gallipoli landing, unveiled by Governor-General Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson on "Wattle Day", 7 September 1915, just over four months after the first landings. The monument was originally the centrepiece of the Wattle Day League's Gallipoli Memorial Wattle Grove on Sir Lewis Cohen Avenue in the South Parklands. The original native pines and remnant seedlings of the original wattles still grow in "Wattle Grove", but in 1940 the Adelaide City Council moved the monument and its surrounding pergola a short distance away to Lundie Gardens. [12] Also in South Australia, Eight Hour Day, 13 October 1915, was renamed "Anzac Day" and a carnival was organised to raise money for the Wounded Soldiers Fund. [13] [14] The name "Anzac Day" was chosen through a competition, won by Robert Wheeler, a draper of Prospect. [15]

Adelaide City in South Australia

Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia, and the fifth-most populous city of Australia. Adelaide is home to 77 percent of the South Australian population, making it the most centralised population of any state in Australia.

Wattle Day

Wattle Day is a day of celebration in Australia on the first day of September each year, which is the official start of the Australian spring. This is the time when many Acacia species, are in flower. So, people wear a sprig of the flowers and leaves to celebrate the day.

Labour Day annual holiday

Labour Day is an annual holiday to celebrate the achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.

Melbourne observed an Anzac Remembrance Day on 17 December 1915. [15]

In Queensland on 10 January 1916 Canon David John Garland was appointed the honorary secretary of the Anzac Day Commemoration Committee of Queensland (ADCCQ) at a public meeting which endorsed 25 April as the date to be promoted as "Anzac Day" in 1916 and ever after. Devoted to the cause of a non-denominational commemoration that could be attended by the whole of Australian society, Garland worked amicably across all denominational divides, creating the framework for Anzac Day commemorative services. [16] Garland is specifically credited with initiating the Anzac Day march, the wreath-laying ceremonies at memorials and the special church services, the two minutes silence, and the luncheon for returned soldiers. [17] Garland intended the silence to be used in lieu of a prayer to allow the Anzac Day service to be universally attended, allowing attendees to make a silent prayer or remembrance in accordance with their own beliefs. He particularly feared that the universality of the ceremony would fall victim to religious sectarian disputes. [18]

The date 25 April was officially named Anzac Day in 1916; [19] in that year it was marked by a wide variety of ceremonies and services in Australia, New Zealand and London. [20] In New Zealand it was gazetted as a half-day holiday. Over 2,000 people attended the service in Rotorua. [11] In London, over 2,000 Australian and New Zealand troops marched through the streets of the city. [21] An unnamed London newspaper reputedly dubbed them "The Knights of Gallipoli". Marches were held all over Australia; wounded soldiers from Gallipoli attended the Sydney march in convoys of cars, accompanied by nurses. [4]

In Egypt, General John Monash paraded the troops on Anzac Day 1916. [22]

For the remaining years of the war, Anzac Day was used as an occasion for patriotic rallies and recruiting campaigns, and marches of serving members of the AIF were held in most cities. From 1916 onwards, in both Australia and New Zealand, Anzac memorials were held on or about 25 April, mainly organised by returned servicemen and school children in cooperation with local authorities. [4] Early morning services were solemn, with a more upbeat tone set for honouring returned soldiers during afternoon activities. [5]

Australian troops did not return to great victory parades at the end of the war. This was partly because their arrival home depended on available shipping, but also because of the influenza epidemic of 1919, which prevented people assembling in large numbers. The 1919 Sydney parade was cancelled as a result, but a public commemorative service was held in the Domain, where participants were required to wear masks and stand three feet apart. [15]

Anzac Day was gazetted as a public holiday in New Zealand in 1920, through the Anzac Day Act, after lobbying by the New Zealand Returned Services' Association, [23] the RSA. [24]

Anzac Day at Manly, Queensland, 1922 ANZAC Day at Manly, 1922.jpg
Anzac Day at Manly, Queensland, 1922

In Australia at the 1921 State Premiers' Conference, it was decided that Anzac Day would be observed on 25 April each year. [25] However, it was not observed uniformly in all the states until 1922 when the States were invited to co-operate with the Commonwealth in observing the day, and an invitation was telegraphed to the various religious bodies suggesting that memorial services be held in the morning. [26] In the early 1920s returned soldiers mostly commemorated Anzac Day informally, primarily as a means of keeping in contact with each other. But as time passed and they inevitably began to drift apart, the ex-soldiers perceived a need for an institutionalised reunion. [15] During the late 1920s, Anzac Day became established as a National Day of Commemoration for the 60,000 Australians and 18,000 New Zealanders who died during the war. The first year in which all the Australian states observed some form of public holiday together on Anzac Day was 1927. [5] By the mid-1930s, all the rituals now associated with the day—dawn vigils, marches, memorial services, reunions, two-up games—became part of Australian Anzac Day culture. [4] New Zealand commemorations also adopted many of these rituals, with the dawn service being introduced from Australia in 1939. [24]

Changes after World War II

With the coming of the Second World War, Anzac Day became a day on which to commemorate the lives of Australians and New Zealanders lost in that war as well and in subsequent wars. The meaning of the day has been further broadened to include those killed in all the military operations in which the countries have been involved. Anzac Day was first commemorated at the Australian War Memorial in 1942, but, due to government orders preventing large public gatherings in case of Japanese air attack, it was a small affair and was neither a march nor a memorial service. Anzac Day has been annually commemorated at the Australian War Memorial ever since. [3] [4] In New Zealand, Anzac Day saw a surge in popularity immediately after World War II. [27]

Popularity sinks

By the 1950s many New Zealanders had become antagonistic or indifferent towards the day. Much of this was linked to the legal ban on commerce on Anzac Day, and the banning by many local authorities of sports events and other entertainment on the day. Annoyance was particularly pronounced in 1953 and 1959, when Anzac Day fell on a Saturday. There was widespread public debate on the issue, with some people calling for the public holiday to be moved to the nearest Sunday or abolished altogether. In 1966 a new Anzac Day Act was passed, allowing sport and entertainment in the afternoon. [27]

During and after Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War (1962–1975), interest in Anzac Day reached its lowest point in Australia. Anti-war protesters used Anzac Day events as a platform to voice opposition to conscription and Australia's military involvement in general; in the following 20 years, the relevance of Australia's war connection with the British Empire was brought into question. [5] On 26 April 1975 The Australian newspaper covered the passing of Anzac Day in a single story. [28] Protests against the Vietnam War were common Anzac Day occurrences during the 1960s and 1970s. [29] [30] In 1967, two members of the left-wing Progressive Youth Movement in Christchurch staged a minor protest at the Anzac Day ceremony, laying a wreath protesting against the Vietnam War. They were subsequently convicted of disorderly conduct. In 1978, a women's group laid a wreath dedicated to all the women raped and killed during war, and movements for feminism, gay rights, and peace used the occasion to draw attention to their respective causes at various times during the 1980s. [31] In 1981, the group Women Against Rape in War marched up Anzac Parade towards the Australian War Memorial to lay their wreath at the Stone of Remembrance. At the head of the procession, women held a banner which read, 'In memory of all women of all countries raped in all wars'. More than 60 women were arrested by police. Following this time, there were calls for a new type of comradeship that did not discriminate based on sex or race. [5] [32] [33]

1990s: Revival

Royal Victoria Regiment marching through Melbourne on ANZAC Day 2008 5-6 RVR ANZAC Day 2008.JPG
Royal Victoria Regiment marching through Melbourne on ANZAC Day 2008
Anzac Day at Darwin, 25 April 2013 Australian soldiers with the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment march in an Anzac Day parade in Darwin, Australia, April 25, 2013 130425-M-AL626-013.jpg
Anzac Day at Darwin, 25 April 2013

However, since the late 1980s and especially the 1990s, interest in and attendance at Anzac Day has grown. On 25 April 1990, Bob Hawke became the first Australian politician to visit Gallipoli, and he also decided that government would pay to take Anzac veterans to Gallipoli for the 75th anniversary of the dawn landing. This is seen by historians as a major milestone in the recovery of Anzac Day. Prime Minister John Howard was also a huge proponent of Anzac Day commemorations, and visited Gallipoli on 25 April in both 2000 and 2005. [5] [34]

A large commemoration march in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales (April 2008) Anzac Day 2008 Wagga 19.jpg
A large commemoration march in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales (April 2008)

An increasing number of attendees have been young Australians, [35] [36] many of whom attend ceremonies swathed in Australian flags, wearing green and gold T-shirts and beanies and with Australian flag tattoos imprinted on their skin. [37] [38] [39] [40] This phenomenon has been perceived by some as a reflection of the desire of younger generations of Australians to honour the sacrifices made by the previous generations. [41]

Hobart Cenotaph, Tasmania, Australia - with wreaths for ANZAC Day Hobart Cenotaph, Tasmania, Australia - with wreaths for ANZAC Day.jpg
Hobart Cenotaph, Tasmania, Australia – with wreaths for ANZAC Day

Australians and New Zealanders recognise 25 April as a ceremonial occasion to reflect on the cost of war and to remember those who fought and lost their lives for their country. Commemorative services and marches are held at dawn, the time of the original landing, mainly at war memorials in cities and towns across both nations and the sites of some of Australia and New Zealand's more-recognised battles and greatest losses, such as Villers-Bretonneux in France [42] and Gallipoli in Turkey. [43]

One of the traditions of Anzac Day is the "gunfire breakfast" (coffee with rum added) which occurs shortly after many dawn ceremonies, and recalls the "breakfast" taken by many soldiers before facing battle. Later in the day, ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen meet and join in marches through the major cities and many smaller centres. [44]

In 2018, female veterans were encouraged to march at the front of their sections. The "By The Left" initiative was launched following a number of reported cases where servicewomen had been challenged that they were wearing their medals on the wrong side, as people should wear their own medals on the left side of their chest, but people marching in place of their parents or other ancestors should wear that person's medals on the right side. [45]

According to historian Dr Carolyn Holbrook of Deakin University, "We reached Peak Anzac in 2015 sure, and there has been some backing off since then, but in terms of the dawn services and Anzac Day commemoration, it will remain huge for a good while yet," says Carolyn. "There is nothing better to take its place in terms of a national mythology." [5]

In recent years, there has been greater recognition of the often overlooked role that women, immigrants and indigenous Australians played in the wars, in the news and in the arts. Black Diggers, which premiered at the Sydney Festival, told the stories of the Aboriginal men who enlisted, whose sacrifices were ignored, and who were quickly forgotten upon their return. [5] [46] Country Arts SA's Aboriginal Diggers Project is a 3-year project (2017–2019) capturing the stories and experiences of Aboriginal servicemen and women who have served in Australia's Military from the Boer War to the present day through film, theatre and visual arts. [47]

Dawn service and commemoration in Australia

Dawn service

The wreath laying at the 2008 dawn service at the Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner, London. Anzacday08-1-.JPG
The wreath laying at the 2008 dawn service at the Australian War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner, London.

A dawn service was held on the Western Front by an Australian battalion on the first anniversary of the Gallipoli landing on 25 April 1916, and historians agree that in Australia dawn services spontaneously popped up around the country to commemorate the fallen at Gallipoli in the years after this. The timing of the dawn service is based on the time that the ANZAC forces started the landing on the Gallipoli peninsula, but also has origins in a combination of military, symbolic and religious traditions. Various stories name different towns as having the first ever service in Australia, including Albany, Western Australia, but no definite proof has been found to corroborate any of them. In Rockhampton, Queensland on 26 April 1916, over 600 people attended an interdenominational service that started at 6.30 am. However, the dawn service held at the Sydney Cenotaph in 1928 can lay claim to being the first of a continuous tradition. [48] The 1931 service at the Cenotaph was the first attended by the Governor and representatives of state and federal governments, etc. [15]

Dawn services were originally very simple and in many cases they were restricted to veterans only, to remember and reflect among the comrades with whom they shared a special bond. Before dawn the gathered veterans would be ordered to "stand-to" and a lone bugler would play the "Last Post". Two minutes of silence would follow, concluded with the "Reveille". In more recent times the families of veterans and the general public have been encouraged to take part in dawn services. Some of the ceremonies have also become more elaborate, incorporating hymns, prayer readings, laying of wreaths, laments and the playing of the Australian national anthem, but others have retained the simple format of the dawn stand-to. [3] [4] [49] The fourth stanza of Laurence Binyon's poem "For the Fallen" (known as the "Ode of Remembrance", or simply as "the Ode") is often recited. [50]

Australian War Memorial Anzac Day dawn service, 25 April 2013. The crowd of around 35,000 people is addressed by Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG who is reading stories and anecdotes from Australian service men and women relating to the war in Afghanistan. 2013-04-25 AWM Anzac Dawn - Ben Roberts-Smith VC.jpg
Australian War Memorial Anzac Day dawn service, 25 April 2013. The crowd of around 35,000 people is addressed by Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG who is reading stories and anecdotes from Australian service men and women relating to the war in Afghanistan.

Commemorative services and traditions

Despite federation being proclaimed in Australia in 1901, it is argued that the "national identity" of Australia was largely forged during the violent conflict of World War I, [37] [51] and the most iconic event in the war for most Australians was the landing at Gallipoli. Dr. Paul Skrebels of the University of South Australia has noted that Anzac Day has continued to grow in popularity; [52] even the threat of a terrorist attack at the Gallipoli site in 2004 [53] did not deter some 15,000 Australians from making the pilgrimage to Turkey to commemorate the fallen ANZAC troops. [54]

The Last Post is played at an Anzac Day ceremony in Port Melbourne, Victoria, 25 April 2005. Ceremonies like this are held in virtually every suburb and town in Australia and New Zealand on Anzac Day each year. Anzac1.JPG
The Last Post is played at an Anzac Day ceremony in Port Melbourne, Victoria, 25 April 2005. Ceremonies like this are held in virtually every suburb and town in Australia and New Zealand on Anzac Day each year.

In cities and towns nationwide, marches by veterans from all past wars, as well as current serving members of the Australian Defence Force and Reserves, allied veterans, Australian Defence Force Cadets and Australian Air League, members of Scouts Australia, Guides Australia, and other service groups take place. The Anzac Day March from each state capital is televised live with commentary. [55] These events are generally followed by social gatherings of veterans, hosted either in a public house or in an RSL club, often including a traditional Australian gambling game called two-up, which was an extremely popular pastime with ANZAC soldiers. [56] (In most Australian states and territories, gambling is forbidden outside of licensed venues; however, due to the significance of this tradition, two-up is legal only on Anzac Day.) [57]

A National Ceremony is held at the Australian War Memorial, starting at 10:30am, with the traditional order of service including the Commemorative Address, wreath laying, hymns, the sounding of the Last Post, observance of one minute's silence, and the national anthems of Australia and New Zealand. [58] families often place artificial red poppies beside the names of relatives on the Memorial's Roll of Honour. Sprigs of rosemary or laurel are often worn on lapels. [59] [49]

Although commemoration events are always held on 25 April, most states and territories currently observe a substitute public holiday on the following Monday when Anzac Day falls on a Sunday. When Anzac Day falls on Easter Monday, such as in 2011, the Easter Monday holiday is transferred to Tuesday. [60] This followed a 2008 meeting of the Council for the Australian Federation in which the states and territories made an in-principle agreement to work towards making this a universal practice. [61] However, in 2009, the Legislative Council of Tasmania rejected a bill amendment that would have enabled the substitute holiday in that state. [62]

Commemorative postage stamps

Australia Post has issued stamps over the years to commemorate Anzac Day, the first being in 1935 for the 20th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings.

The list of issued stamps includes:[ better source needed ]

Australian rules football

In attendance at the 2008 Anzac Day National Service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra are Angus Houston, Chief of the Defence Force (Australia) (left), Murray Gleeson then Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, Jon Stanhope, Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (centre), Peter Cosgrove, immediate past Chief of the Defence Force (Australia) (second from right), and Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia (right). Anzac Day Canberra 2008 Dignitaries.jpg
In attendance at the 2008 Anzac Day National Service at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra are Angus Houston, Chief of the Defence Force (Australia) (left), Murray Gleeson then Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, Jon Stanhope, Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (centre), Peter Cosgrove, immediate past Chief of the Defence Force (Australia) (second from right), and Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia (right).

During many wars, Australian rules football matches have been played overseas in places like northern Africa, Vietnam, and Iraq as a celebration of Australian culture and as a bonding exercise between soldiers. [69] [70] [71]

The modern-day tradition began in 1995 and is played every year between traditional AFL rivals Collingwood and Essendon at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. This annual match is often considered the biggest of the AFL season outside of the finals, sometimes drawing bigger crowds than all but the Grand Final, [72] and often selling out in advance. A record crowd of 94,825 people attended the inaugural match in 1995. [73] [74] [75] The Anzac Medal is awarded to the player in the match who best exemplifies the Anzac spirit – skill, courage, self-sacrifice, teamwork and fair play. Collingwood hold the advantage 11 wins to 8 with one draw (in the inaugural year, 1995).

In 2013, St Kilda and the Sydney Swans played an Anzac Day game in Wellington, New Zealand, the first AFL game played for premiership points outside of Australia. [76] The winning team, Sydney, were presented with the inaugural Simpson-Henderson Trophy by the Prime Minister of New Zealand. The trophy was named after two notable Anzac soldiers: John Simpson Kirkpatrick and Richard Alexander Henderson. [77]

Rugby League football

From 1997, the Anzac Test, a rugby league test match, has commemorated Anzac Day, though it is typically played prior to Anzac Day. The match is always played between the Australian and New Zealand national teams, and has drawn attendances of between 20,000 and 45,000 in the past. The final Anzac test occurred in 2017. [78]

Domestically, matches have been played on Anzac Day since 1927 (with occasional exceptions). Since 2002, the National Rugby League (NRL) has followed the lead of the Australian Football League, hosting a match between traditional rivals St George Illawarra Dragons and the Sydney Roosters each year to commemorate Anzac Day in the Club ANZAC Game, although these two sides had previously met on Anzac Day several times as early as the 1970s. Since 2009, an additional Anzac Day game has been played between the Melbourne Storm and New Zealand Warriors.

Commemoration in New Zealand

Each year on ANZAC Day in Te Awamutu, New Zealand the graves of War Veterans are decorated Anzac Day 1.jpg
Each year on ANZAC Day in Te Awamutu, New Zealand the graves of War Veterans are decorated

New Zealand's Commemoration of Anzac Day [79] is similar. The number of New Zealanders attending Anzac Day events in New Zealand, and at Gallipoli, is increasing. For some, the day adds weight to the idea that war is futile. [80]

Dawn service in Wellington, New Zealand on the 100-year anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli ANZAC Day Dawn Service in Wellington, New Zealand.JPG
Dawn service in Wellington, New Zealand on the 100-year anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli

Dawn Marches and other memorials nationwide are typically attended by the New Zealand Defence Force, the New Zealand Cadet Forces, members of the New Zealand Police, New Zealand Fire Service, Order of St John Ambulance Service (Youth and Adult Volunteers) as well as Scouting New Zealand, GirlGuiding New Zealand and other uniformed community service groups including in most places the local Pipe Band to lead or accompany the March, and sometimes a Brass Band to accompany the hymns.

Anzac Day now promotes a sense of unity, perhaps more effectively than any other day on the national calendar. People whose politics, beliefs and aspirations are widely different can nevertheless share a genuine sorrow at the loss of so many lives in war.

Paper poppies are widely distributed by the Returned Services Association and worn as symbols of remembrance. This tradition follows that of the wearing of poppies on Remembrance Sunday in other Commonwealth countries. [81] [82]

The day is a public holiday in New Zealand. Shops are prohibited from opening before 1 pm as per the Anzac Day Act 1966. A prior Act passed in 1949 prevented the holiday from being "Mondayised" (moved to the 26th or 27th should the 25th fall on a weekend), [83] although this drew criticism from trade unionists and Labour Party politicians. [84] In 2013, a member's bill introduced by Labour MP David Clark to Mondayise Anzac Day and Waitangi Day passed, despite opposition from the governing National Party. [85]

Commemoration at Gallipoli

In Turkey the name "ANZAC Cove" was officially recognised by the Turkish government on Anzac Day in 1985. In 1934, Kemal Atatürk delivered the following words to the first Australians, New Zealanders and British to visit the Gallipoli battlefields. This was later inscribed on a monolith at Ari Burnu Cemetery (ANZAC Beach) which was unveiled in 1985. The words also appear on the Kemal Atatürk Memorial, Canberra, and the Atatürk Memorial in Wellington: [86]

Those heroes that shed their blood
And lost their lives.
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side
Here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers,
Who sent their sons from far away countries
Wipe away your tears,
Your sons are now lying in our bosom
And are in peace
After having lost their lives on this land they have
Become our sons as well. [87]

In 1990, to mark the 75th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing, Government officials from Australia and New Zealand (including Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke [88] [89] and New Zealand Governor-General Paul Reeves [90] ) as well as most of the last surviving Gallipoli veterans, and many Australian and New Zealand tourists travelled to Turkey for a special Dawn Service at Gallipoli. The Gallipoli Dawn Service was held at the Ari Burnu War Cemetery at Anzac Cove, but the growing numbers of people attending resulted in the construction of a more spacious site on North Beach, known as the "Anzac Commemorative Site" in time for the year 2000 service. [91]

A ballot was held to allocate passes for Australians and New Zealanders wishing to attend Anzac Day commemorations at Gallipoli in 2015. Of the 10,500 people that could be safely, securely and comfortably accommodated at the Anzac Commemorative Site, in 2015 this comprised places for 8,000 Australians, 2,000 New Zealanders and 500 official representatives of all nations involved in the Gallipoli campaign. Only those who received an offer of attendance passes attended the commemorations in 2015. [92]

Commemoration in other countries

The High Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand lay wreaths at an Anzac Day ceremony at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. ANZAC day 2009 CWM.jpg
The High Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand lay wreaths at an Anzac Day ceremony at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.
Anzac Day ceremony in Montreal, Quebec News. Anzac Day BAnQ P48S1P07060.jpg
Anzac Day ceremony in Montreal, Quebec
Anzac Day dawn service at the New Zealand Memorial, Hyde Park Corner, London, 25 April 2008 Anzacday08.JPG
Anzac Day dawn service at the New Zealand Memorial, Hyde Park Corner, London, 25 April 2008
Boys Brigade review on 25 April 2005 (Rarotonga) Anzacrarotonga.jpg
Boys Brigade review on 25 April 2005 (Rarotonga)
Australian and New Zealand soldiers during an Anzac Day dawn service at Camp Taji in Iraq during 2018 Australian and NZ soldiers present arms during an Anzac Day dawn ceremony at Camp Taji in April 2018.jpg
Australian and New Zealand soldiers during an Anzac Day dawn service at Camp Taji in Iraq during 2018

Antarctica

Belgium

Brunei

Canada

Cyprus

Egypt

France

Germany

Hong Kong

India

Ireland

Israel

Malaysia

The Sandakan Memorial Park where the ANZAC Day is annually commemorated in the site of the former Sandakan Death Marches in Sabah, Malaysia. Sandakan Sabah SandakanMemorialPark-09.jpg
The Sandakan Memorial Park where the ANZAC Day is annually commemorated in the site of the former Sandakan Death Marches in Sabah, Malaysia.

The Australian Borneo Exhibition Group organises annual trips for ANZAC veterans and students to commemorate World War II in the states of Sabah and Sarawak. [116]

Malta

Pacific Ocean island nations

Poland

Singapore

South Sudan

Thailand

United Kingdom

United States

Commercialisation

From the beginning, there has been concern to protect the Anzac tradition from inappropriate use. In Australia, use of the word "Anzac" is regulated under the Protection of Word "Anzac" Act 1920. [146] The Protection of Word 'Anzac' Regulations 1921 state that: "no person may use the word 'Anzac', or any word resembling it, in connection with any trade, business, calling or profession or in connection with any entertainment or any lottery or art union or as the name or part of a name of any private residence, boat, vehicle of charitable or other institution, or other institution, or any building without the authority of the Minister for Veterans' Affairs". The maximum penalty is 12 months imprisonment, or $10,200 for a person and $51,000 for a corporation. [147]

Over recent years, some historians and commentators have raised concerns over what they see as the increasing commercialisation of Anzac Day. In 2015, historian Dr Carolyn Holbrook stated that companies were seeking to associate themselves with Anzac Day as "Anzac is the most potent and popular brand going around in Australia today". [148] Questionable Anzac marketing campaigns included Woolworths' notorious 'Fresh in Our Memories' campaign in 2015, which provoked a strong public backlash. According to Dr Holbrook, Anzac is more sacred than Easter or Christmas to many. [5] Historian Professor Joan Beaumont, researcher Jo Hawkins and historical commentator Dr David Stephens have argued that the Federal Government has not been sufficiently enforcing regulations which limit the extent to which companies can refer to Anzac Day, or use the word "Anzac", in their marketing. [148] [149] There has been widespread public opposition to the more blatant attempts to commercialise Anzac Day, which has led to some products being withdrawn from sale. Many of the products associated with the centenary of the Gallipoli landings were also commercial failures. [150]

A notable exception is the manufacture and sale of the Anzac biscuit, originally home made to published recipes from about 1920, [151] and for many decades manufactured commercially for retail sale in both Australia and New Zealand. Commercial manufacture and sale of the biscuits is explicitly exempted from restrictions on the use of the word "Anzac". [152]

Criticism of some commemorations

For decades, there have been concerns that the participation of young people in Anzac Day events has injected a carnival element into what is traditionally a solemn occasion. The change was highlighted by a rock concert-style performance at the 2005 Anzac Cove commemoration during which attendees drank and slept between headstones. After the event the site was left strewn with rubbish. [153] [154] [155] In 2013, historian Jonathan King said that "escalating commercial pressures threaten to turn the centenary [of the landing at Gallipoli] into a Big Day Out." [156]

Digital change has been the focus of recent concern. The centenary commemoration of Anzac and the First World War has coincided with the emergence of a mature internet and comprehensive use of social media. According to Tom Sear, a new era of 'digital commemoration' of Anzac Day has begun. [157] Anzac Day selfies, memes, virtual reality Anzac avatars, Facebook posts and Tweeting are part of a new participative, and immersive experience of the day. Digital media have "personalised" the experience of Anzac Day, focusing on "sharing" the activities online. In a time when the line between being "online" and "offline" is increasingly blurred, there has been a turn towards commemorative activities that seek to generate empathy and connection between contemporary audiences and historical subjects through digital media. [158] Leading news organisations such as the ABC [159] and News Corp [160] "live tweeted" and "Facebooked" the original Anzac landings in 2015. These online forums, and their capacity for personalised feedback, have disquieted some historians, who are concerned about the distance, solemnity and critical perspective of traditional Anzac Day commemorations being lost. [161] [162] Equally others emphasise how, particularly young people, using these technologies of the present, play a role in connecting wider communities of Anzac Day commemorators. [163]

Criticism of Anzac Day

See also Popularity sinks above.

At its inception, Anzac Day faced criticism from the Australian labour movement, and in the country at large, there has been opposition to political exploitation of what was seen as a day of mourning. [164] One controversy occurred in 1960 with the publication of Alan Seymour's classic play, The One Day of the Year , [165] which dramatised the growing social divide in Australia and the questioning of old values. In the play, Anzac Day is critiqued by the central character, Hughie, as a day of drunken debauchery by returned soldiers and as a day when questions of what it means to be loyal to a nation or Empire must be raised. The play was scheduled to be performed at the inaugural Adelaide Festival of Arts, but after complaints from the Returned Services League, the governors of the Festival refused permission for this to occur. [166]

As mentioned above, throughout the 1960s and 1970s, related to Australia's involvement in the Vietnam war and other issues, Anzac Day not only sunk in popularity but was the focus for the expression of much dissent.

Anzac Day has been criticised in recent years by a number of Australians and New Zealanders, as, for example, "a day that obscures the politics of war and discourages political dissent". [167] [168] In October 2008, former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating stated that he believes it is misguided for people to gather each year at Anzac Cove to commemorate the landing at Gallipoli, because it is "utter and complete nonsense" to suggest that the nation was "born again or even, redeemed there." [169] The then Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd rejected Keating's views, saying the Gallipoli campaign is "part of our national consciousness, it's part of our national psyche, it's part of our national identity, and I, for one, as Prime Minister of the country, am absolutely proud of it." [170]

Some critics have suggested that the revival in public interest in Anzac Day amongst the young results from the fact that younger Australians have not themselves experienced war. [171] [172] [173] Critics see the revival as part of a rise of unreflective nationalism in Australia which was particularly fostered by the then Australian Prime Minister John Howard. [174] [175] [176] [177] Some historians believe Anzac Day events are now on the decline, although it's likely there will continue to be smaller dawn services and official events in the future. Dr Martin Crotty thought that perhaps it was now a ritual for older, traditional Australians, with old values of mateship and loyalty and even as a "reaction against globalisation"; however, Dr Carolyn Holbrook disagrees, arguing that young people are responsible for the resurgence, and among older people there is a big group of sceptics, Baby Boomers who were influenced by Vietnam War protests. [5]

Other criticisms have revolved around a perceived overzealousness in Australian attachment to the event, either from participants unaware of the loss or when the focus is at the expense of remembrance of the contribution of New Zealand. [156] In 2005, John Howard was criticised for shunning the New Zealand Anzac ceremony at Gallipoli, [178] preferring instead to spend his morning at a barbecue on the beach with Australian soldiers. In 2009, New Zealand historians noted that some Australian children were unaware that New Zealand was a part of ANZAC. [179] In 2012 a New Zealand journalist caused controversy following comments that Australian World War I soldiers were bludgers and thieves. [180]

See also

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