Significance of World War 1 to Australia’s national Identity

Categories: AustraliaWw1

Rivalries across Europe, sparked by nationalism, ultimately causing a chaotic war in 1914, World War I. Australia, a former British colony with unsevered ties with the ‘mother country’, inevitably had to act in this war if Britain was involved. August 1914, Britain declared war on Germany. Australia being an ally of Britain, the Australian government proclaimed that they would assist Britain in the war. In 1915, the Gallipoli Campaign in Turkey was assisted by the many young men in the Australian army. 1915 April 25th, the first Allied landings on the Turk Peninsula tried to capture the Dardanelles and clear a route to Constantinople (now Istanbul).

Though, the campaign was a disaster, this was because of the loss of life and the failure of to achieve victory, a new part of ANZAC culture was born from the bloodshed of the Gallipoli campaign. The legend of the ANZAC digger became a part of Australian. However, the efforts of the Australian soldiers on the Western Front in Europe were overlooked.

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The efforts on the Western Front were equally as heroic, though they didn’t receive as much attention as they deserved. The ANZAC legend is a concept that suggests that all Australian and New Zealand soldiers shared the same characteristics on the battlefields of World War I. Many historians argue that battles on the Western Front displayed these qualities. In particular, the battle of Fromelles, they displayed the ANZAC qualities “resourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship, and endurance that will never own defeat.” Those qualities of the ANZAC legend. Therefore, the Gallipoli campaign and the Australian soldiers who fought on the Western Front are equally central to the creation of the ANZAC legend and everyone needs to treat them as such.

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The ANZAC legend is a concept suggesting that every Australian and New Zealand soldier that fought on the battlefields of World War I shared the same characteristics, this concept came from the Gallipoli campaign. The concept came from Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, whom reported his accounts of the events occurring around him, his description of the soldiers was heroic. This concept, ANZAC legend, was popularised by Charles Bean “Anzac stood, and still stands, for reckless valour in a good cause, for enterprise, resourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship, and endurance that will never own defeat.” ANZAC soldiers who fought in World War I all displayed endurance, courage, ingenuity, good humour, larrikinism, and mateship. Australians annually commemorate those who fought in World War I on the 25th of April, the ANZAC soldiers who fought and influenced the birth of the ANZAC legend. The soldiers who are commemorated are also those who fought in Gallipoli and the Western Front in Europe. These soldiers are central to the ANZAC legend because they influenced the idea of Australia’s national identity. The ANZAC shared the same characteristics even after losing “Despite the loss at Gallipoli, Australian and New Zealand soldiers were seen to have displayed great courage, endurance, initiative and discipline.” The 1915 Gallipoli campaign was intended to for the Allies to push from a second front to link an ally in the north, Russia.

Updated: May 30, 2022
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Significance of World War 1 to Australia’s national Identity. (2022, May 30). Retrieved from

Significance of World War 1 to Australia’s national Identity essay
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