The Spirit of the ANZAC by Rebecca Byfield
Copyright Rebecca Byfield 2003
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ANZAC Day began to commemorate a battle held on 25 April 1915.
On that day, Australian and New Zealand forces landed on the shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Both nations had fought before but never together. The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – ANZAC – joined to fight a common foe. Yet the ANZACS didn’t win that battle in Turkey. They were dealt a stunning defeat. Over thirty thousands soldiers landed at ANZAC Cove. Eight months later, almost eleven thousand of them were dead and many more wounded.
“It is a legend not of sweeping military victories so much as triumphs against the odds, of courage and ingenuity in adversity. It is a legend of free and independent spirits whose discipline derived less from military formalities and customs than from the bonds of mateship and the demands of necessity,” said former Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon Mr Paul Keating.