It was dawn on the 25th April 1915 that Australian and New Zealand soldiers landed at Gallipoli in Turkey, their aim was to take the peninsula this didn’t happen and the whole thing was a failure with casualties around 2000, it is believe that somewhere between 650-1000 Anzac die on that first day of the whole Gallipoli campaign.
The whole Gallipoli operation, however, cost 26,111 Australian casualties, including 8,141 deaths.
The date 25 April was officially named Anzac Day in 1916; in that year it was marked by a wide variety of ceremonies and services in Australia and New Zealand, including a commemorative march through London involving Australian and New Zealand troops.
The place where the troops landed on that day so long ago is now known as Anzac Cove, on Anzac Day1985, the name “Anzac Cove” was officially recognised by the Turkish government.
The cove is a mere 600 metres (2,000ft) long, bounded by the headlands of Ariburnu
to the north and Little Ariburnu, known as Hell Spit, to the south. Following the landing at Anzac Cove, the beach became the main base for the Australian
and New Zealand troops for the eight months of the Gallipoli campaign.
After the First World War, returned soldiers sought the comradeship they felt in those quiet, peaceful moments before dawn. With symbolic links to the dawn landing at Gallipoli, a dawn stand-to or dawn ceremony became a common form of Anzac Day remembrance during the 1920s.
The first official dawn service was held at the Sydney Cenotaph in 1927, dawn services were originally very simple and followed the operational ritual; in many cases they were restricted to veterans only. The daytime ceremony was for families and other well-wishers and the dawn service was for returned soldiers to remember and reflect among the comrades with whom they shared a special bond.
In the 1970’s and 80’s the popularity of Anzac Day seemed to be flaying but from about the late 1980s, there was an international resurgence of interest in World War I and its commemorations. Anzac Day attendances rose in Australia and New Zealand, with young people taking a particular interest. Now days thousands flock to Anzac Cove to pay tribute to those who have died not just in the First World War but all wars.
As a child I remember being at my grandparents place and watching the Anzac march with my pop, he would get really quiet at times and look sad but as I was a child I didn’t understand why he was like that. I didn’t think about the fact that he served in the Second World War and I didn’t know he was a prisoner of war.
They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
and in the morning
We will remember them.
Lest we forget