'elements Of The Anzac Tradition And Spirit That Have Remained Constant In The Australian Society'

1065 words - 4 pages

In 2005, Australia will commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign and the forging the ANZAC tradition. The Anzac tradition has been a vital part in Australia's identity since the battle at Gallipoli. The creator of the Anzac legend, official historian Charles Bean, was inclined and responsible for what many Australians heard about their imperishable 'diggers' (an Australia who never quits under hardship), but the Australian people enthusiastically accepted his subjective view. Charles Bean's historical writings represent Australia's commitment to serve and protect their 'motherland' England.Australia and New Zealand commemorate the ANZAC Day public holiday on the 25th of April every year to honour the bravery and sacrifice of the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), and of all whom served their country in time of war. The Anzac tradition began during World War I with a landing in 1915 at Gallipoli on the Turkish Aegean coast. Because of a navigational error, the Anzacs came ashore about a mile north of the intended landing point. Instead of facing the expected beach and gentle slope they found themselves at the bottom of steep cliffs, offering the few Turkish defenders an ideal defensive position. Establishing a foothold, the Anzacs found an advance to be impossible. After eight months of stalemate, the Allies withdrew, leaving 10,000 dead amongst the Anzacs.The Anzac legend we are familiar with today began with the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign. Gallipoli however did not create the Anzac legend. Rather, it was created by nationalists who turned this disastrous campaign into a memorial to a supposed Australian national character. At the time of Gallipoli, an individual was to have an enormous influence on the development of the Anzac legend. Charles Bean - Australian official war correspondent was present at the landing on 25 April 1915. Bean went ashore and his reports of the battle became the origin of the legend. Bean was the strongest promoter of the legend. Australia was a young nation. The country had only been federated for 14 years at the time of Gallipoli. Bean argued that 'the consciousness of Australian nation was born' in a baptism of blood on the shores of Gallipoli.Bean and others rapidly constructed public histories of Anzac which were to significantly affect Australian society and culture for generations. On his way back to Australia after the war, Bean wrote a proposal for the creation of a national war memorial to forever 'hold the sacred memories of the AIF'. He also pushed for an official war history. Bean was to oversee the completion of a 15-volume history, personally writing six volumes. The first two, entitled The Story of Anzac, were published in 1921 and 1924. Earlier, in 1916, the war, Bean edited a publication entitled The Anzac Book. This collection of anecdotes, poems, and writings by soldiers at Gallipoli promoted the 'digger' image.The legend was appealing and carefully...

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