On August 5, 1914, a six-inch coast defence gun located at Fort Nepean, Victoria, fired Australia's first shot of World War I. The warning shot on the German merchant ship 'Pfalz' signified the start of our involvement in the war, eventually won by the Allies but resulting in catastrophic loss of life.
In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula in order to open the Dardanelles to the Allied Naval Forces. The ultimate objective was to capture Constantinople (today known as Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany.
The Australian and New Zealand forces landed at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders which culminated in an arduous conflict lasting eight months.
At the end of 1915 the Allied forces were evacuated, and more than 8,000 Australian soldiers had been killed. News of the landing on Gallipoli had a profound impact on Australians and the 25th of April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the selfless acts of bravery performed by Australian soldiers and the tremendous sacrifice made on their behalf.
The first ANZAC day was on 25 April 1916. By the late 1920's Australia recognised ANZAC day by way of a public holiday reflecting on the service to our nation.
ANZAC day is now commemorated by Australians all around the world, recognising the courage and sacrifice of our gallant men and women in numerous conflicts waged over the course of the past century.
The ANZAC legacy encapsulates the enduring Australian spirit of resilience, mateship, courage and sacrifice.
Lest We Forget.
Watch the Life on Board the 'A3' (Orvieto)