First ANZAC DayPrint Page
A memorial plinth commemorates the landing of Australian forces at Gallipoli on the 25th April, 1915 during World War One, which became the first ANZAC Day.
|Address:||Lawrence Hargrave Drive, War Memorial, Austinmer, 2515|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -34.307219|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Actual Event STart Date:||04-August-1914|
|Actual Event End Date:||28-June-1919|
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Sunday 25th April, 1999|
The First ANZAC Day
In the pre-dawn darkness of April 25th 1915 the first troops from Australia and New Zealand began moving towards the barely visible shore of Gallipoli Peninsula in rowing boats towed by a steam launch.
The men were heavily weighed down. Each man wore his pack filled with personal possessions, spare water and a ground sheet. Under the cross straps was an extrenching tool wrapped in two empty sandbags. As well as this his waist belt held a water bottle on one hip, a 43 centimetre bayonet on the other and 200 rounds of 303 ammunition in deep pouches. Tied to the belt were two cotton bags each holding a day's hard rations of tea, sugar, bully beef and hard biscuits.
By 9 A.M. there were 8,000 men ashore moving inland, unsure of the terrain. Yet they went forward and began the bloody business of giving their names to the nameless places and marking the map of Gallipoli for all time.
At 2 o'clock that afternoon 12,000 men had been put ashore. As it began to get darker the soldiers were almost without water and had been under extreme pressure since early morning. That they fought well is undoubted. That they went as far as they did is extraordinary.
Gallipoli had become another trench warfare arena as the sun set on April 25th, the first Anzac Day.
The Anzacs fought on, day and night, until December 1915 when they were finally evacuated. During the evacuation not one life was lost.
This memorial is a joint project betwwen Wollongong City Council and Austinmer R.S.L. Sub Branch
25th April 1999
Barry Navin, President Austinmer R.S.L. Sub Branch
Noel Pickering, Memorial Custodian Austinmer R.S.L. Sub Branch