"The search for national character is one of the obsessive dead ends of Australian history (Alistair, 1997)". Australians spent time searching for their national identity in the years following the 1901 Federation. The Great War posed exactly the opportunity Australia had been looking for. They were able to put their newly created Imperial forces to the test and to stand up as an independent nation alongside and against the most powerful countries in the world. The Battle of Gallipoli was the most significant battle in the creation of the Anzac legend for two reasons.
[...] The Anzac legend embodies the soldiers as well as the general population of Australia; it accounts for the moments of fighting, commemorates the deceased, and embodies characteristics held by Australian citizens. References Books / Articles D.A. Kent, Anzac Book and the Anzac Legend: C.E.W. Bean as editor and image-maker”, Historical Studies, Vol.21 No 84 (April 1985), pp 390 Alistair Thomson, return of a soldier” in White, Richard and Russell, Penny, eds., Memories and Dreams: Reflections on 20th Century Australia: Pastiche II (St Leonards, New South Wales: Allen & Unwin, 1997), pp - 134 Adam-Smith, Patsy (1981). [...]
[...] ANZAC is an acronym for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps, originally the term Anzac exclusively referred to the soldiers who fought in The Great War. It was not until the Second World War that Anzac Day began to commemorate all fallen soldiers, and began to truly embody every man or woman who has risked their life by fighting for their country (Australian Government, Cultural and Recreation Portal, 2006). Anzac Day is said to have formed a civil religion throughout Australia with it is reverence. [...]
[...] C.E.W Bean constantly spoke of the bravery that was exhibited by the Australian and New Zealand soldiers and their refusal to back down. He speaks of their courage, their determination and their continuity to move forward. He says that an Anzac soldier never backed down in fear. Hearing them being described in this way by Bean, and especially by Ashmead- Bartlett because he is a citizen of another country, was rewarding. It helped Australia appreciate their newly established national identity. [...]
[...] Not only does the Anzac legend support the character traits of the diggers and the Australian people in general, but it also signifies the independence of Australia as a Nation and the decrease in its dependency on Great Britain. Before Gallipoli and World War I Australia thought of Great Britain as their powerful ally, they even thought of themselves as a part of the Great Britain Empire. During the war Australia faced an unpleasant reality; Great Britain was not perfect. [...]
[...] The battle of Gallipoli can be identified as the beginning of the Anzac legend; the legend came about due to the propaganda associated with the war and largely due to the accounts of the Australian and British War Correspondents; Bean and Bartlett. The legend was important to Australians because 1915 was a sensitive time for the country; it was when Australia was searching desperately for an event to bind them together as a nation to secure their act of Federation. [...]
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