The Digger legendEdit

  • Gallipoli was called Australia's "Baptism of Fire"-it marked the moment when Australia "came of age" as a nation
  • The world stood up and noticed the new nation and cheered on the bravery and endurance of its fighting men
  • Gallipoli highlighted what Australians like to believe are the main characteristics of the Australian identity


  • The Australian's willingness to endure pain and difficulties and to never give in or complain
  • Australian good humour even in the most trying circumstances
  • Mateship between men when faced with adversity
  • Feeling of egalitarianism (equality)
  • Anti-authority
  • Basic common sense
  • Resourcefulness
  • "never say die" attitude

  • Immediately after the war there were deep divisions in Australian Society. One of the main divisions was between those who had fought and those who had not
  • Many groups were excluded from the digger legend because they didn't fit the stereotypical ANZAC image:
  • Women
  • Aboriginals
  • City-dwellers
  • Non-Anglo-Celtics
  • Migrants



  • The Gallipoli Peninsula is about 60km long and 15km across at its widest point
  • Gallipoli has a spiny backbone rising to a peak of about 300m
  • Largely barren or covered with scrub
  • High cliffs and narrow gullies filled with spiky thorn bushes


  • Summer
    • Fiercely hot and waterless
    • Temps up to 40°C
  • Winter
    • Bitterly cold
    • Torrential rain
    • Icy winds

Australian women's main wartime work was in traditional female roles related to nursing and volunteer service, the food, clothing and textile industries.

The government refused them roles which many would have liked as members of auxiliary units to the armed forces.

Whenever women did enter the workforce to replace men, it was only as part of a 'reserve' labour force. They had to give up their jobs for men returning from the war.

Voluntary work provided the main means for women to contribute to the war effort.

Volunteer organisations were:

Australian branch of the British red cross society

Australian comforts fund

Australian women's service corps

Australian army nursing service

Up to 200 volunteer groups existed. Women knitted socks (to help with trench foot) and made up of comfort boxes for the men at the front (cakes, puddings, cigarettes, newspapers, clothing, messages and support)

In 1916 and 1917, there was no television radio.

The campaign was conducted in newspapers, through billboards and in speeches at political meetings

Each side of the debate employed speechwriters, playing on people's emotions and tried to grab the daily headlines.

Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Daniel Mannix, opposed conscription

I am not saying anything bad about Germans, some of my friends are Germans.

Reasons Australia went to War

  • It was taken for granted that Australia would give immediate support to Britain
  • The popular reaction to the outbreak of war was equally as enthusiastic thousands of young Australian men could not wait to get into uniform.
  • The reasons of excitement and adventure and romance.
  • A once in a lifetime opportunity.
  • A patriotic duty, a love of the empire and the king
  • Peer pressure
  • Men in uniform were more attractive to the opposite sex
  • Propaganda and claims of German atrocities
  • High standards of enlistment set a social benchmark
  • A chance to earn money for the first time
  • Ignorance was a major factor
  • The first Aus. troops left in November 1914 and together with volunteers from New Zealand were sent to Egypt-not the western front (France & Belgium) where they spent many monotonous months training and getting into trouble until finally they were sent to Turkey, for the following reasons
  • Turkey was an ally of Germany
  • The defeat of Germany would give Britain & her allies control of the port of Constantinople
  • Britain saw Germany's Southern allies as the soft underbelly of the Central Powers
  • Russia was in trouble on the Eastern Front & defeating Turkey would open a supply line to this front
  • The fighting of the Western Front had bogged down in a war of attrition & it was believed a successful against Turkey might weaken Germany.

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