Diary of an Anzac: a Gallipoli perspective

Red Cross arm band: Private H V Reynolds, 1 Australian Field Ambulance, AIF. REL41510 Red Cross arm band : Private H V Reynolds, 1 Australian Field Ambulance, AIF REL41510

Guide your students through the Gallipoli campaign from the perspective of an everyday Anzac, by following day-by-day the diary of H.V. Reynolds. Set out in blog format, the diary explores themes of:

  • Daily conditions for an Anzac during the Gallipoli campaign
  • Loss and hardship during times of conflict
  • National identity and Australia’s place within the British Empire

The author of the diary, Private Herbert Vincent Reynolds of Sebastopol, Victoria, joined up with the AIF in 1914 and served with the 1st Field Ambulance during the Gallipoli campaign.

The First World War diary of HV Reynolds:

View the diary

A glossary of terms has been compiled to supplement the diary entries.

Lesson ideas

Each diary entry is an interpretive tool that can unlock the story of the Gallipoli campaign by telling it through the eyes of an everyday Anzac who experienced the realities of the campaign.

The diaries can be used as a classroom resource source and will complement your unit on the Gallipoli campaign or the Anzacs. Entries are accompanied by supplementary information, including links to the Memorial’s extensive collection, further information, and external sites. Stimulus questions are also included in most entries.

Links to National Curriculum

This website has been designed to align with the Australian Curriculum: History. The Diary of an Anzac project will provide students with a historical understanding of the Gallipoli campaign while creating an overview of broader themes such as our national identity, local history, commemoration days, and Australia’s relationship with England and the world during the First World War.

Students can study this primary source using historical inquiry methods or as a depth study.

Lesson suggestions

These lesson suggestions are intended for an upper primary audience and are supplemented by teacher notes. Over the coming months more activities will be posted.

Classroom activities

Below are a variety of PDF activities for primary classes. Each activity relates to the Gallipoli campaign or Herbert’s story.

  • Hard tack recipe
    Hard tack was one of the staple components of a soldier’s diet. These biscuits were issued to the men who served during the First World War. The recipe is unchanged and the biscuits will give students a better insight into daily life on the Gallipoli peninsula.
  • Word Search
    Search for words relating to the Gallipoli campaign. If you are unsure about any terms you come across in the diary, look them up on our online glossary.
  • Crossword
    Read the clues and fill in the answer on the crossword sheet. The solution to this puzzle can be found amongst the teacher notes.


A busy Australian ambulance station on the beach at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli. P04350.004A busy Australian ambulance station on the beach at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli P04350.004

The following resources may be useful for you in your lesson preparation.

Visit the Australian War Memorial

As a pre- or post-unit activity, why not bring your students for an education program at the Memorial. All programs are aligned with Australian Curriculum: History and are delivered by highly trained museum educators.

Learn more about our education programs.