ANZAC Day origins: Canon D J Garland and Trans-Tanman commemoration

John A Moses and George F Davis

ANZAC Day origins addresses the often vaguely understood beginnings of ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand, and adds significantly to the self-understanding of both nations.

The disastrous loss of human life on Turkey’s Gallipoli peninsula between April and December 1915 prompted a wave of shock and grief in Australia and New Zealand. When the casualty lists were published and digested, two questions were most pressing. How could so much personal grief be managed? What might the two nations do to commemorate their war dead?

Politicians, leading citizens and churchmen were advancing schemes to help both nations move forward. Above these voices came that of an Anglican priest from Brisbane – Canon David John Garland. He was previously secretary-organiser of the Bible in Schools League, and a household name in both countries. By the end of his life in 1939, Canon Garland became known at the “architect” of ANZAC Day and was widely esteemed for promoting a vision of commemoration that spanned the trans-Tasman experience of war, that honoured the war dead and brought comfort to those who mourned.

Soft cover, 417 pages.