Speech delivered by Steve Gower AO AO (Mil) ME, Director, Australian War Memorial on 25 November 2008 at Ballarat University.

I do not need to say to a group such as this that Lieutenant Colonel Sir Albert Coates is a towering figure in Australian military history.  Notwithstanding, it is worth acknowledging some highlights of his life.

He was among the first volunteers in the First World War to join the Australian Imperial Force (AIF); he served with the infantry on Gallipoli and on the Somme. On his return, he studied medicine, and shortly before the start of the Second World War was one of Victoria’s leading surgeons. He enlisted again at the age of 46 and became the senior surgeon of the 2/10th Australian General Hospital. After the fall of Singapore, he spent considerable time in different prisoner-of-war camps in Burma and Thailand. He ultimately became chief medical officer and consultant surgeon at a camp that at its peak had a strength of over 7,000 prisoners and 35 doctors.

All the prisoners of war suffered unimaginable horrors and atrocities from their captors. Amid this nightmare, the doctors were a beacon at hope, often a buffer between the sick and the Japanese. Pragmatically, Coates was said to have encouraged prisoners to eat anything remotely edible – I need not to go into the detail of what that entailed.

After the war he returned to his career in Victoria and for a time was probably Australia’s best known former prisoner-of-war doctor. Yet, over time his profile has been eclipsed by that of his former student and colleague, Lieutenant Colonel Sir Edward “Weary” Dunlop. [1]

In this oration, I will speak about the remembrance and commemoration of individuals before going on to talk about Anzac Day and commemoration and remembrance in general.

I find it rather sad that Sir Albert Coates’s inspiring service has been overshadowed, as indeed has been that of most of the other doctors – Dunlop aside – who served their fellow Australians with such great compassion and care. Their service is officially recognised by a statue in the grounds at the Australian War Memorial. However, the work is clearly recognisable as being “Weary”, in his early-60s, I’d hazard a guess. The nearby plaque says the statue commemorates all doctors who have served. But I feel the reality is that the statue has become “Weary’s” and no-one else’s, which is a pity.

On the other side of the Memorial’s front entrance is a statue to Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick, struck in the familiar role everyone understands him to have undertaken on Gallipoli – the dangerous task of evacuating the wounded down from the forward positions to the beach using a donkey. It’s interesting to reflect that Simpson wasn’t all that well known until the mid-1950s, aside from sanitised versions of this very earthy “saint”. His death is mentioned by Bean – a cryptic “shot through the heart” – but there’s not much else [2] . I think Bean would now be astounded that Simpson has gained such prominence. Even the donkey depicted in the statue has received an honour, an RSPCA award. The Simpson legend and myth certainly does appeal. The poet Philip Salom has written that Simpson seemed a contradiction: an individual, a simpleton, perhaps even a saint [3]. Therein possibly lies his appeal.

For some unknown reason, there’s no statue at the Memorial of Albert Jacka, who was the first Australian to be awarded the Victoria Cross on Gallipoli. He led two successive attacks in May 1915 to recapture a vital part of the key position, Courtney’s Post. His superior officer found him afterwards with an unlit cigarette in his mouth, flushed with excitement, and all he could say, in typical Australian understatement, was, “I managed to get the beggars, sir”. Later in August, a total of seven VCs were awarded for the savage fighting around Lone Pine. I doubt many could now name one: yet they all represented extraordinary selfless bravery that we should celebrate in the Australian character. Jacka subsequently was awarded two Military Crosses on the Western Front. Bean said one was for the most dramatic and effective act of individual audacity in the history of the AIF. Later Mayor of St Kilda, Jacka had a troubled life on his return to Australia and died quite young, in January 1932. Arguably one of Australia’s greatest front-line soldiers, his funeral was led by over 1,000 returned soldiers, with eight VC winners as his pall-bearers.

The story of the VC awarded to Arthur Blackburn is another epic. On Gallipoli he and another soldier penetrated about 1,500 metres inland, arguably the furthest any soldier achieved during the campaign. At Pozières he led four attacks that eventually overcame fierce resistance and drove the enemy from a key strong-point and 250 metres of trench. He then attacked and captured another 120 metres of trench. Pozières was the place of which Bean said the ground was more densely sown with Australian sacrifice than any other place on earth.

You would be excused for thinking Blackburn had served his country enough. But he volunteered again in the Second World War, serving in Syria as the commanding officer of a machine-gun battalion, then found himself as the commander of a force cobbled together to help defend Java from the Japanese. He was captured and was to spend four years as a prisoner of war in Singapore, Japan, Korea, and Manchuria.

But who remembers Blackburn these days?

And there is another great soldier we should all remember: “Diver” Derrick of the famous 2/48th Battalion, the most decorated battalion of the Second World War. Awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry in North Africa, he fought a lone battle against the enemy at a place called Sattelberg, north of Lae. Hurling grenade after grenade, he completely demoralised the enemy and enabled his battalion to gain a foothold on a key Japanese position. For this he was awarded a Victoria Cross. Promoted to lieutenant, he was to die with his men towards the end of the war in Borneo. “Diver” at least had a bridge named in his honour at Port Adelaide recently[4].

I could quote many other examples. It seems we don’t want to remember the warriors, those that the country calls upon to do the bloody and dangerous business of closing with the enemy and killing them. I was staggered watching Chris Masters’s final Four Corners program the evening before Remembrance Day to see an agitated youngish historian seemingly complain that the AIF in France were trained to be excellent killers[5]. Sorry, but that was why nations maintained field armies then, and indeed now, if they are to be useful tools of foreign policy.

But I suppose it’s understandable in a way. No-one really wants to be reminded of the horrors of war, the loss, the hardship, the obscenity of it, the killing of people in the nation’s name, and particularly of such things as what that famous Victorian warrior “Pompey” Elliott wrote in a letter to his wife soon after Lone Pine: “I cannot wear my tunic today because it is all soiled and stained with a poor boy’s brains which were splashed all over it.[6]

Pompey was a tragic figure, who saw his brigade cut to pieces in the ill-conceived tragedy that was Fromelles in 1916, and who played a prominent part in blunting the great German offensive around Villers-Bretonneux in 1918. He ended up disillusioned and embittered after the war, and committed suicide in 1931.

The interesting thing in all of this is that people such as Jacka were household names for a while on their return. Australians are not militaristic or martial people, but for many years they showed a high regard for their military heroes. I’ve mentioned Jacka and Elliott. General Sir John Monash drew a crowd in Melbourne streets estimated at 300,000 when he died in 1931. Later the funeral of Field Marshal Sir Thomas Blamey, Monash’s chief of staff in the First World War and Australia’s Second World War senior commander, drew a similar number, notwithstanding that he was a controversial figure[7].

Having said that, the valour, courage, and achievements of the men of the First AIF were much better known to the people of France and Belgium, who held them in the highest of esteem. Typical are stories from 1918 when in the Somme region civilians and military alike were fleeing in despair from the advancing Germans. A British major said the Australians he encountered moving to the front were the first cheerful, stubborn people he had met during the entire retreat. An Australian confidently said to a group of French people, “Fini retreat, Madame, beaucoup Australians, ici”[8] . They believed him and the Australians then lived up to that confident prediction, particularly around Villers-Bretonneux, where they made such an impression that to this day the school yard and classrooms carry the words (in French), “Never forget Australia”.

As Les Carlyon said in his book The Great War, we – meaning Australians at the time – never saw them perform their great deeds [9] . They came home, in a sense, as strangers and kept their memories privately. To learn about the exploits of their fellow countrymen, Australians initially had to rely on war correspondents, one British, one Australian. Awareness of the Gallipoli campaign first came from British correspondent Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett’s florid prose. Reporting by the sole Australian official correspondent, Charles Bean, was more measured. Bean, of course, later became the official historian to record Australia’s involvement in the First World War.

Ashmead-Bartlett spoke of the Australians on Gallipoli as being “tried for the first time and not found wanting”[10] . They were said to be heroic figures, blessed with great courage. With such accounts, it’s easy to understand how the men of Anzac soon acquired almost a mythical status.

Bean sought to invest in the soldiers the values he perceived in the men – the miners and those on the land – who inhabited the difficult country of Western New South Wales along the Darling River and of whom he had written before the war in his book On the wool track. Bean believed their bush values typified all the Australians who fought, particularly their value of mateship[11]. We know now that the bulk of the AIF came from the city and towns, but Bean continued with this approach in his writings, praising their achievements and recognising their individual courage. His books are not about strategy and tactics, but rather focused on the individual soldier. But what a wonderful uplifting story it is, something that has come to be the one great national narrative.

What had hit the population at home, and hit it hard, were the losses. Over half the eligible males had gone off to the Great War. Only 1 in 3 were to return physically untouched. We realise now that many of those that did return suffered mentally.

To recognise the great loss of 60,000 of their fellow countrymen, a spontaneous community commemorative movement sprang up, the first memorial being sited outside the post office in Newcastle in 1916[12] . This movement came to life even as the certificates from the sovereign acknowledging the sacrifice of the fallen and the bereaved mothers’ badges were still being distributed. It was particularly driven by the realisation that the remains of loved ones would stay overseas. For in accordance with a policy that would remain in force, unbelievably, until 1965, if you died overseas, you were buried overseas in one of the massive war cemeteries that came part of the landscape where campaigns had been waged. There were only two exceptions to this rule.

The remains of Major General Sir William Throsby Bridges, the commander on Gallipoli of Australia’s 1st Division, were returned – as was his charger, Sandy, the only horse that was to have that good fortune. Sandy enjoyed retirement on the pastures surrounding the remount depot at Maribyrnong until he died. Sandy’s head is preserved in the Memorial’s collection in Canberra.

The other remains returned from the First World War were those of the Unknown Australian Soldier, but that was not until 1993.

In due course there was a scarcely a small town across Australian that did not have its war memorial. Quite a few were simple stone figures of a classless soldier without rank, of sombre expression, resting on his arms – reversed on a plinth. Usually a roll of honour provided a list of locals who had enlisted, with the names of those who died indicated by a asterisk or cross.

Many large businesses and state institutions installed their own honour rolls, often with gold lettering on polished timber panels. We also have a number of these, which otherwise would have been discarded, in the National Collection.

In larger towns the memorial devices were more ambitious, with prominent clock towers, memorial halls and institutes, commissioned sculptures, commemorative archways and tree plantings all being installed and dedicated. Of the latter, Ballarat’s arch and avenue is an outstanding example.

In the capitals, major shrines were constructed. In Sydney, Bruce Delitt’s art-deco creation, the Anzac Memorial, embodying Rayner Hoff’s sculptures, sits impressively behind a pool of reflection in Hyde Park. Several sculptures came to be omitted after strong protests by clergyman and principally the Catholic Church[13]. In Melbourne, the outstanding classical revival Shrine of Remembrance dominates the sightline down Swanston St to St Kilda Road.

Most of these monuments made reference to the Glorious Dead who fell serving King and Country. If ever there were such glory in war (and Monash spoke of his hopes for a “glorious” victory before the battle of Amiens in 1918), it seems to be conspicuously absent from the commemorative vocabulary these days, and rightfully so to my mind. But at the time such language would have given comfort to the bereaved, suggesting there was some higher cause that justified the grievous loss of a father, husband, son, brother, nephew, or uncle. However, to quote “Pompey” Elliot again: “when anyone speaks to you of the glory of war, picture yourself a narrow line of trenches two and sometimes three deep with bodies (and think too of your best friends …) mangled and torn beyond recognition ... that is war and such is glory – whatever the novelist might say”[14] . However, “glorious” justifiably can live on in another commemorative sense. The late Major General Paul Cullen, a distinguished Second World War soldier, said this at the Australian War Memorial in 2005, not long before he died: “War is an obscenity, but bravery is glorious.[15]

In contrast, after the Second World War, when a further 40,000 Australian men and women had to be added to Rolls of Honour and accorded respect and remembrance, commemoration took a different form. Structures were more practical and functional. There were things such as “Tobruk” swimming pools inspired by the stoic and determined performance of the “Rats” in North Africa, libraries, memorial halls and commemorative gates, most now forlornly no longer in use. The associated prose was less overblown.

Even before the end of the Great War, Bean had convinced the government of the day of the need to have a major war memorial in the young national capital, Canberra. The then British commander of the AIF, General Birdwood, whose name lives on in the small South Australian country town of Birdwood, wrote to all his commanders in 1917 urging them to start collecting relics for inclusion in the planned memorial’s collection. Artists were commissioned, such as Will Dyson, Arthur Streeton, and George Lambert, along with the photographers Hubert Wilkins and Frank Hurley, to record and interpret the conditions under which the troops had served.

Bean hoped for an exquisite, solemn building that would serve a number of purposes. A central shrine would commemorate those who fell. A series of museum galleries would help visitors better understand the campaigns in which everyone had fought. Bean termed this approach “commemoration by understanding”. He believed that only by faithfully recounting the stories of those that served, supported by a range of collection items, could those without military experience gain some insight and comprehension of what their fellow countrymen had endured on their behalf. There would also be a central repository, or archive, containing the records of war. Central to the vision was that it would be the deeds of the ordinary decent Australian soldier that would be recorded in this place. There would be no place for political statements and other such matters, aside from the necessity to give a visitor some context for the commitment.

Bean’s vision took some time to realise. A design competition ended up with an amalgamation of two designs: one art-deco, the other classical and drawing on Middle East influences. It was not until Remembrance Day 1941 that this great national memorial to honour those who fought in the Great War was opened. By then Australia had been fighting the same enemy for two years in another world war, and the beginning of the Pacific War was only weeks away.

The first observance of Anzac Day, the anniversary of the landing, took place in 1916, with the first Dawn Service taking place in 1927. In his History of Australia, Manning Clark summarised prevailing sentiments. When I first read it, I found it surprising there were dissenting opinions then, just as there are now, but that is what one would expect in a democracy. Newspapers speculated that the observance of Anzac Day was beginning to be the “one day of the year, the central event in an Australian secular religion for one section of society”. A poet thought it was an occasion to “hear the trumpet call to a nobler life”. Others thought it was “a day of inspiration” and that the Anzacs had created “a name and glory that will never die”[16].

There were, of course, quite different views. The “comfortable classes” were said to be filling a religious void by supporting Anzac and Remembrance Days and other symbols of imperialist ties. The Labor Party, Manning Clark recorded, did not share the vision of the “one day”, were dubious about it, and saw the class wars as the central fact of life[17].

Initial observance of Anzac Day was for those who had served and therefore had a common bond, but there was a place for the bereaved. There were religious divides, and for some time Catholics could not attend a service presided over by a Protestant clergyman. There was at least one attempt to make religious capital out of distinguished service. The Archbishop of Melbourne, His Grace Dr Daniel Mannix, had led opposition to conscription during the war, describing the conflict as a “sordid trade war”. As a result he had faced accusations of disloyalty. Seemingly to counter that, John Wren, a gambling and sporting identity, arranged on his behalf for 14 Victoria Cross winners to head up the St Patrick’s Day Procession in 1920. They were theatrically mounted on white chargers. On the other side of the religious divide, General Sir Harry Chauvel, the first Australian to command a corps-sized force in battle, as a devout Anglican refrained from leading a march to the Shrine in Melbourne on Anzac Day because he believed the service had been “de-christianised” to accommodate Catholic sensibilities[19].

Throughout this time, however, one thing remained constant, irrespective of conflicting views. Anzac Day was a solemn occasion, at least in the morning: no sport, no trading, and no frivolity were acceptable.

In the 1960s, with community divisions caused by the war in Vietnam, the purpose and point of Anzac Day came under assault, it being perceived by some as a glorification of war and of decreasing relevance to the nation. Again, to quote from Manning Clark, “restraints on behaviour were thrown aside during this time”. Nothing was sacred: certainly Anzac Day, its meaning and its rituals, was not exempt[20].

Alan Seymour’s play The one day of the year, written in 1960 portrayed the challenge in terms of a clash between a veteran, his mate, and his offspring. It caused a great controversy at the time. Although he admits to having only read an extract of it, the central proposition struck a responsive chord with playwright Louis Nowra. Nowra recorded his anger at what he describes as “those drunken men who seemed oafish and braggarts”. However, he softened his views when he realised that many were scarred by war and “possessed a complex and distressing interior life”[21] . With forthright honesty, Seymour in 1999 admitted that he had “got it wrong”, and the veterans he had ridiculed concealed beneath their pride and cockiness “a residue of struggle, pain, loss, and endurance”[22].

Similarly, a young academic (now Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the Australian National University), Joan Beaumont, probably typified the activism of a section of students when she said “we confidently expected Anzac Day to sink into terminal decline ... Diggers were seen as boozy relics, and war service was painted as an atrocity.” She went on to say that war “was not something to be recalled with pride”[23] .

Novelist and poet David Malouf wrote that he was divided between a humbling respect for the experience and for those who had endured it, and on the other hand impatience, sometimes rising to anger, at the institutionalised version and at what he thought was its shoddy rhetoric[24]. In the 1980s, many historians were predicting that interest would fade, and the Australian War Memorial would, of necessity, need to transform itself by becoming a peace memorial. The Memorial’s Military History section, led the way by focusing on war and society, the social implications of war, rather than on the experience of men and woman in the various campaigns.

Without exception, none of these confident and self-assured commentators anticipated that within a decade Anzac Day would be spontaneously reinvigorated. They would have been bemused were they to know that in 2005 The Australian newspaper would nominate the Digger as the Australian of the year.

It is quite striking when you read what some authors, playwrights, and academics have said about their understanding of, and regard for, Anzac Day. It’s almost as if they were disappointed that the day has emerged as central to Australia life, and that it’s still cherished. They find it hard to accept that its central core relates to ordinary, decent Australians doing their duty in accordance with their values and inherent character. Some seek to derive more profound and deeper meaning. They erect various strawmen, such as that nationalism underpins the day; that patriotic fervour is encouraged by Anzac Day observances; that the day lacks integrity, allegedly because Australians only have fought in other peoples’ wars; and that it’s become a focus for philistinism and cultural and racial chauvinism[25]. These strawmen are then demolished, and the event is denigrated to the obvious satisfaction and gratification of these critics. In doing so, they do not seem to be particularly sensitive to the aspirations and values of ordinary, decent Australians, let alone concerned about past issues of countering fascism and aggression or concepts of national interest.

Since 1990 attendances at Anzac Day ceremonies at the Australian War Memorial have increased dramatically, and I believe this has been reflected around the nation[26] . For the marches, be they in the capitals or in the country, there’s something moving about seeing the ranks of be-medalled silvery-haired men and women marching behind their unit and corps banners, which literally represent their home, their identity, and their family when on active service.

The Dawn Service is something uniquely Australian. People gather in the darkness. Often it is chilly. Whatever, everyone has made a personal effort to get out of a warm bed to attend. It is an egalitarian occasion: no tickets, no reserved seats nor special enclosures, no military pomp. People are not sure with whom they are standing. There is a minor religious component to most Dawn Services, unlike the main ceremonies, which tend to be secular. I am inclined to believe attendees do not want to have an overtly religious ceremony, with exhortations about good overcoming evil. Religious absolutism does not seem to have much appeal in the cold of an April morning. The most effective sermon I ever heard was by a female NZ Navy chaplain, who engaged attendees by contrasting the slight sacrifice they had made to attend in the early morning with what befell the original Anzacs all those years ago.

I think attendees are not motivated by anything other than the desire to be part of a genuinely Australian ceremony, something which in many cases is given more personal meaning through a connection with a family member: perhaps a vaguely remembered grandfather or great uncle, someone they feel they would like to know more about. Often the next step is an online search for more information on our website or at the National Archives of Australia.

It’s probable that attendees also want better insight into just what motivated those people to serve their country under such arduous and dangerous circumstances, something that is incomprehensible to some now.

As our Prime Minister has said several times this year, there is no higher calling than to serve in the country’s uniform. Anzac Day is firstly about remembering those who served, but also about the legacy they have left to family and friends, and to the broader community. On balance, the bedrock Anzac values of mateship, rough-hewn high spirited humour, courage, endurance, and a sense of giving everyone a “fair-go” in life seem to appeal well enough to many contemporary Australians. I readily concede they do not represent the pinnacle of intellectual aspirations that some hope Australians might aspire to. They perhaps relate more easily to sporting and outdoor pursuits than to the arts and literature. But nor are such cultural endeavours, the very basis of a civilised society, specifically excluded either.

Nor do I believe that mentioning values implicit in the Anzac legend is part of an underlying attempt, either subtle nor overt, to glorify Anzac Day and deliberately make it part of nation-building. War is far too destructive and wasteful an activity to relate to glory, notwithstanding such sentiments 90 years ago.

Over the years there have been claims made there is an institutionalised version of Anzac Day, as if there were an agreed script that is relentlessly pushed by “them”. It was only last month that cartoonist Michael Leunig railed in The Sydney Morning Herald against alleged “manipulation [of Anzac Day] for political advantage”; he also asserted that Anzac Day “must now be done with bluster, hoopla and media hypnotism”[27]. That’s all very colourful and sweeping, possibly amusing, but really quite lacking in insight. Just like the men of the First and Second AIF – volunteers all – people attend Anzac Day of their own volition. It’s an interesting proposition to think crowds can be manipulated with Leunig’s supposed hoopla and bluster to attend a ceremony on a public holiday at 5 am. If large crowds attend an event, of course the media will be interested. As for politicians becoming involved, which some people seem to resent, they have been so for many years, and as our democratically elected leaders that should to be both natural and something to be welcomed.

There have always been differences and debate since the very origin of Anzac Day over just what it represents. Former Prime Minister Paul Keating’s recent comments were just a continuation of that. His reported remarks that it was “utter and complete nonsense that Australia was redeemed” on the slopes of Gallipoli might really be seen as nothing more than the long-held views of elements withing the Labor movement dating back to the First World War period, to which I alluded earlier[28] . I must say, however, that I have never heard the term “redeemed” applied to Gallipoli. But I’ve certainly heard then Prime Minister Billy Hughes’s view that Australia as a nation was born on the shores of Gallipoli, with the event being much more important than Federation. Mr Keating went on to say he had attempted to redress and rebalance Australian’s wartime history by stressing the importance of Kokoda in the battle for Australia. That’s an interesting proposition, with yet another set of different beliefs and suppositions. Suffice to say, there can be no one universally endorsed view.

What is indisputable, however, is that at Gallipoli and at Kokoda, and at battlefields elsewhere around the world, those Australians who served displayed mateship, courage, and sacrifice. If only because of that, they should be remembered with fondness, compassion, and admiration. They certainly loved their country, with all its strengths and weaknesses. Having said that we shouldn’t attempt to hang too much meaning onto their actions that even the participants would not have subscribed to, such as they fought, amongst other things, for the freedom of speech. One hears that claim occasionally from publicity-seeking people attempting to justify their controversial views and actions. I cannot say I’ve ever heard a soldier say he was risking himself other than for family, home, his mates, and his way of life, and I’d never expect to.

I will conclude by returning to the essence of what I believe we are commemorating and remembering. It’s the ordinary decent individual Australian man and woman, whom we all can recognise, and the values they displayed when serving the nation in its time of need. These values have endured, are easily related to, and are uplifting. And that’s probably why they find wide appeal with many Australians.

It is a great honour to have had this opportunity to present the Sir Albert Coates’s Oration for 2008.


  1. ^ I am indebted to Memorial historian Dr Karl James for providing me with this background information from a variety of sources
  2. ^ C.E.W. Bean, The story of Anzac, Volume 1 of the Official History, p. 544. Bean later wrote he was killed by shrapnel (Bean, Anzac to Amiens, 1946, p. 136). Historian Peter Cochrane said Simpson was “never so busy as in his afterlife”. The Reverend Benson sanctified him in a eulogising account in his Man with the donkey: the Good Samaritan of Gallipoli (1965).
  3. ^ Philip Salom, “ANZAC and why I wrote” in War: Australia’s creative response, Anna Rutherford and James Weiland (Eds.), 1997, p. 339
  4. ^ Bob Sampson “Tom and Mary Port bridges in use” in Catchpoint, 87, September 2008, p. 8. The naming was undertaken by SA Premier Mike Rann after representations by the Semaphore and Port Adelaide RSL sub-branch to overturn an earlier decision to name the bridge after the local AFL team
  5. ^ Interview of Lt Dr Garth Pratten, Lecturer in Military History at RMA Sandhurst, on ABC Four Corners program, 10 November 2008.
  6. ^ The quote comes from Ross McMullin’s biography of H.E. “Pompey” Elliot and is an extract of a letter dated 8 August 1915 to his wife, Kate, and quoted in Wartime, 11, p. 46.
  7. ^ John Hetherington Blamey, Controversial soldier, Australian War Memorial and Australian Government Printing Service, 1973, p. 339.
  8. ^ C.E.W. Bean, The AIF in France, Volume 5 of the Official History, p. 172.
  9. ^ Les Carlyon, The Great War, Macmillan (2006), p. 777.
  10. ^ Ashmead-Bartlett’s quote in David Kent “Bean’s ‘ANZAC’ and the making of the ANZAC legend”, War: Australia’s creative response, p. 29.
  11. ^ C.E.W. Bean, On the wool track, 1910, and his book a year later, Dreadnought of the Darling, are an endeavour to picture the romance of outback life in Australia. Political journalist Michelle Gratton revisited the area and gave an account in Back on the wool track, Vintage Books, 2004.
  12. ^ K.S. Inglis, Sacred places: Memorials in the Australian landscape, Melbourne University Press, 1998, p 110. This gives an excellent account of commemoration in Australia.
  13. ^ Inglis, Sacred places, p. 110.
  14. ^ Ross McMullin, “Such is glory … 7th Battalion at Lone Pine”, Wartime, 11, p. 47.
  15. ^ Remarks made by the late Major General Paul Cullen AC DSO* at a plaque dedication ceremony at the Australian War Memorial for the 2/2nd Battalion, AIF.
  16. ^ C.M.H. Clark, A history of Australia, Volume VI, Melbourne University Press, 1987, pp. 120,182.
  17. ^ Clark, A history of Australia, Volume VI, pp. 120, 136.
  18. ^ A composite photograph (P01383.017) made by Johnstone, O’Shannessy and Company with the Archbishop surrounded by ten Roman Catholic and four Protestant VC winners was part of the Memorial’s travelling exhibition Forging the nation, Federation - the first 20 years, which was displayed at the Melbourne Museum in 2001.
  19. ^ K.S. Inglis, Sacred places, p. 465.
  20. ^ Clark, A history of Australia, Volume VI, p. 500.
  21. ^ Louis Nowra, “ANZAC and why I wrote”, in War: Australia’s creative response, pp. 343–44.
  22. ^ Alan Seymour, “Hollow chauvinism gives way to day fit for heroes”, The Weekend Australian, 24–25 April 1999.
  23. ^ Joan Beaumont, “Cricket, craters and the death of heroes”, in a memorial edition of The Sydney Morning Herald (The Last ANZAC), 17 May 2002, p. 4.
  24. ^ David Malouf, “ANZAC and why I wrote”, in War: Australia’s creative response, p. 332.
  25. ^ For example, see Livio and Pat Dobrez, “Old myths and new delusions”, in War, Australia’s creative response, for assertions about “pseudo-nationalism and not fighting for an Australian cause”, pp. 215–27 (originally published in 1982): in the same book, John Remeril (p. 335) claiming commemorations are “a propaganda exercise”, and elsewhere David Kent postulates that “ANZAC has less to do with sacrifice but more to do with unquestioning nationalism and aggressive masculine virtues”, p. 37.
  26. ^ The 2008 Dawn Service at the Australian War Memorial drew 30,000 attendees.
  27. ^ Michael Leunig in an opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald, Weekend Edition, 25–26 October 2008, p. 13.
  28. ^ “Keating rejects Gallipoli identity”, The Australian, 31 October 2008, p. 2, and “What you get for having a shot at Keating”, The Sydney Morning Herald, Weekend Edition, 1–2 November 2008, p. 35.




Tuesday 25 November 2008


Steve Gower


Formal address