Forging the Nation - Federation: the First 20 years

  • Exhibition time
  • Exhibition location
    Located on the Ground Level

Anzac Day

Anzac Day was first marked on 25 April 1916, the anniversary of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops at Gallipoli the year before. Many came to see the annual commemoration of this, the nation's baptism of fire, as Australia's national day. By the late 1920s all states had made Anzac Day a public holiday.

ART19662A voice from Anzac ART19662

PROP 02060Anzac Day program AWM PROP 02060

PROP 02065Printed souvenirs of early Anzac Day ceremonies. They include programs for the first observance of the occasion in 1916, and for the first Anzac Day after the war in 1919. AWM PROP 02065

ART09633Wallace Anderson First World War served AIF, Military History Section artist
made in Melbourne 1925
cast in Melbourne 1926

The first sculpture acquired by the Australian War Memorial - in 1926 - Wallace Anderson's Evacuation, provides an idealised depiction of Australian manhood. The broken gun carriage on which the soldier leans is representative of the fighting and destruction on Gallipoli, while the Turkish flag on which he stands and the skull nearby symbolize territory captured and enemy killed.ART09633