The First World War
Forging the Nation - Federation: the First 20 years
- Forging the Nation: home
- National identity
- Seeking security
- The First World War
- Towards the future
Australians could hardly have imagined the scale of the venture on which they were about to embark when war was declared in 1914. Their involvement would affect almost every person and leave 200,000 dead, injured or maimed. Australian soldiers and nurses would take their place among the great armies of the world on some of history's oldest battlefields. They would enter Damascus and Jerusalem, attack the Dardanelles, defend Amiens and Ypres, and swagger through the streets of Paris and London in their distinctive slouch hats.
The war had an impact at every level of society. Australians emerged from it proud of their role and confident of their place in the international sphere, but the misery, dislocation and divisions it caused would have a mighty impact on the national character.