Beyond History Blog

Anzac Day

Andrea Bentschneider - 24. April 2018 - General, Historical Events, History, Knowledge, WW I

On 25 April, people in Australia, New Zealand and Tonga commemorate the fallen soldiers of the battle of Gallipoli in the year 1915 (and by now all Australians and New Zealanders who served an died in wars etc.). On the first joint military campaign in WW I, forces landed on the Ottoman peninsula Gallipoli to prepare a way for the Allied fleets. They were hindered by the unexpectedly strong Ottoman troops though and both sides experienced an immense number of casualties.

Although the battle of Gallipoli was not victorious, it was an important step for Australia’s and New Zealand’s national identity as well as the beginning of an enduring friendship between the two countries.

The week before Anzac Day poppies are being sold as a symbol of remembrance of the fallen and for charitable purpose. On 25 April, celebrations start early with a “Dawn Ceremony” and proceed throughout the day with numerous services at memorial sites and cemeteries. A traditional rugby match between Australia and New Zealand as well as other sport events are mandatory for the sports-mad nations.

As a particularly sweet form of remembrance Anzac Biscuits are made. Back during WWI, when relatives back home wanted to send the soldiers something to cheer them up, it had to be non-perishable to outlast the long way over sea. The result was delicious, and the biscuits were sometimes even crumbed and eaten as porridge to brighten up the menu of the fighters.

For those who want to convince themselves that cookies then were as delicious as they are now, the website of the Australian War Memorial provides recipes.

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