ANZAC Day – 25th April 2022

Posted on Mon 04/25/2022 by


By Anton Lang ~

Why is ANZAC Day so important in Australia?

At 4.15AM on Sunday the 25th April 1915 an untried Corps of Australian soldiers waded ashore from the longboats that had brought them there from the large troopships further out to sea. As they came ashore in the dawn’s half light they were mowed down in droves by the Turkish soldiers who had the high ground.

An original image of one of the landings at ANZAC Cove, this one at 8AM on April 25 1915. (Image Credit – Australian War Memorial Archives)

The place was an insignificant little Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula, part of Turkey, near a small place known as Ari Burnu, now forever known as ANZAC Cove, a small piece of Australian Sacred Ground on a foreign shore.

The acronym ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

Forces from New Zealand were also part of this campaign, hence the acronym includes New Zealand, who, while part of this campaign, were under the command of their own fellow New Zealanders. This was a combined effort, and this day is also recognised just as reverently in New Zealand as it is here in Australia.

So, why is this one day so revered by Australians, when the 8 Month campaign that followed was considered in the main overall scheme of the War as a failure, considering that Australia has been part of so many famous victories on fields of battle in War since that time.

The original Badge of the Australian Army, worn on the hats of every Australian soldier. This is known as The Rising Sun Badge.

This was when Australian troops, commanded by Australians fought for the first time for each other as fellow Australians.

Those coming ashore who survived this original murderous onslaught regrouped and started to fight back. This campaign lasted for eight and a half months. In that time, Australian soldiers announced to the World that they were now no longer an untried group of colonials, but a magnificent fighting force in their own right, and one to be reckoned with.

During those 8 Months, nine Australians were awarded The Victoria Cross for valour, the highest award for bravery that there is. (This is the equivalent of the Medal of Honor in the U.S.) In fact, seven of those medals were awarded in just one  three day period. This was at Lone Pine, in August, where the Australians engaged in what was a diversionary feint to disguise the massed landing by the British further up the Coast at Suvla Bay. This Lone Pine engagement was some of the most savage hand to hand combat in close quarters of the whole 8 Month period at Gallipoli.

During that 8 Month period of this Gallipoli Campaign, 8,709 Australian soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.

Each year from then forward, Australia has recognised that day of the first landing as the most solemn of days on our Calendar, when we, as a nation, pay reverent homage, not only to those brave men who fought and died at Gallipoli, but to all our Australian Military forces who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in times of all Wars, and for all our current serving men and women in Australia’s military forces.

Dawn Services are held across the Country timed for 4.15AM local time at memorials in the large Capital cities, and across cities and towns all over Australia, literally at thousands of such places. While still early morning at that time, these services are always attended by masses of people all across Australia.

Later that same morning, marches are held in many of these places as well. Those marches in the Capital cities have literally thousands of men and women marching, with only veterans and current serving members from the three armed forces actually marching, and some marches may only have a handful of men marching, as numbers now thin out with the passing of years.

While those people march, many thousands line the length of the march and pay solemn tribute to those old men who fought so that we actually could line those streets to salute them, and to also pay silent tribute to those who did not come home.

ANZAC Day April 25th 2022

I did not attend any of the local services or marches this year. Now seventy one years old, my knees can’t really stand up to something like that these days. I still do remember those early days when I was in the Royal Australian Air Force for twenty five years, and we marched almost every year, and I also remember the great feeling of pride on that day. This year however, I again blinked awake from sleep at precisely 4.30AM, the time of that first landing at Gallipoli, and had private thoughts of what those men would have gone through in the half light, getting out of the boats and running up the beach raked by machine gun fire from the high ground in front of them. It sends a shiver up your spine just thinking about it.

Dawn Services were held all across the Country, many thousands of them, the largest in the Capital cities of each of the States. This year was the first year without any of the recent restrictions because of the Coronavirus. Services were all very well attended virtually everywhere, now with those restrictions lifted, especially those in the major State Capital cities. Later on in the morning, marches were held as well, with marchers numbering in the thousands, and with huge crowds gathering to respectfully cheer them all on. This year, the Capital City marches were led by those men and women still living who served during World War Two, and even those numbers are now thinning dramatically, and there has been no surviving members of the First War, let alone veterans who fought at Gallipoli, as those numbers have been at zero for many many years now, but even that does not diminish the respectfulness of the day, and in fact, each year, the day seems to grow in strength.

All restrictions with respect to the Coronavirus were lifted in Turkey as well, and the solemn Dawn service at the site of the original Gallipoli landing, and the later service at Lone Pine also resumed this year.

A good summary of those services and marches in Australia is shown at the following link to the ABC Media outlet, and it details the happenings in each of the States, along with numerous images from the Services and the marches.

ANZAC Day across Australia

There was an added extra for me this year as well. I mentioned that I woke at 4.30, the time of the first landing. It’s almost instinctive now, and for the life of I can’t figure why, without any alarm clock, I wake up at that particular time, on this one very special day, just this day, and no other day. It’s just a little strange, and I have no idea why. As usual, it’s always not very easy to get back to sleep after waking because of those thoughts. A little later, in that period of time when I was half awake and partly dozing, around 5.15AM or so, I was awakened by a loud noise from outside. Instinctively, I knew exactly what it was. After all those years in the Royal Australian Air Force, there were many times I was at air displays, so I knew the familiar sound of aircraft engines, and in fact, these two particular engines. I got out of bed, opened the blinds and looked out the window, just to see the two aircraft in question fly overhead, and heading South. These two old ‘warbirds’ were scheduled for the Brisbane Dawn Service, and then they headed South to the Gold Coast for a flyover at the main Dawn Service at the two largest venues down there, and that trip South took them directly overhead here where I live in Beenleigh, and that is now a Southern suburb of the huge Brisbane City. The two aircraft in question were a Spitfire and a Mustang. They both use what is basically the same engine, and yet, the ‘sound’ is totally different coming from either aircraft. The English Spitfire uses the Rolls Royce Merlin, perhaps one of the most iconic airplane engines ever invented, and it has a particular ‘sound’ all its own. The Mustang was originally designed to have an Allison engine in it, but very soon, they included the Packard engine in it as the sole engine. That Packard engine was a variant of that same English Rolls Royce Merlin. And yet, the Packard engine had a completely different sound to it. Coming from my background in the Air Force, I knew this, having heard both engines in both of these aircraft, so I knew exactly what the aircraft were that were now flying overhead. albeit, very fleetingly. On that round trip, these two airplanes would have flown over, or close to a number of these Dawn Services, so they would have been seen, and heard mostly, by a lot of people.

Related Posts

General Monash reviewing his last ANZAC Day Parade, 25th April 1931. Image From Australian Government National Archives.

Over the now more than fourteen years I have been contributing at this site, I have detailed all those previous ANZAC Days, and I have also detailed the landing, and the withdrawal, and for further information, I will include those links here. Each of those Posts includes some of the other aspects about the original landing and subsequent action during the eight and a half Month Campaign.

Permanent link to the Index for the earlier ANZAC Day Posts.

The Birth Of A Nation. My first ANZAC Day Post from 2008. This details the original landing at Ari Burnu, which is now known as ANZAC Cove, in the early morning of 25th April 1915.

Troop Drawdown. This Post of mine, also from 2008 details the withdrawal of troops from the Gallipoli Peninsula at the end of the Campaign in January 1916.

General Sir John Monash.  This is the Post of my own I made in 2009, and it is about a Brigade Commander from Gallipoli, Colonel John Monash, who went on to become a General and who was instrumental in the conclusion of the First World War.

Anton Lang uses the screen name of TonyfromOz, and he writes at this site, PA Pundits International on topics related to electrical power generation, from all sources, concentrating mainly on Renewable Power, and how the two most favoured methods of renewable power generation, Wind Power and all versions of Solar Power, fail comprehensively to deliver levels of power required to replace traditional power generation. His Bio is at this link.