100th Anniversary Anzac Day
April 25th 2015 marks the 100th anniversary Anzac Day, a day to remember our fallen soldiers who gave their lives to protect Australia and New Zealand.
Australian and New Zealand soldiers came together and formed the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, hence the acronym ANZAC. 1915, during World War I, was the year that the two nations joined forces and sailed to Gallipoli to capture the Peninsula. Part of the initiative of allied forces was to conquer and rule Constantinople, part of the Ottoman Empire, that had aligned itself with Germany.
Just before dawn April 25th, the ANZACS landed on the beaches of Gallipoli (now known as ANZAC Cove) with the view of their combined army overpowering the Ottoman Army. What was thought would be a quick battle, dragged on for 8 long months. Thousands of lives were lost from Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, France, United Kingdom and India.
To commemorate ANZAC Day, Dawn Services are held throughout Australia and New Zealand to remember the brave men and women who died protecting their countries. ANZAC Day march takes place in all cities around Australia and New Zealand and although Alec Campbell, the last surviving ANZAC died in 2002, many descendants of the soldiers march, together with soldiers currently serving in the Defence Army, War Veterans and Allied Veterans.
Services and marches are also held throughout the world and the 100th Anniversary Anzac Day is sure to attract many people, especially to ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli
ANZAC Day Biscuits
ANZAC Day biscuits were known as “tiles” or wafers, given out as rations during WWI. Made from rolled oats, golden syrup, flour, desiccated coconut and boiling water, the biscuits were given out in place of bread as they lasted longer. I have a Gluten Free Healthy Anzac Biscuit recipe here.
ANZAC Day Sports and Social
Although a somber day of remembrance, in true Aussie style it is a day of celebration, to toast the “Old Diggers” who fought tooth and nail so that we live a free life today. There are football codes, AFL (Australian Football League) and Rugby League that hold what has become “Traditional” matches, drawing more crowds than any other match played throughout the seasons apart from the finals.
The traditional gambling game of Two-Up is played in RSL (Returned Services League) clubs and pubs all around Australia. It’s was played by many soldiers with two pennies (resting on a small board) back in the day and many are brought out once a year for this “Special occasion”. The “Spinner” throws the pennies in the air and the “players” gamble whether the coins will land “Heads” (both coins heads up) “Tails” (both Tails up) or “Odds” (one Heads and one Tails). At other times of the year it is illegal to play two-up unless it’s played in a casino.
No matter where you are in the world or how you celebrate the 100th Anniversary Anzac Day, there will be a common thought or words from the Ode of Remembrance that every Australian and New Zealand will think or say after the bugler plays the last post