topic 3: 100 years Anzac

The great world war: 1914-1918. Everyone has been affected they the great world war. Every family has had a family member or someone close in the war, although this war shook the world 100 years ago it still effects us today. Picture this: the sound of guns blaze around you as bullet after miss you by only a few centimeters at the most, you spend every night cold and missing home, missing your family and wanting it all to be over with. Disease and sickness are all around you, all you can do is sit back and wait for the moment you catch the disease, if it doesnt kill you first than the overhead gun fire will. You hold another persons life in your hands, you fire, its all over, a body flops to the ground, dead, you killed someone, took their life away, took them away from their family.

World War I started in August 1914 when the Britain and Germany declared war on each other. Australia followed Britain into war because Prime Minister, Andrew Fisher, stated that  Australia’s will help Britain and 416,809 men enlisted to fight for Australia. Over 60,000 men were killed and 152,000 were wounded. The battle at Gallipoli is one of the most important events, it demonstrates the spirit of our nation.

After four months of training in Egypt, the ANZAC troops left for Gallipoli. On 25 April 1915 they landed at a beach (ANZAC Cove) just before dawn. The beach was at the bottom of a very deep steep slope, the men had a very horrible and dangerous climb up the beach as the  Turkish troops shot down onto them from the top of the cliff. They had landed in the wrong part of the beach, the place on the beach they had meant to land on was just around the corner, where it was flat. Because it was too dark there was no way of telling what part of the beach they would land on until it was too late.

The ANZACs and the Turkish troops couldnt make ground for months. The ANZACs began to leave on 20 December 1915. The Australians had spent eight months in Gallipoli, with 25,000 casualties, including 8700 deaths.

there are many stories such as this, including the  story of Simpson and his donkey: Simpson was a stretcher bearer, he would get his donkey (the donkey was meant to be used for water) and travel out onto the battle field. He would pick up wounded soldiers and carry them on the back of his donkey to safety. In total he had saved 300 men in 29 days.

Every man that went to war deserved a metal, but only a few special men where ever given one. To name  a few: The 1914-1915 star was awarded to men who served on a ship during war and was above good solider. The British war metal 1914-1920 was awarded to men who served overseas between 5 august 1915 and November the 11 1918.  The Gallipoli metal was given to any man (or his family if he had died) who served in Gallipoli.

There where also many diseases including to name a few: Trench feet, Trench Fever/ Lice, diabetes and Typhiod fever. Trench fever had symptoms such as headaches, rashes, inflamed eyes and leg pains it is a lot like the common flu. Lice where described as pale pawn colored they left blotchy red marks all over your body.

The woman left at home made biscuits and clothes and sent them to the men fighting in the war. The woman tried to keep the country going, they got jobs and had to care for their children by them selves. When the men retured and wanted their jobs back, the woman didnt want to give them back they enjoyed working, this is when woman rights began. As well as making biscuits known as ANZAC biscuits they would also write letters to their husbands, sons, brothers, nephews and friends fighting the men treasured these letters. The womna would write about what is happening it home and about their children, they would send photos as well, anything to help the men.

My Dear Mabel and Carl ,

Many thanks to Carl for his letter already received and to Mabel in anticipation of the one which I know must be on it’s way by this time. You get all of my news through Ina, of course, and so long as you know that I’m still here ” there’s no need to worry” Get her to show you that copy I sent her. (Ina was visiting in Brooklyn, N.Y. at this time) This camp has all the Canadian camps beaten in every thing, except in one respect, and in that, it falls so far short that it ‘s hard to say which is the better, and that is the WEATHER. It’s too bad to explain. It rains every day; and a dampness that one can almost taste. The stoves we have, give no heat at all and the temperature in the hut is sometimes below freezing point. There’s a military town about 2 1 miles away, called Godalming. We usually go down every Saturday night and Sunday night to the concert given by a Mrs. Henderson free to soldiers. It’s London talent and it’s the best free show I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. We also have concerts at the YMCA about once a week, all free. You have no idea what the people will do for soldiers. In the week nights we generally sit around the stove and smoke. This is good fun to hear the opinions of a bunch of volunteers (8 months). I suppose Ina told you all about the good time I had in London. Talk about New York for pretty girls? It’s not in it with London and such easy picking . Like to send you a picture of one that writes me every week, a real queen. Am posting (sending via mail) you my photo in about 2 days and hope you like it. We have 80 horses now, get more every week, need 120. I am on the Headquarters Party or as it is usually termed the “Suicide Gang”. Sounds encouraging doesn’t it? Have just finished taking a telephone course, as this is our chief work at the front as soon as we get into a position. There are about 10 different phones all connected up; from guns to observing officers and to Headquarters and to Divisional Hqtrs. And Infantry Hqtrs. And to the first line trenches etc. and we have to get out and find the breaks in these wires and repair them. Great fun. The 18 pounder field gun (note: this was the gun that B.H.Cox worked with). Has a range from 1600 to 6200 yards, most effective at 2500 yards. We haven’t done any firing yet, and only do so once, just before going across, which I think is not far off. Well, must close, just posted 25 cards. Write soon. Merry Christmas..slide an extra one down for me

Love xxxx
Affectionately, Bertie

If you want to know more please look at the following websites (i also used the following websites as reference)

references:

http://amandalloyd.weebly.com/letters.html

Facts for students

http://www.anzacportal.dva.gov.au/

http://www.anzacday.org.au/education/medals/general/ww1.html

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

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