Travel Tales

31 Jan

Everything you need to know about ANZAC Day

This year marks the 105th anniversary of the Anzac’s landing on the Gallipoli peninsula in the First World War. Each year on the 25th of April Australians and New Zealanders commemorate and pay their respects to the fallen. Visiting Gallipoli on Anzac Day is a truly moving and sombre occasion.

What is ANZAC day?

ANZAC day, 25 April, is one of Australia’s and New Zealand’s important occasions, and marks the anniversary of the first military action fought by Australians and New Zealanders during the First World War.

What does ANZAC stand for?

ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. These soldiers were quickly known as the Anzacs, for their bravery and comradery, a name that they took pride in which endures to this day.

What happened?

When war broke out in 1914, Australia and New Zealand were automatically placed on the side of the Commonwealth. In 1915, allies including the Anzac’s launched a campaign to capture the Gallipoli peninsular to open up the Dardanelle to the allies which would give them direct access to Constantinople (Istanbul), which at the time was capital of the Ottoman Empire and key ally of Germany. The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on April 25, and was met with fierce resistance from Ottoman Turkish defenders.  What was meant to be the battle to knock Turkey out of the war, led to a stalemate which dragged for 8 months. Eventually the allies were evacuated from the peninsula, with both sides suffering massive casualties and hardships.

Why is this day special?

The campaign in Gallipoli had a profound impact on Australians and New Zealanders, with ANZAC Day becoming a day to remember the sacrifice of those who died in WWI.  Despite military defeat, the actions of the Anzac’s left a powerful legacy which is an important part of both nations identities.

How is it commemorated?

Nowadays, ANZAC Day commemorates not only the soldiers of WWI, but all Australian and New Zealanders involved in any military & peacekeeping operations, past and present. Commemorative services are held at dawn across both nations, while later in the day former servicemen and service women meet to march through major cities. Dawn services include Commemorative address, laying of the wreaths, sounding of Last Post, observance of one minutes silence, and the National Anthems of Australians and New Zealanders.

ANZAC Day at Gallipoli

Every year, thousands of Australians and New Zealanders travel to ANZAC Cove in the Gallipoli peninsula to pay their respects. Visitors sleep over night at the ANZAC Commemorative site for the Dawn Service. This is followed by the Australian Memorial Service at Lone Pine and New Zealand Memorial Service at Chunuk Bair. A truly moving, and once in a lifetime experience, to pay respects at the very site the battle took place.

Travel Talk is a leading operator of  ANZAC tours for the past 18 years. Our Anzac tours range from 2 to 12 days, with all tours attending the Dawn and Memorial Services in Gallipoli, with the longer tours also taking you to the must-sees in Turkey.

Book now and save 25% on all ANZAC Day Tours! Offer ends 29 February.

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