Articles on Anzac

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Descendants of soldiers who fought in the Australian Light Horse Brigade took part in a reenactment to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle of Beersheba in Israel in October 2017. Dan Peled/AAP

Telling the forgotten stories of Indigenous servicemen in the first world war

In Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Anzac stories are often coloured by racism and ongoing injustices that negate the myth of Anzac 'mateship'.
This large ‘Do Not Forget Australia’ sign in a yard at the Victoria school in Villers-Bretonneux, is the heir of smaller signs once placed in classrooms by Australian authorities. Author provided

Friday essay: do ‘the French’ care about Anzac?

Since the end of the first world war, the Australian media has often reported that ‘the French’ care about, remember and even venerate the Anzacs. But is this true? And which French people?
Part of a black cotton cushion cover depicting the Australian coat of arms embroidered by Lance Corporal Alfred Briggs (Albert Biggs), 20 Battalion, AIF. Courtesy of Australian War Memorial

Stitching lives back together: men’s rehabilitation embroidery in WWI

Embroidery - often seen as women's work - was a common form of therapy for troops wounded in the first world war. One soldier, Albert Biggs, learned to sew with his left hand after his right arm was badly injured.
The internet offers a chance to personalise our commemoration by choosing when, where and how we take part. Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

This Remembrance Day, digital commemoration makes it impossible to forget

The internet and social media are changing how we commemorate war. The hashtag #LestWeForget will be shared millions of times on Remembrance Day in tweets and Facebook comments.
The Lost Battalion, 2015. Acrylic, soil, charcoal and shellac on paper. Lev Vykopal. Fremantle Arts Centre

Lev Vykopal’s Gallipoli balances history against the legends

Tackling Gallipoli is an onerous challenge: it carries baggage that must be accommodated or unpacked with extreme care. Western Australian artist Lev Vykopal’s two exhibitions offer a mix of reverence, analysis, critique and poetry.
Australian newspaper photographers have always been forbidden to show military failure or fragility. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

We censor war photography in Australia – more’s the pity

Although more than 100,000 Australians have lost their lives as a result of war service, photographs of our dead have never been published in newspapers.Perhaps we should reconsider this.
‘Let me try and put sacked SBS sports journalist Scott McIntyre’s tweets in historical perspective.’ EPA/Sedat Suna

Anzacs behaving badly: Scott McIntyre and contested history

It is naïve to expect men to kill and die for their country, to live through the horrors of a particularly barbaric war, and to come out the other end unscathed – despite our popular myths.
Labor has long had leaders, such as former prime minister Paul Keating, capable of speaking the language of Anzac. AAP/Alan Porritt

A legend with class: labour and Anzac

There is a complicated story involving the Anzac legend and the left between the 1920s and the 1960s which historians have barely begun to untangle.
Like their allies, New Zealand troops served in Afghanistan without the ‘Rolls Royce’ legal agreement now being demanded by some politicians for the upcoming joint mission with Australia in Iraq. AAP/NZ Defence Force, CPL Sam Shepherd

ANZAC troops’ mission to Iraq undermined by petty NZ politics

Australia and New Zealand's joint mission in Iraq is getting underway. But in NZ, the decision to send 143 troops to train Iraqis against Islamic State has faced a divided parliament and public.
The idea of the Anzac soldier, as crafted by Australia’s official historian at Gallipoli, Charles Bean, has dominated historical memory. AWM

Bean’s Anzac Book shaped how Australians think about Gallipoli

Charles Bean made editorial decisions to eliminate the bloody realities of war in favour of a specially crafted and idealised construction of the Anzacs and the Gallipoli campaign.
A military covenant sounds noble, but it opens up many pitfalls in the relationship between the Australian Defence Force and public. Andrew Mercer/Flickr

Dealing with defence: the problems with a military covenant

The ANZAC centenary will be full of symbols. After all, commemoration is cheaper than defence. ANZAC symbols, in particular, have an uncanny way of dismissing any doubts about defence policy and spending…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s leadership style emphasises his masculinity. Andrew Meares/AAP

The larrikin lives on at the expense of Australian female leadership

Whoever is advising Prime Minister Tony Abbott understands something of the place of the larrikin in the Australian national consciousness. Abbott’s threat to shirtfront Russian President Vladimir Putin…

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