A French field kitchen in use by the French troops within half a mile of the Turkish lines on the southern section of Gallipoli Peninsula, 1915.
As Australians commemorate the Anzacs who died at Gallipoli, spare a thought for the 10,000 French soldiers who also died on the Dardanelles in the first world war.
Livestock wagon with Armenians in the Summer or Autumn 1915.
Historisches Institut der Deutschen Bank, Frankfurt.
In 1915 and 1916, the Ottoman Armenians were destroyed as an organised community and more than one million of their number were killed – just as the Allies’ failed invasion of Gallipoli took place.
Activists trying to bring attention to the issue of rape in war were arrested for protesting at Anzac Day services in the 1980s.
ACT Heritage Library
Protests on Anzac Day, rather than being ‘utterly alien to Australians’, have a long tradition and embody the democratic right to dissent for which the troops fought.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
We are used to thinking of Gaza as a war-torn stretch of ground. A place where life goes grimly on in the face of an intractable conflict. A graveyard not only for civilians caught in the crossfire, but…
Labor has long had leaders, such as former prime minister Paul Keating, capable of speaking the language of 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.
The Australian flag is flown at Anzac Day parades but it’s not the flag that soldiers at Gallipoli fought under.
AAP Image/ Dan Himbrechts
When Australian soldiers fought at Gallipoli, they did so under the Union Jack. Our flag has changed since then and debates about national identity have shifted. Is it now time for a new flag?
Protesters attend a huge anti-conscription rally at Yarra Bank in Melbourne, 1916.
National Library of Australia, n6487142
The democratic freedoms Australians hold dear today – freedom of the press, assembly and speech – were won on home soil by courageous women and men who sacrificed much, but rarely recognised for it.
Would the Anzac Day game of two-up be a more meaningful commemoration if it were still illegal?
Anzac Day is the one day of the year it’s legal to play two-up. If we want to retain the thrill that was so important to the diggers, we’d keep it illegal rather than sanitising the practice.
Medical opinion soon came to regard symptoms of ‘shell shock’, as exhibited by the solider at bottom left, as psychological in origin.
For contemporaries and later for historians, shell shock came to encapsulate all the horror of a new form of industrialised warfare.
Silent tributes at the tomb of the unknown soldier at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, representing more than 100,000 men and women lost in war.
Why did it take three-quarters of a century beyond the first world war for Australians to build our own tomb of the unknown soldier, remembering the 23,000 Australians who died with no known grave?
Anzac soldiers line up for water parade, Gallipoli 1915.
The appalling conditions at Gallipoli indicate the wholly inadequate planning and response of the British and Allied military authorities to basic human needs.
Had hundreds of thousands of young Turkish men not joined the army and headed to Gallipoli, it’s without doubt modern Turkey would not have been formed.
What is rare in Australia is an adequate explanation and understanding of the Turkish perspective of the Gallipoli campaign.
In 1915, Australians came to terms with total war – and were prepared for the battle at Gallipoli and conscription in 1916.
Australian War Memorial/Flickr
It was not the excitement but the seriousness of the first world war that captured the imaginations of Australians. The experience of 1915 had a marked effect on local commitment to winning the war.
Archival photographs such as the above, from Gallipoli, are one resource documentary makers draw upon to communicate understandings of historical events.
Australian War Memorial/Flickr
War history used to be brought to TV audiences by donnish lecturers but historical reconstructions now hold sway. Two recent docos about Gallipoli are hybrid examples of the form that help us better understand the past.
As the Royal Irish Rifles fought at the Somme in 1916, the war was shaping epochal events at home.
Imperial War Museums/Wikimedia Commons
Local loyalties, differences and antagonisms were everywhere affected and often amplified by the advent of the first world war.
Aboriginal gargoyles are the Australian War Memorial’s only overt representation, albeit unintentional, of a violent history of colonisation.
The Australian War Memorial promises to tell ‘our story’ about the nation’s war experience – but it silences many stories about Australia’s nationhood and glosses over Indigenous experience.
Australian troops in France in the first world war – and one of Australia’s women medics, possibly Dr Laura Foster.
More than 20 Australian women doctors defied official discouragement and served as surgeons and medical officers in the first world war.
Joshua Connor (Russell Crowe) and Major Hasan (Yilmaz Erdogan) in a scene from The Water Diviner.
Universal Pictures/Entertainment One
Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner has been criticised for its historical inaccuracies – but it shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin.
In late January 1945, Hungarian teenager Bart Stern hid in a pile of bodies to avoid being killed by the Nazis at Auschwitz. He survived, but not one of his friends escaped. Soon afterwards, the Red Army…
A military covenant sounds noble, but it opens up many pitfalls in the relationship between the Australian Defence Force and public.
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…