Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps and the soldiers were known as Anzacs, a term of great pride which endures today.
When Britain declared war in August 1914 Australia had been a federated nation for just 13 years was automatically placed on the side of the Commonwealth. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula to open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire which was an ally of Germany.
The Anzac forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April and met fierce resistance from Ottoman Turkish troops and a stalemate ensued for eight months. At the end of 1915 the allied forces were evacuated from Gallipoli, by which time both sides had suffered heavy loss and casualties, and endured great hardship. More than 8,000 Australian soldiers lost their lives in the campaign which had a profound impact on Australians back home.
Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the legacy of the Australian and New Zealand forces lives on, representing an important part of the identity of both nations, shaping perspectives on their past and future. Ever since, Australians and New Zealanders gather on 25 April each year in memory of their forbears who fought for the core values and principles we all enjoy today.
Born on the Shores of Gallipoli: ANZAC in WWI - The Great War Special
If you're in the neighbourhood of Antibes on 25 April, please come and join us at the Poilu Statue at Fort Carré:
Dawn Service: 05h30 - 06h00
Main Service: 11h00 -12h00
You can also follow activities on Facebook: ANZACAntibes.