The Anzac Legend – A Vital Part Of Australia’s Identity

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Australia’s Anzac history is a vital part of the country’s national identity. On the 25th of April 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers landed on the Gallipoli beach, as they were part of an allied expedition to capture the Gallipoli peninsula and to get the Turks to forfeit the war. These soldiers where names the Anzacs, and the pride they look in that name continue to this day. The Anzac legend began when Australian and New Zealand soldiers displayed unique characteristics even when the odds of the war weren’t in their favor. These characteristics include Endurance and Perseverance, sacrifice and selflessness, and Mate ship. These distinctive qualities continue to be qualities modern Australians admire and typify the average Australian. The Anzac legend is a significant part of Australia’s identity through the characteristics of the Anzacs. Endurance and perseverance are a key aspect of modern Australia’s national identity. The endurance and perseverance of the Anzac enabled them to overcome the harsh physical and mental challenges they were put through.

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The Anzacs pushed through the sleepless, bitter-cold nights, scorching temperatures by day, homesickness, little food and water and the heartache of losing mates and beloved horses. They were able to overcome these tough times even when all odds were stacked against them. With the amount of energy and hard works the soldiers put in, they would need to have at least 20 L of water daily for their body’s to work and complete normal functions, however the lack of resources and soldiers not being able to carry any extra weight meant that they only got 2.5 L of water daily. This justifies how much perseverance these soldiers had. This is a first-hand example of an Anzac showing Endurance and perseverance during the battle. Effect on modern Australia- the never give up attitude demonstrated by the Anzacs greatly impacted modern Australia’s identity and society. Due to the efforts of the Anzacs during World War 1, endurance and perseverance is now part of Australian culture and identity.

Current Australians now show the same endurance and perseverance as those soldiers in Gallipoli. Approximately 60,000 men selflessly sacrificed their entire lives to go and defend Britain During the First World War. Volunteers enlisting in the army were willing to leave their homes, families, jobs, and friends to serve in a foreign country in a war that would not even impact their lives or Australia. The Anzacs volunteered as the majority of Australians wanted to stand with Britain as they believed they were part of the British empire. John Simpson Kirkpatrick served in the Australian Imperial Forces Medical Corps in Gallipoli. He is renowned for carrying the injured soldiers on his donkey day and night from Monash Valley down to Anzac Cove. Despite the many bullets and machine guns coming his way, he selflessly sacrificed himself to help the injured men.

When he was only 22 years old, Kirkpatrick was killed by machine-gun fire while carrying two wounded men on his donkey. John Simpson Kirkpatrick was one of many soldiers who sacrificed their lives to fight for what they believed in The Sacrifice and selflessness of the Anzac soldiers has affected how Australia is today as if it one of many characteristics that have shaped Australia’s identity. The qualities seen in the Anzacs are very similar to the qualities seen in modern Australian citizens, displaying sacrifice and selflessness in our everyday lives just like the Anzacs did over 100 years ago. Mateship is seen to be the most important Anzac characteristic which had the largest impact on Australian identity.

Mateship is a mutual respect that binds men for life and enables them to either embrace or overlook their mates’ foibles and draws on a seemingly limitless depth of commitment to each other. Mateship is seen as part of modern Australia’s culture, embodying equality, loyalty, and friendship. Mateship originates from the word mate, which means more than just a friend and is a term that implies a sense of shared experience, mutual respect, and unconditional assistance. The Anzacs brought Mateship into Australian culture as they always helped each other during the difficult times in the war. ‘No man left Behind’, was a common quote use by Anzacs signifying that they always stuck together and where part of a team. The friendship between mates during the war is still identified today in Modern Australia. Australians are still showing the same Mateship seen in the Anzacs and is now recognized as a part of Australia’s identity.

Mateship is an important characteristic of the Anzacs in World war 1 and can still be recognized in Australians today. Australia’s Anzac History is a vital part of our National Identify. The Anzac ledged is referring to the representation of Australians in war and how these qualities and characteristic have significantly added to the nation’s distinctiveness. Although there was no military victory, the Anzacs displayed great Perseverance, sacrifice and selflessness, and Mate ship. History is a key aspect for any nation’s identity, and Australia’s Anzac history have played a major role in shaping modern Australia and how it is viewed to the rest of the world.

01 February 2021

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