The 25th of April is an important day for Australia as a nation. It is a day of commemoration and remembrance for those who fought in World War One serving our country. Services are held across the nations at dawn to come together and reflect on the different meanings of war. This day, also known as ANZAC day, has shaped Australia’s national image and made it how is today.
Although the first World War was seen as a European war, Australia’s involvement in the ‘Great War’ were due to two main reasons – the loyalty towards the ‘Mother Country’ or Britain, and the improvement of the nation’s reputation. The loyalty towards Britain was one of the main reasons why young Australians were so ambitious to enlist. Australia at the time felt a sentimental attachment to Britain, ‘Mother England’ is a term that was commonly used at the time for Britain, which is a clear indication of the feelings towards the ‘Mother Country’. Furthermore, 96% of the population was British born, this information was revealed in the Australian census of 1911, therefore it is understandable why Australians were so enthusiastic about enlisting to support the ‘Mother Country’ when World War One broke out. Another reason the the involvement of Australia joining the World War was that it could improve the nations international reputation. In 1901 the federation of Australia occurred which gave Australians a strong feeling of pride because they were apart of a free and independent country. This was a short time before the Great War Broke out and Australians still felt as though this was not enough for the nation as they wanted to prove that the country was not just a “dumpsite of convicts sent by Britain”. Consequently, the Australians believed the war as the homeland’s first chance to show the rest of the world, what Australians were really made of, how they had developed as a nation. It is for these two reasons that caused Australia to join the devastating War in 1914.
There were many effects brought upon the Australian soldiers due to the experiences faced in WWI.
Not only did the war shape soldiers, it also altered the way that Australians thought of themselves as a nation.
ANZAC day is clearly an important part of Australia’s national image as it is a part of our history, it had major effects on soldiers and also altered the way that Australians thought of themselves as a nation.