This story brings back some harsh truths about warfare, and explains why so many naïve young men joined up, only to suffer deaths well before their time.
The troops were headed for the Gallipoli peninsula and the Dardanelles Strait, in southern Turkey, to attempt to take the peninsula. The war was between the Allies (mainly Britain, US, France, Russia, Italy, Japan, and Australia) and the Central Powers (mainly Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey)
I found the recruitment drives that the army had quite crafty, because they deliberately set them up in a family place, and they promoted the war as glorious. The men were indirectly encouraged by the women to sign up, and, if they didn't, they were labelled as cowards' by fellow men. So, there was quite a bit of pressure from all around pushing men to sign up.
When the young men did sign up, they were doing so as individuals looking for adventure, but the army saw them as mere units and battalions. One reason why the men were signing up was apparent to me when Snowy, Barney and Frank etc. were talking around the fire about signing up. One of them was pushed to sign up with the line "The girls go wild over a uniform". Archie joined up because he wanted an adventure, and to travel. Frank said to his father that he was signing up because he would "Keep my head down, learn a trick or two, and come back an officer." We don't know how this turned out for Frank, as we never saw him any further.
Archie felt that the war was Australia's responsibility too because, as he said, "If we don't stop them there, they'll end up here". Archie said he would feel ashamed of himself if he didn't fight, even though he was underage, because he was a good athlete,...