The Values and Characteristics Demonstrated by the Anzacs at Gallipoli and Later Reinforced at the Western Front, Which Continue to Influence Australians Today

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Before Australia went to war, our national identity was based on the characteristics of industrious Australians who worked diligently in the bush, showing discipline, endurance, hardiness, initiative and ingenuity. After the war, those same men returned home from fighting in Gallipoli and at the Western Front, with a new identity. A new identity that combined pre war and post war characteristics together to create a contemporary national identity, which defined Australia as a country, and affirmed its future as a federation. The qualities of the ANZACs are as visible and influential now, as they were for those soldiers who sacrificed themselves for our country so many years ago.

The spirit of the ANZACs is based on the actions, qualities and hopes of people and is a flame which will continue to burn in the hearts of all Australians and New Zealanders. It is “…the ability of ordinary people to do extraordinary things”(1) one ANZAC soldier said. The true spirit of ANZAC mateship is demonstrated by the comradeship that the men felt and this brings future generations to respect those young Australians. The endurance and pride portrayed by the ANZACs is still apparent now and it is the true embodiment of the Aussie spirit.

The biography Soldier Boy, by Anthony Hill tells the story of Jim Martin, an ordinary Australian who faced the war with great courage, endurance and determination. Private Jim Martin was the youngest ANZAC to enlist and fight for Australia at Gallipoli at age fourteen years and nine months. His passion to serve his country saw him overrule his parents’ wishes by threatening to run away, to sign up under another name, and to never keep in touch again. The biography tells us that “…he stuck to his post till the last like the brave lad he was and made the greatest and noblest of sacrifices for his country”(2). His willpower and courage reinforces those characteristics of Australian identity and the service and bravery which Jim portrayed,...
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