100 Years of Anzac Spirit Continues in 2017
By allowing Australians share pride in the Anzac spirit, the current centenary commemorations are helping people see that all who serve carry forward the traditions and values we remember in the Great War.
Image: Midnight's Last Charge by Ron Marshall features in AGW Beersheba collectables
The current Anzac Centenary is helping more Australians appreciate service, whether it is on the battlefields of the Western Front, in the jungles of New Guinea or Vietnam, or across the deserts of Afghanistan.
The team at Australia in the Great War says that by helping Australians share pride in the Anzac spirit the centenary is letting people see that servicemen and women, regardless of when they served, each carry forward the traditions and values first identified at places like Gallipoli and Pozieres.
In 2017 the Centenary Australia will trace the Australian Imperial Force across the Western Front and in the Saini desert.
On the Western Front in 1917 Australia’s forces experienced victories at places like Menin Road, Broodseinde, Messines and Polygon Wood, but also faced defeat and heavy losses at places such as Bullecourt where, in the first battle on 11 April, poor planning, preparations and support resulted in the loss of some 3,000 diggers.
In the deserts of the Saini the Australian Light Horse charged into history at Beersheba in October when 800 men of the 4th Light Horse Brigade charged headlong across open dessert with bayonets in hand to leap over Turkish defences and capture the town. The charge delivered Beersheba and opened the door for the capture of Gaza soon after and Jerusalem in December.
But the Anzac Centenary is more than simply remembering battles won or lost. It is a time to remember the people and times we commemorate.
Australia in the Great War will continue to provide opportunities of all Australians to connect to the stories of our past in an engaging and educational way. To date the AGW annual collections have reached 100s of 1,000s of people. The Great War diaries are used by schools to share the stories of life in the war; commemorative collectable are shared within families and hoarded by avid collectors. And hundreds of schools have joined in special programs to provide children with a tangible reminder that they shared in this special time.
In 2017 we will continue to remember and honour our original Anzacs and all who have served since.
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