JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Gillard tells of a nation forged in battle

Date

Phillip Coorey in Canakkale

Flying the flag ... Gallipoli's Anzac Cove has become an annual pilgrimage for Australians.

Flying the flag ... Gallipoli's Anzac Cove has become an annual pilgrimage for Australians. Photo: Peny Bradfield

THOUSANDS of Australians and New Zealanders have made the annual pilgrimage to Gallipoli for today's dawn service, to be attended by a prime minister for the first time in seven years.

Just three years shy of the centenary of the ill-fated landings at Anzac Cove, Julia Gillard will use her first visit to urge people to dwell on the broader lessons learnt from its most famous military defeat.

She will address the dawn ceremony at Anzac Cove and then speak at a separate ceremony at Lone Pine, the scene of a savage three-day battle in August 1915.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivers her address during the Dawn Service at the Anzac Commemorative Site, Gallipoli. Click for more photos

Anzac Day: dawn services around the world

Thousands take part in the Anzac Day Dawn Services. Selected Images available from www.fairfaxsyndication.com. Follow us at http://twitter.com/photosSMH Photo: Andrew Dakin

With preparations to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the landings under way, Ms Gillard will say at Lone Pine it was Gallipoli that forged Australia as a federation.

''Victory was not gained here but meaning was won in this place, and a harsh learning,'' she will say.

As Ms Gillard flew in last night, busloads of Australians and New Zealanders were making the five-hour trip from Istanbul to the peninsula.

Sam Marlow and Simone Miller are from Brisbane but they have made the trip from London, where they now live. Mr Marlow had two great uncles at Gallipoli, one of whom died there, while Ms Miller's grandfather was there. For both, it was their first visit.

''We just want to come and pay our respects,'' sad Mr Marlow.

Ms Gillard will say that what arrived on April 25, 1915, as the Australian Imperial Force, was transformed over ''240 days of hell'' into the Anzacs.

''Unlike their French and British comrades, who held aloft battle honours like Austerlitz or Waterloo, the Anzacs had no tradition to rely on or defend,'' she will say. ''They did something greater, they created one.''

Ms Gillard will say the spirit and ethos of Federation, just 14 years old at the time, were sealed.

''This was our first act of nationhood in the eyes of a watching world, authored not by statesmen or diplomats, but by simple soldiers.

''Their presence here in Turkey was not only a manifestation of duty, but an expression of citizenship.''

Lone Pine, she will point out, was such a vicious battle that seven of the nine Victoria Crosses awarded at Gallipoli were won at Lone Pine.

Ms Gillard cautions against glorifying any individual battle or the campaign, which cost 8700 Australian lives.

''Like the campaign as a whole, [Lone Pine] was a story of occasional success but ultimate frustration. So today we come here not in triumph.

''Victory was unlikely on these shores: a test the Anzacs were never going to pass. They passed a greater and more enduring test. We are not ashamed of you because no shame can exist in this place.''

twitter Follow the National Times on Twitter: @NationalTimesAU


Related Coverage

Anzac echoes in defence debate

THE idea of a voyage re-enacting the convoy of late 1914 that took Australia's first big expeditionary force (Sudan, China and South Africa were more colonial affairs) across the Indian Ocean will intrigue many as a way of celebrating the centenary of the Anzac landing on Gallipoli in April 1915.

Dawn service. Anzac Day: dawn services around the world

Thousands take part in the Anzac Day Dawn Services. Selected Images available from www.fairfaxsyndication.com. Follow us at http://twitter.com/photosSMH

Cherishing the Anzac spirit - as long as it's not going to cost

'Hector the Protector'', they called him: my great-grandfather. A farm boy from Kerang, Hector joined the Light Horse as a young man, fought on horseback in Egypt in 1916, then ended up in the infantry in Ypres. He was mustard-gassed in France, but survived to return to Australia and marry Thelma, my great-grandmother.

Still missing Benjamin

Private Benjamin Ranaudo was planning to ask his girlfriend to marry him. But he didn’t get the chance.

Tales of bravado hid indelible mental scars

Picture this scene. Four boys gathered around a stash of their father's war memorabilia, which was secreted in a hidey hole above the linen press. The item of greatest interest was a bayonet. It would be cautiously withdrawn from its scabbard and my older brothers would point at the brown stains on the blade, which I took to be rust, and whisper knowingly: "Bloodstains!"

Swan recalls suffering of grandfather, father

WAYNE SWAN will speak today of how fighting in World War I ''broke'' his grandfather, who died of war-related ill health at age 56.

Echoes of today's war in muddy goals and awkward exit

AS AN act of Anzac Day bravado, Jim Geedrick's celebration in 1969 must rank as one of the most bizarre.

Battle history a script that is constantly rewritten

For all the books written about World War I, it is film - and one film in particular - that has substantially defined the conflict for generations of Australians and inspired the surge of interest in Anzac Day ceremonies in recent decades.

Quiet heroism behind the mask

Les Trenerry was one of the first young men to hear the trumpet call to duty when World War I began. Of the 330,000 to be sent overseas as part of the Australian Imperial Force, he reckoned he was the 323rd.

Peaceful army now flocks to battle sites

THE theatres of war are proving irresistible to thousands of Australians who each year travel to battlefields such as Gallipoli, the Western Front and the Kokoda Track.

One soldier's Gallipoli story

Video: As the nation pauses to remember those who fell in war, we take a look at the life of one soldier, Raymond Baldock, who landed at Gallipoli with the Anzacs.

Scarred ground still gives up its secrets

The blanket of green fields around Bullecourt is peaceful on a misty morning, shaped by man and his machines into gentle slopes known for their production of those unromantic crops, potato and sugar beet.

A Digger’s life lost, and many lives shattered

Private Benjamin Ranaudo was planning to ask his girlfriend to marry him. But he didn’t get the chance.

Thousands gather for Brisbane dawn service

Thousands of people have gathered in Brisbane's CBD for the Anzac Day dawn service.

Reflection, not national pride: A grandfather's Anzac lesson

brisbanetimes.com.au journalist Daniel Nancarrow explains why to him, Anzac Day never feels like a day for revelling in national pride.

Related Coverage

Featured advertisers

Special offers

Credit card, savings and loan rates by Mozo