First World War in the News is an edited review of hand-picked World War I (1914-1918) articles - covering everything from the soldiers and generals to the trenches and militaria.

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Anzacs and Anzac Day

Latest hand-picked First World War news. See also: See also 'Great War Tours', 'WW1 Memorabilia', 'WW1 Submarines', 'Wrecks'.

Anzac legend Simpson to be denied posthumous bravery medal
John Simpson Kirkpatrick will be denied the ultimate recognition of courage and sacrifice: the Victoria Cross medal. Although his commanding officer Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred Sutton recommended him for the country's highest military award, the Rudd Government's new Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal will disqualify Simpson from being posthumously awarded the medal, because his bravery is not supported by the sworn statements of at least 3 witnesses. Witness accounts of Simpson's actions do exist but they are largely diary accounts of his journeys from battlefield to dressing station.

Historian flags Gallipoli visitor limits to prevent damage
Australian historian Joan Beaumont says there will be further damage to Gallipoli unless limits are set on the number of visitors. She says the claims between heritage and tourism at Gallipoli remains unsolved after the 2005 outcry over road works which disturbed soldiers' remains. "Over the last decade attendance at the ANZAC Day services at Gallipoli has grown steeply from 4500 visitors in 1994 to 18000 in 2004. Despite this site falling under Turkish sovereignty... many Australians and New Zealanders believing that ownership has been conferred by the deaths of their compatriots during WW1."

ANZAC honoured in NZ stamps: The ANZAC Series ќ Stories of Nationhood
The many New Zealanders who died fighting on foreign fields are being honoured in NZ Post's Stamp Issue: The ANZAC Series ќ Stories of Nationhood. While the acronym ANZAC (Australia and NZ Army Corps) is now synonymous in New Zealand and Australia with people who have served as peacekeepers, it originated from soldiers who were brought together on Turkey's Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915. There, nearly 3,000 New Zealanders and over 8,000 Australians made the ultimate sacrifice. Each stamp tells a unique story: The 50c Gallipoli 1915 stamp has a photo of the Auckland Infantry Battalion landing at ANZAC Cove.

The only cine-film of Gallipoli campaign on Australia's documentary heritage list
The only known cine-film of the 1915 Gallipoli campaign has been included to a list of Australia's documentary heritage. The film - Dardanelles Expedition: Heroes of Gallipoli - was made by English war correspondent Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett in 1915, showing scenes at Anzac Cove, Cape Helles and Suvla Bay. Only 20 minutes of footage has survived, 20% of the original 3000m of film, because of the unstable nature of early nitrate film stock. The film has been listed with the Unesco Australian Memory of the World programme. The footage is a unique record of the Gallipoli campaign.

Australia pays tribute to Anzacs - Girls vandalise war memorial
Anti-war graffiti labelling diggers "murderers" was daubed in paint on a war memorial in the NSW central west community of Bathurst, ahead of morning's dawn services. After receiving calls about the graffiti, police arrested 5 teenage girls, allegedly still covered in paint. In Sydney, Naval Commander of Australia, Rear Admiral Davyd Thomas, said the Anzac story resonated with so many because it was about ordinary people: "It's interesting how a tactical defeat can outshine any number of successes and form part of our national identity. The wonderful thing about the Anzac story is that it's not a story that glorifies war."

Anzac Day 90 years ago: Western Front vs Gallipoli
Defeat had flattened their spirits. Two weeks earlier 3400 of them had perished in one of the Western Front's bloodiest battles. A minute's silence was observed and a tot of rum consumed. This was Anzac Day, 90 years ago at Bullecourt in France. It was 2 years since the Gallipoli landing and the Australians had been let down by their British command, this time with "new-fangled" battle tanks that did not perform. Now, licking their wounds they were unaware that one of their great victories was just weeks away. But for some reason Gallipoli, where 8709 lives were lost and the Anzacs were defeated and evacuated, consumed into the Australian identity.

Anzac Cove pilgrimage
I'm here, to follow the footsteps of my ancestors: my grandfather Charlie and great uncle Jock. They were two men who had heard their country's call and marched off to war - one a teenager looking for adventure, the other older and wiser. Jock's memoirs are tucked away in my rucksack. They are my road map on this short trip into the past. They tell a tale of innocence lost, of hope and horror, life and death. Between interviews with Gallipoli historians, Andrew Denton keeps the crowd updated with what the original Anzacs would have been doing 91 years ago.

Anzac Day: A brief history
It was an act of ultimate sacrifice on a peninsula a long way from home. On April 25 1915, New Zealand and Australian soldiers, together with British and French, landed on the Gallipoli peninsula. The aim was to defeat the Turkish soldiers and capture the Dardanelles strait. It was argued that if the operation was successful it would encourage some of the neutral Balkan states to join the Allies. What ensued was an event which would define New Zealand's involvement, and ultimately its losses, in WW1. The British Navy had made some progress prior to the assault on Gallipoli by driving Turkish forces from the outer Gallipoli forts.

Denton takes a fresh look at WWI battleground Gallipoli
The legend of Gallipoli was epic in Andrew Denton's mind when he made his first pilgrimage to the WW1 battleground. He had never been to a battlefield, let alone Gallipoli, where the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzacs) landed on April 25, 1915, before a bloody battle. His first glimpse of the hallowed shores of Gallipoli was underwhelming. But it was a shock to see the battlefield: "The main thing that struck me when I got there was what a pathetic little pimple of land. It was so tiny. I don't know what I'd imagined, maybe this epic landscape but not at all. It was such a big story in my head that I found the size of the area quite shocking."

Govt tells Anzac pilgrims to behave at Gallipoli service
In recent years, huge numbers of Australian and New Zealand backpackers have travelled to Gallipoli to commemorate Anzac Day and that has led to complaints. There were also photographs of young Australians at the Lone Pine cemetery lying on the graves of slain Australian soldiers, sitting on headstones and using the headstones as pillows. --- An "interpretive programme" will be run through the night of April 24, providing an account of the Gallipoli Campaign. "As part of this a new documentary, Kiwis on Gallipoli will be played which combines moving film footage, still images and the words of the New Zealanders who served on the Peninsula."

Gallipoli is national symbol - For Australians, a Turkish pilgrimage
9 decades after 130,000 people died in the great allied fiasco of WW1, the hills of Gallipoli peninsula are still littered with shrapnel. The trenches where the soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) fought still riddle the hillsides, in places so close to the Turkish lines that the soldiers could lob hand grenades back and forth 3 times. Today no one swims in the waters of the Aegean out of respect; the Australians and New Zealanders who come to visit go to the nearby "Brighton Beach" instead. And come they do, in numbers that have exploded since the last diggers, or Anzac soldiers, died.

Book admits Australia's mistakes: naive militarism in World War I   (Article no longer available from the original source)
World War I, cane toads and the stolen generation are the most monumental stuff-ups in Australian history, according to a book "The Great Mistakes of Australian History". The biggest blunder was the naive militarism surrounding World War One, which cost 60,000 lives and wounded 150,000 men, Dr Crotty said. "World War I just cost us so much in so many ways. It resulted in incredible suffering among the soldiers and it just about tore Australian society apart." The Anzac legend was remembered as a time where Australians came together "but nothing could be further from the truth" as bitter debates raged over the issue of conscription.

See also

'Great War Tours'

'WW1 Memorabilia'

'WW1 Submarines'