The Anzac Legend

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The Anzac Legend is an idealized version of the truth or is it the full truth. The Anzac legend was born on 25th April 1915 after the Australians displayed great courage, endurance and initiative, discipline and mateship during their eight months of fighting on Gallipoli. All these qualities that were shown in the soldiers’ efforts are now seen as the Anzac spirit. Although after all their efforts there was no military victory for the Australians. However, despite the actions the soldiers showed on the battlefield there were some incidents that the soldiers were caught up in before Gallipoli while they were in Egypt. These incidents are some of the reasons why people wonder whether or not the Anzac Legend is just an idealised version of the Truth. However, along with this there is many accounts of the times that the soldiers showed the Anzac spirit such as the mateship, endurance, and the landing on the beaches of Gallipoli.

The Anzac soldiers showed great mateship to one another during the war giving the physical and mental support for the soldiers to push through and keep going. This is why it is part of the Anzac legend because it shows the Mental strength that the soldiers had. Bill Grayden is an Anzac Veteran who served in the second world war as a lieutenant. His father Leonard Ives was in first world war and served at Gallipoli. After a week he was shot in the chest and left for dead, until a soldier seen his hand move and then took him to a hospital ship where, he was saved and returned home missing a lung. Grayden tells the story of when he was at a hotel with his father and two of his fathers’ friends from the war. “They were laughing about how the three of them were drawing straws on Gallipoli”, ‘they were in a trench facing the Turks and they were drawing straws to see who would put his head up next and look for a Turkish target.’ This shows that even though they were in the middle of a war they found a way to have some fun and joke around. The relationships that were formed between mates had their effects on the soldiers during the war and after the war providing positivity for the Anzac men.

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Along with mateship the Anzac soldiers also showed great endurance during the war to keep on fighting and pushing through even though they were losing the war. During the wars, the Anzac soldiers were faced with some of the toughest conditions such as Gallipoli, and the Kokoda campaign. During Gallipoli the soldiers were never meant to land on the beaches that they did putting them at an instant disadvantage. The Anzac soldiers were faced with a cliff edge were Turkish troops were at the top with trenches and high ground. This was one of the worst positions the soldiers could have been in. Despite all these conditions the soldiers still pushed through forcing the Turkish troops back while they had to climb a cliff and continue on. The endurance that was shown from fighting, on a beach to climbing up a cliff and continuing on for eight months is a brutal task but the Anzacs pushed through. Unfortunately for the soldiers there was no military victory after all their efforts, but the Anzac Legend was born showing the physical and mental toughness of the Anzac soldiers.

The courage and bravery that was shown by the soldiers during the wars was some of the most significant examples of just how tough the Anzac’s were. The most significant event these were shown was during Gallipoli. The soldiers were faced with the worst odds and conditions but still pushed through fighting for eight brutal months. The soldiers had to show courage and bravery before they could even land on the beaches of Gallipoli with soldiers being forced to jump out of their boats and swim to shore. If the soldiers were not brave, they would not have been able to face the enemy in the tough conditions to push them back and climb the cliff. The continuous efforts of the Anzacs and there will to push forward shows just how brave they were. Bringing fear into the enemy and making them fall back even though they had the physical advantage. The soldiers would of known that there was a high chance that they would lose and that they could die but even still they pushed through. These efforts from just one battle show how brave the Anzac soldiers were and was part of the reason the Anzac Legend was born.

In conclusion, the Anzac Legend isn’t an idealised version of the truth because it is seen with the soldiers during and after the war proving their physical and mental toughness and strength. Throughout all the ways it was shown in battles like Gallipoli and the Kokoda campaign the bravery, endurance and mateship all played a role in the success the soldiers had and giving birth to the Anzac legend. Besides the incidents that happened before the fighting and in training it doesn’t change what the Anzac’s did in the war during their battles and because of that the Anzac Legend inspires soldiers and Australia to keep pushing in life. The Legend provides comfort for the soldiers and the families as it honours the soldiers who have fallen and returned.


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