Anzac Day 2019: A legend born from battle

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Anzac Day salutes the courage and valour of those soldiers who fought at Gallipoli.​ They may have suffered defeat, however, their courage spawned a legend.

Those initial "Anzacs" were volunteers from the First Australian Imperial Force.

They had just completed training in Egypt when they were called to serve alongside British and French troops sailing up the Dardanelles Strait.

Their ultimate aim was to capture Gallipoli Peninsula, then under German and Ottoman control, through the sea route of the strait.

Those original diggers must have been frightened when they disembarked on the thin strip of beach known as Gaba Tepe on April 25, 1915.

It was still dark and chilly as the boats disgorged about 20,000 Australian soldiers just before dawn on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

By nightfall, 747 of those soldiers would lie dead on the beach or close by in the surrounding steep cliffs.

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Their commanding officers had under-estimated the determination of the enemy Turks, under the command of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. But the Australians and New Zealanders fought on.

These "worthy sons of the Empire" fought a piecemeal battle under mixed orders.

The Turks, perched atop the surrounding hills, took pot-shots at the troops.

Despite the seeming impossibility of Winston Churchill's Dardanelles war plan, fighting on the peninsula dragged on for another eight-and-a-half months.

In that time, 44,070 Allied troops were killed, 8709 of whom were Australians. The first Anzac Day was in 1916, when every state held ceremonies to honour the fallen.

RSL McLaren Vale & District Sub-Branch invites everyone to join them from 5.45am for a 6am service at McLaren Vale Memorial Park.

Community members will be invited to lay wreaths and tributes. Please let the club know if you wish to do so, on 8323 8124.

Gunfire Breakfast will be provided at the RSL McLaren Vale Clubrooms for a monetary donation.