ANZAC Day. The anniversary and the remembrance of the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey, in World War I on April 25, 1915. It is also used as a day to honor all service men and women who have fought in wars and conflicts in the name of our country.
As ANZAC Day is tomorrow for Australians and New Zealanders, I thought I would do a little post on this. For those of you who do not know about ANZAC Day, I will start at the very beginning.
ANZAC – Australia and New Zealand Army Corps.
As mentioned above, the ANZAC’s landed in Gallipoli to help the British forces capture the Dardanelles, the gateway to the Bosphorus and the Black Sea. Unfortunately, the campaign was a disaster and at the end, Gallipoli was still held by its Turkish defenders.
It was appalling conditions. Trench warfare, little food and water, the camps were rife with disease and infection. The list goes on and on. Thousands lost their lives. For the allies there were 141,000 casualties of whom more than 44,000 died. Of the dead, 8,709 were Australians and 2,701 were New Zealanders. For the Turkish Soliders, there were at least 85,000 deaths.
Last year marked the 100th Anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign and to commemorate that, I noticed there had been – and still is – a lot of different documentaries, movies and programs about different aspects of World War I and life around that time.
‘The Water Diviner’ starring Russell Crowe.
‘Deadline Galipolli’ staring Hugh Dancy, Sam Worthingon and Charles Dance.
These are just a couple of examples of the recent portrayals of that time. For me, as a lover of history and a movie buff, they are right up my alley!
In New Zealand a
huge massive exhibition began at Te Papa, our national museum, commemorating the 100th anniversary of ANZAC. It is packed full of information and the most amazing thing of all…. huge realistic statues of soldiers. They are around 2.4 times the size of a man but when you are standing next to them it feels more like seven times the size! They are so detailed you can see the hairs on their arms, the shine of their eyes, even the chipped nails! The exhibition is called Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War.
I don’t want to bore you with too many details as I know this is a baking blog not a history blog but if you want to know more you can research this or check out the different films and documentaries on this subject.
Amazingly, I have still managed to link this little history lesson back to baking. ANZAC Day is not all sad, we also celebrate by eating ANZAC Biscuits! It is claimed that the biscuits were sent by wives and families to soldiers serving at Gallipoli because the ingredients do not spoil easily and they kept well during transportation. Today, we Aussies and Kiwis, eat them for pleasure because they really are quite delicious. To find the recipe for my ANZAC Biscuits, you can click here.