Gallipoli. A Hundred and One Years of
Memory, Commemoration, Myths and Facts
No matter how we perceive it today, Gallipoli (or rather Australia’s role in the conflict at Anzac) was a monumental event for the people of Australia. It has now become deeply embedded in the nationalistic pantheon of Australia with commemorations across the continent each year. Thousands of Australians, young and old, visit the battlefields of Anzac each year as a pilgrimage of respect and commemoration for those who fought there. But during the commemorative narratives many of the events and perceptions surrounding Gallipoli and the Anzacs have been subjected to the apparition of myth and misunderstanding replacing reality.
After 101 years some of these myths are still firmly embedded in our perceptions of what happened at Gallipoli and on the other battlefronts of the First World War. This talk will examine a few of the major myths/misunderstandings (there are too many to discuss them all), which are constantly rolled out by commentators (not excluding our political leaders) writers and educators. An aim of this talk is to put at least some of them to rest, but is that being too expectant, hopeful or pedantic?