Anzac Day is recognised on April 25th every year, and is a day for New Zealanders and Australians to remember men and women who have served and lost their lives in war. The original Anzac Day observances were largely for servicemen and their families, but it quickly became a day for all New Zealanders and Australians to remember and commemorate men and women who had lost their lives.
The term ANZAC is an acronym for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and was first used in World War 1.
April 25th, 1915 is the day that New Zealand and Australian soldiers landed at Gallipoli as a part of the Allied Gallipoli Campaign – they were not evacuated until December of the same year.
Returned Servicemen were responsible for the very first Anzac Day on April 25th 1916 – the first anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli. It was through their organisation and commitment that the day was officially recognised as a holiday by our government in the 1920s.
The large loss of life suffered at Gallipoli sparked the commemorative day, but over time Anzac Day has grown into a day where servicemen and women are remembered and honoured for fighting in wars right across the globe. While different cities and centres all have their own Anzac Day commemorations, there are many traditions and rituals which are standard throughout.
The ode is part of a special poem that is said during the ANZAC Day service. The Last Post is sounded on a bugle on ANZAC Day to remind us of the many soldiers killed or hurt during wars.
On ANZAC Day flowers and wreaths of red poppies are laid at the bottom of war memorials as a way of saying we have remembered these brave people. Red poppies are used as a symbol of respect and remembrance because they were the first flowers to bloom over the graves of our soldiers that are buried overseas.
We should never forget these brave New Zealanders.
The Ode

Anzac Biscuits

Anzac Biscuits are a true kiwi favourite (although both
New Zealand and Australia claim to have invented them!)
They are, like most old-style biscuits, made from
basic ingredients and provide a fairly nutritious
cookie that can keep well for weeks.
These biscuits were popular during both world wars,
as women at home could send them overseas
and know they would still be edible after weeks at sea.
Soldiers would break them up into pieces to
make porridge, or simply enjoy them with a cup of tea.
There are many recipes - here is one you could try.

You will need:
1/2 cup standard grade flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup coconut
3/4 cup rolled oats
75g butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water

Mix together flour, sugar, coconut and rolled oats.
Melt butter and golden syrup.
Dissolve baking soda in the boling water
and add to butter and golden syrup.
Stir butter mixture into the dry ingredients.
Place level tablespoons of mixture
onto cold greased trays.
Press out with a fork.
Bake at 180C for about 15 minutes or until golden.

The Dawn Parade

The Dawn Parade, or Dawn Service
as it is sometimes called, is the most popular
of the Anzac Day traditions. It begins with a parade
by returned servicemen and women
to the local war memorial, where they are met
by family and other members of the community.
Uniformed servicemen form a guard of honour
around the memorial.
The short service starts with a drum roll,
and includes the National Anthem, hymns, prayers and readings.

Lemon Squeezer Hats
The iconic kiwi ‘lemon squeezer’ hat was introduced
by one of New Zealand’s outstanding soldiers of the
Gallipoli Campaign, William George Malone.
Originally for his Taranaki Rifles Regiment, the hat
was designed to mirror the outline of Mount Taranaki
and also to allow ‘run off’ in the rain. The hat went
on to be adopted first by Malone’s Wellington
Regiment and later by the rest of the New Zealand
Infantry Division on 1st January 1916.
(NZ Army Museum)
For more information –
New Zealand Army Museum
Auckland War Memorial Museum – War Memorial Galleries
The First Day
Landing at ANZAC Cove
Click here for more information
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The Last Post
The Last Post is a military bugle or trumpet call
to signal the end of the day. You can hear it here.
It is played it at ANZAC services in New Zealand and
Australia usually after the two minute silence.
Sound: Last Post at Anzac Day ceremony


Poppies are a symbol of remembrance
for all people who have lost their lives at war.
Their origins go back as far as the Napoleonic Wars
of the 19th Century, when the Flanders poppies
were the first flowers to bloom over soldiers’
graves in France and Belgium.
Nowadays, red poppies are made out of
cloth or paper and worn for a few days as
a sign of remembrance.
Poppy Day itself is usually the Friday before Anzac Day.
In Flanders' fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place, and in the sky
The larks still brevely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead, short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders' fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe,
To you from failing hands we throw
The Torch: be yours to hold it high!
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders' fields.

This poem was written by Lt. Col. John McCrae a Canadian
medical officer who went to France in World War One.

Interactive - Life in the Trenches
Click here
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WW1 Uniform Builder
Click here for information about New Zealand
soldiers uniform
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Photos from ANZAC Day 2011-2012 (from NZ Herald)

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From the National Army Museum blog