News, events and site highlights

Some Gallipoli and the Anzacs
website highlights:

drawing of diggers leading donkeys up a track

From beginning to end, he saw it all – unknown, unpublished artworks by an eye-witness

You may like to print the moving and sensitive watercolours and drawings of Major Leslie Hore, 8th Light Horse Regiment (Victoria). He was at Gallipoli from the Landing to the Evacuation and painted and drew the events on the pages of his notebook. These are published for the first time on this website.

The originals are A5 in size (half an A4) so we have been able to reproduce them almost exactly as he drew them. They each have detailed commentary, written by Dr Richard Reid. We include a sketch he made the morning after the battle of the Nek, made famous by the last scenes of the Mel Gibson Gallipoli movie.

Go to Major Hore's drawings

photo of x-ray machine at Lemnos Island

Did you know that the hospital at Gallipoli had an X-Ray machine?

Photo of X-ray machine; gallery 5, photo 2

See Gallery 5, Photo 2. Amongst this previously unpublished collection of extraordinary images showing daily life at the Field Hospital on the nearby island of Lemnos are photographs of the X-Ray machine and the generator that powered both it an the operating department. These may be the only photos in existence of this.

 photo montage of applications to use the word Anzac

Using the word ANZAC – forbidden!

You be the lawyer. read the applications - and make your own decision! The Gallipoli campaign of 1915 made the word 'Anzac' instantly recognisable throughout Australia and New Zealand. Even before the evacuation of Gallipoli, individuals, organisations and businesses began to use the word for a variety of purposes. Some uses were purely personal, such as those who wished to name children Anzac; others wanted to name to their homes in memory of a son, brother or relative who had been on Gallipoli.

In 1916, concerned that the word Anzac might be misused, especially by commercial concerns, the Commonwealth Government prohibited the use of the word for many things. By the time the regulation appeared, many people had already begun using the word to describe a business or a product. Some now sought permission to continue using it because they had gone to some expense to have stationary printed or signs made.

In the collections of the National Archives of Australia there are many files dealing with applications to use the word Anzac or to copyright material associated with Gallipoli and the remembrance of the campaign. These files sometimes contain the actual object for which the applicant sought copyright or permission to use the word. Each file also contains material relating to the decision of the Attorney General concerning the case.

Go to the Anzac page

Captain Davies' photo of Anzac beach

First Aussie photo of the Gallipoli landing

On this page (halfway down) and in here we have included a photograph that was taken on the beach at Anzac Cove at 6am. The landing began at 3am - so it was really taken not long after first light. As far as we can tell, this is the earliest photograph of the landing in existence. The photographer, a Captain Harry Davies, in true Australian style took his "holiday" snap. He was wounded in the ankle a little later and came home to Australia, lodging his photo in the National Archives.

portrait of Ashmead-Bartlett on a book cover

Secret codes, censorship, diaries – the making of the legend

The first reporter to send the story to Australia of the landing at Gallipoli was called Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett. The Anzac legend is built upon that report which was read and re-read by all Australians – it was reprinted and distributed to all schools in Australia by each State Government.

It is reproduced on this page

What we have found are the original telegrams he sent, both in military code and in plain text, with the military censors blue pencil changes and deletions. (images of them are on the website.) We can see his original text through the marks. Better, we have found his diary, purchased from him by the Mitchell Library in 1916. Excerpts are included on the site that give real life to the events. These documents have not seen the light of day since they were packed away in 1916.

Click to view Ashmead-Bartlett's diary

carbon-copy of the original letter sent by Ashmead-Bartlett to Asquith

Did this letter change history?

We have found, among the papers of Ashmead-Bartlett, the carbon copy of the letter he sent to the British Prime Minister Asquith, starting an investigation of the stalemated killing grounds of the failed Gallipoli campaign, and resulting in the downfall of Sir Ian Hamilton and the evacuation of the Australians. It is, therefore, a document of great significance in Australian history.

View this important document here.