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Australia and the Gallipoli Campaign

August–December 1914

3 August 1914

The Australian Federal Government decided that in the event of war it would offer to Great Britain a military force of 20,000 men and place the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) under the control of the British Admiralty.


4 August 1914

Great Britain declared war on the German Empire and its allies.


5 August 1914

Major-General William Throsby Bridges was appointed to command the proposed Australian military force. Bridges eventually chose the name for the new force — the Australian Imperial Force (AIF).


6 August 1914

Between 5 August and the end of October the first units of the AIF — infantry, engineers, artillery, field ambulances, casualty clearing stations, general hospitals and light horse AIF — were raised throughout Australia. These units were allocated to either the 1st Australian Infantry Division or the 1st and 2nd Light Horse Brigades.


29 October 1914

The Ottoman Empire (Turkey) entered the war as an ally of the Central Powers — Germany and Austria.


1 November 1914

First convoy of transport ships carrying the AIF and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force departed for Europe from St George's Sound, Albany, Western Australia.


9 November 1914

HMAS Sydney, one of the naval escort ships for the first convoy, broke away from the convoy and engaged the German light cruiser Emden off the Cocos Islands. The Emden was forced to run aground.


21 November 1914

Australian Hospital Ship Kyarra left Brisbane carrying among other units a contingent of Queensland nurses of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS).

Sister Agnes Isambert wrote:

All my dear ones to see me off. Such a crowd at the wharf. Dear Mother kept up bravely.


3 December 1914

Units of the AIF began disembarking in Egypt. They were sent to Mena Camp where training commenced. It had been decided to hold the Australians and New Zealanders in Egypt because proper camps in England were not ready to receive them.


21 December 1914

Major-General Sir William Birdwood took command of the Australian and New Zealand units in Egypt. These units were formed into an army corps of three divisions — 1st Australian Division, the New Zealand and Australian Division and a mounted division. The corps was known as the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. This was abbreviated later to ANZAC and those who served in it became known as Anzacs.