Anzac Day 2017 Posters

This year, we have created a series of  World War One educational posters to commemorate Anzac Day 2017 which focus on artwork based on significant events that took place during this conflict. This selection of famous artwork provides a valuable and sometimes harrowing insight in to Australian military history. We hope you find these posters interesting and informative.

The Battle of Cocos, 1914

As the convoy carrying the first Australian and New Zealand troops overseas passed within eighty kilometers of the Cocos Islands, a signal was received reporting a strange warship approaching the cable station there. HMAS Sydney was immediately detached from her escort duties with the convoy and sped off towards the islands, encountering the German raider cruiser SMS Emden. In the engagement that followed the Sydney sustained some early damage and casualties, but the fire so battered and crippled the German ship that Captain von Muller ran the Emden ashore on North Keeling Island.  

The Landing at Gallipoli, 1915

Australian troops ascending the ridge to Plugge's Plateau, The Sphinx, Walker's Ridge and Baby 700 on skyline, steep, rocky hillside at Gallipoli, the terrain prohibitive. Many of the soldiers are dead, or falling, and there are puffs of gun smoke in the sky. A narrow beach with two landing boats can be seen in the lower left of the image. On 25 April 1915 Australian troops forged ashore. An initial error in landing them a mile too far north confronted them with steep, scrub-covered and defended heights, different from the gentle slopes which they had been briefed to expect. The crucial decision to advance was made and the troops climbed the precipitous heights of Ari Burnu, hauling themselves upwards by their rifle butts and the roots and stems of bushes, while Turkish fire rained down on them. The initial assault continued as daylight came. 

The Charge at the Nek, 1915

On 7 August 1915 the Australians and Turks faced each other over a narrow strip of open ground on Gallipoli; the Australians were met with a torrent of gunfire and four out of five who took part in the assault were killed or wounded. In its futility, if not for its scale, this charge was one of the tragedies of the First World War. The attack was made against a small section of the Turkish line at Gallipoli. Through an error in timing, the preliminary bombardment of the enemy lines ceased seven minutes before the assault, allowing the Turks plenty of time to prepare for the Australians. The fighting was over within an hour. More than 300 Australians died in this brief, savage encounter, and it does not seem that the charge caused the death of a single Turk. The action is best known through its depiction in the film Gallipoli. 

The incident for which Lieutenant F.H. McNamara was awarded the VC, 1917

Lieutenant F H McNamara and Captain D W Rutherford were returning from an aerial bombing near Gaza on 20 March 1917 when Captain Rutherford was forced down. Although wounded and under heavy rifle fire from the Turkish Cavalry, Lieutenant McNamara landed to rescue Captain Rutherford. Upon attempting to take off with Rutherford, McNamara crashed his RE8 aircraft. However they then succeeded in starting Rutherford's machine and escaped from the enemy attack. Lieutenant McNamara was the first Australian airman to be awarded the Victoria Cross. 

The Charge at Beersheba, 1917

Late on 31 October 1917 the 4th Light Horse Brigade was ordered to gallop towards Beersheba and seize the town. Two regiments, the 4th and the 12th, made the charge. This bold and successful move was one of the last major cavalry charges in history. Lambert's work depicts the impact of men and horses on the Turkish troops and trenches. A tangled mass of horses and soldiers is shown against a backdrop of barren and undulating landscape. The buildings of the town are just visible on the horizon at left.

Artwork imagery and associated descriptions courtesy of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra <https://www.awm.gov.au/collections/

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Copyright: Castle Hill and District RSL sub-Branch 2017

Images courtesy of the Australian War Memorial and Australian Defence Force