Discover Anzac Day at The National Archives

23 Apr 2009 10:10 AM

To commemorate Anzac Day on Saturday 25 April, The National Archives highlights some of the military records available online.

Anzac Day marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) during the First World War. It marks the battle of Gallipoli, in which over 8,000 Australian and 2,700 New Zealand troops lost their lives.

In 1915, Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of an Allied expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsula, under a plan to open the way to capture Istanbul, capital of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. The Anzac force landed at Gallipoli on 25 April. The ensuing battle was a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. At the end of the year, the Allied forces were evacuated after having endured severe hardships and losses. Today many countries, including the UK, hold a dawn service in memory of those who lost their lives.

DocumentsOnline holds thousands of First World War medal cards, many relating to Australian and New Zealand soldiers, which you can search and download for a small fee. You can also search and download Royal Naval Service Records and Recommendations for Honours and Awards, if looking for an individual who fought with the Anzacs.