Hello, I'm Nathan and welcome to a very special Behind the News, coming to you today from the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
We're here to commemorate 100 years since the start of Australia's campaign at Gallipoli during World War One.
Throughout the program, we're going to take a look at the conflict from every angle from what life was like in the trenches to what things were like on the other side.
Plus we'll have 10 Anzac quiz questions to test yourself on too.
The Gallipoli Story
Reporter: Matthew Holbrook
INTRO: But before all that, let's find out exactly what happened on the beaches of Gallipoli way back in 1915. This was the landing at Gallipoli, on April 25, 1915, as described by some of the men that lived through it. More than 50,000 Australian troops fought here, and 8000 of them died here too. But Gallipoli was just one small part of a much bigger conflict.
What's now known as the First World War began in 1914 between these two powerful groups. Australia was still a member of the British Empire, and many young Aussies saw it as a chance to sign up and serve their country.
BASIL HOLMES, GALLIPOLI VETERAN (archive, 1988): I was keen: 100 per cent keen - like every - like we all were in those days.
By November 1914, a force of 20,000 Australian men had arrived in Egypt ready to fight. But most didn't have a lot of training, and were short on the equipment they needed. Most of the fighting was taking place here, on the Western Front in France. But months in, neither side was winning. So Britain came up with a plan to defeat Germany, by attacking its allies, Austria, Hungary and what's now Turkey.
Their goal was to take control of this area, called the Dardanelles. They launched an attack on Turkey by sea, but it failed. So ground forces were sent in at three main points. Many were actually British and French. Australians and New Zealanders made up just one of the landings at a place we now know as Anzac Cove.
In darkness, they faced a tough and difficult climb up the beach, while from above, Turkish soldiers and artillery fired on them. Both sides dug trenches for cover. And soon, what was meant to be a quick campaign became a stalemate. For months, the fighting continued, neither side getting an advantage over the other, though several attempts were made.
One of those was the Battle of Lone Pine. The Aussies created a diversion by attacking Turkey's frontlines then held their position despite intense fighting. 7 Australians won the Victoria Cross here, the highest award for bravery in wartime. But while the Australian attack was successful, the overall Allied mission failed.
By December, the Allies gave up on taking Gallipoli, and started planning an evacuation instead. To help, one Aussie soldier came up with this invention - a gun that would go off on its own using weighted cans of water. The "drip rifle" helped hold off any attacks while the Anzacs withdrew.
BASIL HOLMES: We thought we'd be very lucky if we got away.
But they did. And after eight long months, the Gallipoli campaign was finally over. World War One stretched on for another three years. And during that time on the Western Front, the Anzacs would fight many more battles, and lose many more lives than they did at Gallipoli.
But they'd also have a much bigger impact, which eventually helped the Allies go on to win the war in 1918. Gallipoli was not the most important battle Australia was involved in during World War One, but it's still remembered as the first real battle we took part in as a nation.
And every year since, on April 25, people around the country commemorate those who fought and died there. Something still just as important 100 years on.
Now on Anzac Day heaps of big centenary commemoration events took place both here and over in Turkey. Let's take a closer look at them in the wire.
Hundreds of thousands of Australians got up early, to attend dawn services around the country. While thousands of kilometres away in Turkey people gathered at Gallipoli to remember and reflect.
Just 10,000 Australians and New Zealanders got the chance to be here after winning tickets in a public ballot.
Back home, thousands of Aussie kids marked Anzac Day by sleeping under the stars and learning more about the First World War at Camp Gallipoli.
KID: I like get everyone together and sleeping under the stars. It’s what the Anzacs did at Gallipoli. So I think like having a night out of our beds so we can like experience what they experience.
Later in the day, Anzac parades drew more crowds as soldiers and their families marched.
KID: I've come to Anzac Day because of my Great, Great grandfather who fought and died in the Turkish trench.
A day to remember all those who've served and died in war.
The Last Post
Reporter: Eloise Fuss
INTRO: Okay now as you just saw there, one of the most moving parts of an Anzac day dawn service is 'The Last Post' which is played on a bugle. But why is that song played? And how do you play it on a bugle anyway? We sent Eloise to find out. Jordan has a big job to do on Anzac Day playing ‘The Last Post’ at a commemorative service.
Jordan: ‘The Last Post’ is a beautiful piece of music, it's not exactly easy to play, but after a bit of practice you get there and it sounds really nice.
The Last Post is a military call that was originally used by British troops in the 17th century. The reveille, the first call, was used to signal the start of a soldier's day, and The Last Post signalled its end.
Jordan: Now we use it to pay respect to soldiers in WWI and 2, and all the other conflicts.
And it's always played on this instrument, a bugle.
Eloise: Jordan, what is a bugle?
Jordan: A bugle is pretty much like a trumpet except it doesn't have any valves. It only has a set amount of tubing, so it can only play a couple of notes.
But lately veteran's groups have actually run out of buglers like Jordan to play at dawn services. So they're giving free bugles to some schools, to try to encourage more kids to play.
For Jordan, it's much more than just playing an instrument.
Jordan: My dad's also been to Afghanistan and served in Afghanistan. I like to think of it as a way of showing respect for not only my dad but also my grandfathers and great grandfathers who lost their lives in the war.
Life in the Trenches
Reporter: Carl Smith
INTRO: This is the Amien's Gun; one of the weapons Australian soldiers captured from the enemy in WWI. It's huge isn't it! But did you know that weapons weren't the biggest killer at Gallipoli. More Aussie troops there died of disease whilst living in the trenches than whilst fighting. Here's Carl to find out a bit more about what life was like in the trenches during World War I. 100 years ago boys as young as 14 found themselves in the middle of a war. Some faked their age or stowed away on ships, and many like 14 year old Australian James Martin never returned. But what was life like for them and the other soldiers who served in World War 1? Well that's what these cadets from the Warradale 43 Army Cadet Unit visited the Army Museum of South Australia to find out.
First up they looked at the equipment Australian soldiers had to work with. The troops were meant to have: a woollen tunic and breeches, puttees - a strip of cloth wrapped around the lower leg for protection and support, 100 rounds of ammunition; a rifle, a bayonet, a water bottle, a trench tool to dig their new homes, kindling for small fires, food rations and a pack.
But many soldiers weren't properly equipped. And as the campaign dragged on the uniforms started to change as they tried to adapt to hot and cold conditions.
Cadet: It's very different, like we get a lot of clothes and stuff like raincoats and they didn't seem to have as much.
In places like Gallipoli you were expected to basically dig out your own room in the side of the trenches. The best trenches were covered and had small buildings like radio rooms built into them.
They were covered or reinforced with wood and corrugated iron. But even these best trenches were still pretty squishy for our troops.
Cadet: With the facilities that they had, I can't imagine me surviving very well out there. Only very tough people came back.
Cadet: You really can't sleep here unless you're sitting and sleeping which is really uncomfortable.
Ok but surely they must have had some decent food right? Well not quite. An average meal after a tough day in the trenches looked a bit like this: some cheese, perhaps an onion, maybe some jam, tea and this very hard biscuit known as hard tack or the Anzac tile. The highlight was some bully beef or tinned corned beef. It's edible but that's about it.
Cadet: It's pretty hard and stale, plain but it's liveable.
Not enough food, dirty clothes and horrible living conditions often lead to disease. Diseases alone are thought to have killed more than 2 million people in the First World War. Even for these guys, seeing how the Anzac soldiers lived was pretty shocking.
Cadet: They were actually living really really harshly. A lot of the elements were against them and the odds for them surviving the war were pretty low.
But it gives us an idea of some of the things our troops sacrificed for all Australians.
Okay, now it's time for the first five questions in our Anzac Quiz. If you're playing along at school, make sure you have your answer sheets ready.
And good luck!
What year did WWI start? 1914
World War 1 was also known as:
a) The Great War
b) The Boer War
c) The War of Remembrance
The Great War
Which of these countries is Turkey?
A, B, C highlighted on map
Which Australian soldier is famous for his bravery, transporting wounded men with his donkey?
a) John Simpson Kirkpatrick
b) Ned Kelly
c) Reg Saunders
John Simpson Kirkpatrick
Which medal is given to animals for bravery?
INTRO: Now this memorial is a bit different to the others here near the War Memorial because it's not dedicated to Australian soldiers. It's dedicated to the people they were fighting at Gallipoli, the Turks and their commander, Kemal Ataturk. So why would Australia honour their enemies with a memorial like this? Here's Eloise with the answer. ELOISE FUSS, REPORTING: Turkish culture is really important to Evan and his cousin Aleyna. They, along with their families, often cook big Turkish feasts and speak Turkish at home too. They're some of more than 100,000 Australians whose families originally came from Turkey.
But while Evan knows a lot about the culture of Turkey, he wishes he knew more about what happened to Turkish soldiers during World War One.
Evan: I started to do some reading and I went to the library in my school and I saw this Turkish book. I borrowed it and I was reading most of the night. I was wondering what they would do.
What Australians know as the Gallipoli Campaign is known by Turkish people as the Battle of Canakkale. Although the country wasn't called Turkey back then it was actually part of the Ottoman Empire. And in World War One it was on the same side as countries like Germany and Austria-Hungary.
Ada is another Turkish-Australian kid interested in both sides of the Gallipoli story. Her Great, Great uncle was actually there.
Evan: My great uncle is Halil Ibriham. He fought in Gallipoli in his early 20s and died there, because he didn't really want to lose another part of his country.
Turkey was expecting to be attacked, but it didn't know where or when. So when the Anzacs landed at Gallipoli, Turkish forces fought back and quickly called for reinforcements.
Evan: I think that when the Anzacs came to Gallipoli the Turkish had a big shock and it would've been scary because they weren't prepared for it.
Most of the Turkish soldiers had never heard of Australia or New Zealand before. Many came from poor rural backgrounds, and hadn't had the chance to go school. They were led by determined commanders, like this man, Colonel Mustafa Kemal. Ada, Evan and Aleyna all like hearing about the camaraderie that went on between some Aussie and Turkish soldiers.
"Extraordinary friendly exchanges between the Turks and our fellows this morning early. Some of our chaps ran right over to the enemy trenches and exchanged bully, jam, cigarettes etc." And some Anzacs even left farewell notes for the Turks when they left.
"Most of the lads [Anzac soldiers] left notes behind thanking Abdul for the use of the ground also for the fair fight they had given us, also assuring them that any food left behind has not been poisoned but is quite good." After eight months of fighting, the Turkish forces won although in the end they'd be on the losing side of WW1.
But despite that, the battle at Gallipoli was considered one of their 'greatest victories', and helped build a sense of pride and identity among the Turkish people.
Ada: I respect both sides, and I don’t really think there's a good side and a bad side. I just think the people that went to war and lost their blood and got killed just wanted to serve their own country.
After the war, the Turkish commander at Gallipoli went on to become the country's first president - Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. And in 1934, he's said to have written this tribute to the Anzacs killed at Gallipoli.
"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives, you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours ..."
For Evan and his cousin Aleyna the continuing friendship between Turkey and Australia is something they want to recognise so they're donning traditional outfits and representing Turkey at an Anzac Day vigil.
EVAN: If the Turkish didn't like the Australians we wouldn't be here right now, and we wouldn’t have the friends we have.
INTRO: Now this statue you'll probably recognise. It shows John Simpson Kirkpatrick and his donkey, who together saved many lives during the fighting at Gallipoli. But this donkey wasn't the only animal involved in World War One. Here's Carl with a look at some of the others. Many of the Anzac soldiers had animal companions. And It's estimated more than 136 thousand Australian horses were sent to World War 1. The horses, along with donkeys and camels, helped carry heavy loads and soldiers. Smaller animals like pigeons carried notes that often contained life-saving information. Dogs also carried messages and they could sniff out explosives or fallen soldiers.
Animals were so successful in World War 1 they've been used in most wars since. And for their bravery and service pigeons, dogs and horses have even received war medals! The Dickin Medal is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross for bravery. Even a cat named Simon got one after World War 2 for guarding a ship's food supplies from rats! Whether as war heroes or just as friends, animals have always stood alongside our troops as they still do today.
Okay, time for our last 5 Anzac questions now. Jump on our website after the show to let us know how you got on!
The first official Anzac Day dawn service was held in which year?
What does the red poppy symbolise?
Beside poppies, what other plant is sometimes worn on Anzac Day?
Which game involving a `spinner' was played by soldiers during WWI?
Which of these was NOT a ration food eaten by Australian soldiers in WWI?
Reporter: Matthew Holbrook
INTRO: Yep, Anzac biscuits weren't a part of soldiers ration packs. Matt chews through the story behind these tasty biscuits next and finds out how to make them too. MATT HOLBROOK, REPORTER: They're a huge part of Anzac tradition. But while they've got a long history, these delicious biscuits weren't actually eaten by troops at Gallipoli.
Anzac biscuits as we now know them came about a bit later in the war. Legend goes they were sent to troops on the Western Front because they didn't need to be refrigerated and would last a long time.
MATT: The basic ingredients are rolled oats, sugar, flour, butter, and golden syrup. They were also sold at fetes and public events to raise money for the war effort.
Today we still love them, and they're still easy to make. First up, we mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then the golden syrup, water, and bi-carb soda and add butter. Finally, combine everything together, and put the mixture onto a tray. Now we wait until they're golden brown.
MATT: I'm probably gonna eat 5 or 6 now, maybe 10.
LILY: Sounds good.
MATT: Just for me, you don't get any.
And that brings us to the end of our Anzac Centenary special. If you'd like to know more about Australia's involvement in World War One please head to our website. We've got heaps of student activities there for teachers to use. From the Australian War Memorial here in Canberra, thanks for joining us and bye for now.