Have ever eaten an ANZAC biscuit? Have you ever wondered what ANZAC means or why we gave that name to a biscuit? Well my friends, on 25th of April every year we celebrate ANZAC day. Now that doesn’t mean we celebrate a day of eating biscuits. In fact, ANZAC stands for AUSTRALIAN & NEW ZEALAND ARMY CORPS.
So who were the ANZACS? The ANZACS was the name given to the soldiers from Australia and New Zealand who fought together during the first world war and ANZAC day is the day we remember the ANZACS who lost their lives fighting for their country.
So why April 25th? Well it was on that day, in 1915, that the ANZACS landed at Gaba Tepe, which is now known as ANZAC cove. It was in this small part of the Gallipoli Peninsula (Turkey) that the battle of Gallipoli was fought between the ANZACS and the Turkish army. On the first day of combat more than 700 ANZACS lost their lives and by the time the conflict ended, more than eight months later, 8709 ANZACS had died. To this day it remains as one of the saddest days in Australian history so every year at 5.00 AM on April 25th we gather at ANZAC memorials all over Australia and New Zealand to remember those men who died during that time.
These days, we share the memories and show respect together with the Turkish people as a collective loss. Although it might be hard to imagine now, the soldiers of both the ANZAC and Turkish armies fought with great honour and respect for each other. During the battle they would sometimes call for a cease fire (like a time-out) so that they could walk safely onto the battle field and collect their dead and wounded soldiers. During this time, soldiers from both sides would exchange small items like cigarettes and food which is one of the many reasons why it is sometimes referred to as ‘The Gentlemanly War’.
As for the biscuit, well ANZAC biscuits were sent originally by wives and women’s groups to soldiers abroad because the ingredients do not spoil easily and the biscuits kept well during naval transportation. They also had a high energy content and even some small nutritional value.
So this ANZAC day, if you can’t get to a commemorative service on ANZAC day, then maybe you can just relax have a great day and enjoy and ANZAC biscuit or two because this is the type of freedom and lifestyle the ANZAC were fighting to protect.
Lest we forget.
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