The History of ANZAC Day

anzacoriginsI was intrigued to read a paper by Rev. Prof. John A. Moses, Professorial Associate in History, Charles Sturt University, on the history of this annual commemoration.

Moses, along with George Davis, is the author of Anzac Day Origins: Canon DJ Garland and Trans-Tasman Commemoration (2013).

Here is an except from his fascinating 2008 paper on the topic:

The records of the ADCC are quite clear that Canon Garland conceived of the (moment of)

silence so that each person present could pray, or not pray, in accordance with his or her

individual beliefs. But the main point was that all faiths were there together mourning the

fallen in their own way, giving comfort to the bereaved and being encouraged to reflect

on the sin of humanity that led to the scourge of war. In Garland’s mind, all these

elements were intended to gain expression in the ritual, and he hoped, as well, that the

common experience of mourning would lead to a spiritual renewal of all participants, to

cause people to refocus their lives on God. That is why he agitated for Anzac Day to be

legally enshrined as a so-called close public holiday like Good Friday, and so it was.

You can read the full paper here: