Penny – Dawn of Respect
Amid the shell torn landscape of the Western Front on 25th April 1916, a story is told that an Australian Battalion stopped to remember their fallen comrades at Gallipoli. Was this the first Dawn Service? The details may never be known, but a tradition of observance to remember Gallipoli continues to this day, 100 years later.
The Australian Imperial Force arrived on the Western Front in March 2016. In July our Gallipoli veterans and new troops alike fought at the battles of Fromelles (19-20th July) and Pozieres (23rd July – 7th August). At Pozieres alone Australian losses – around 6,800 men, were comparable to the entire Gallipoli campaign.
In 1916 some 40,000 Australians were killed or wounded on the Western Front in France and Belgium. By wars end in November 1918 approximately 132,000 had been wounded and 46,000 had lost their lives.