Adelaide prepares for the first Anzac Day, 1915

Today it is exactly 100 years since a notice appeared on page 2 of The Register, an Adelaide newspaper. The notice commenced:

ANZAC DAY

IMPORTANT PUBLIC NOTICE

CERTAIN MISLEADING STATEMENTS have been circulated regarding the objects of the Anzac Day proceedings. I therefore wish to place the following facts clearly before you:-

1. ANZAC DAY IS ORGANIZED FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WOUNDED SOLDIERS’ FUND.

The notice was signed by AW Styles, Chairman, Anzac Day Executive Committee, and it went on to distinguish the organisers of the day from the Eight Hour Day Committee and to give the names of a ‘Joint Committee’ comprising some members of the Eight Hour Day Committee and some other gentlemen. The notice set out arrangements for donations.

The notice had been made necessary, the author said, because ‘the attempt to raise doubts regarding the genuineness of the Anzac Day movement and its objects should be emphatically contradicted’. The public needed to understand that all the monies raised were going to ‘that noble cause, “THE WOUNDED SOLDIERS’ FUND”‘.

Further down the page, under the heading ‘Anzac Day’, Mrs Geo. JA Webb requested the ladies of the Parliament House Lawn Refreshment Committee to meet her for an organising meeting.

This first Anzac Day occurred on 13 October 1915 in Adelaide. Some further information is here and here. A film has been made about the event and a trailer is here.

29 September 2015

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