Moses, John A. & Davis, George F.: Anzac Day origins

Moses, John A. & George F. Davis

Anzac Day Origins: Canon DJ Garland and Trans-Tasman Commemoration, Barton Books, Barton, ACT, 2013

Examines the origins of Anzac Day via a study of Garland, who ‘became known as the “architect” of ANZAC Day and was widely esteemed for promoting a vision of commemoration that spanned the trans-Tasman experience of war, that honoured the war dead and brought comfort to those who mourned’. (blurb)

Moses presents an earlier version of part of the book. He discusses it on radio in company with a modern soldier. It is reviewed by Graham Maddox and discussed by bloggers. Another review by Alan Atkinson.

John A. Moses talks about Garland here, also touching on aspects of Anzac commemoration generally. The modern website of the Anzac Day Commemoration Committee of Queensland, of which Garland was the original driving force and secretary, is here. There is a brief history of the Committee. A Canon Garland Memorial Society has been established in Queensland to fund, design and build a memorial to him.

Update 14 December 2015: a note by Mark Cryle on the Queensland State Archives website about Queensland origins of Anzac Day. Some Honest History notes about who can claim the first Anzac Day.

‘It is particularly bold of the authors’, says Atkinson in his review, ‘to use theology to uncover the history of nationhood’. Atkinson says this is ‘a very important book’, describing as it does Garland’s mission to ‘sacralise the nation’. Paul Collins has argued (though possibly not in print) that Anzac today fulfils a longing for liturgy. Doug Hynd has an alternative view of the relationship between religious pastors and Anzac. John Moses writes on the faith of Canon Garland.

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