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Title: Australians and War
Contributor(s): Oppenheimer, Melanie  (author); Scates, Bruce (author)
Publication Date: 2005
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Abstract: At the centre of almost every Australian city and town stands a war memorial. Obelisk and arch, broken pillar and stern upright soldier, these gestures of remembrance mark Australia's physical and cultural landscape. Most of them bear the name of Anzac, the acronym for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Now a popular byword for all Australian servicemen and women, 'Anzac' commemorated Australia's first costly military engagement as a nation on the beaches and gullies of the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey in 1915. Sydney's Anzac Memorial lies in Hyde Park; a quiet place in the midst of a busy city; solid, sombre but somehow reassuring. It is difficult to imagine the memorial as a site of much controversy. But it was. A memorial had been mooted from the early days of Australia's involvement in the Great War, but few could agree on its position or its purpose. Many in the New South Wales government favoured some form of edifice at the southerly approach to the Sydney Harbour Bridge; the style would be grand, triumphant and certain to match any shrine they might build down in Melbourne (Sydney's long-time rival). Grieving parents were not so provincial. For them the wharves at Woolloomooloo in eastern Sydney had long been a site of pilgrimage; there they had said goodbye to sons lost in a war a world away. Then there were those deeply troubled by the politics of remembrance. By the 1920s, as most of Australia's war memorials were built, conservatives warned of a corrosive 'disloyal element'; pacifists who opposed the 'militarisation' of parks and playgrounds with captured artillery; feminists, anti-conscriptionists and Bolsheviks whose internationalism was at once 'unBritish', 'unAustralian', and 'unAnzac'.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Australia's History: Themes and Debates, p. 134-151
Publisher: University of New South Wales Press
Place of Publication: Sydney, Australia
ISBN: 0868407909
Field of Research (FOR): 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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