Were exemplified in August of 1914.The Great
Were the Anzacs fighting for Australia or the Empire – or something else?
The complexities of life during the early half of the 19th century were exemplified in August of 1914.The Great War offered Australians theirfirst chance at forging a national identity, not only for ourselves but also in the eyes of the rest of the world.In the space of eight months Australia's nationhood changed irrevocably as Ross Terrill states, "At Gallipoli quirks of timing and circumstance, plus wonderful courage and loyalty, gave the young nation an event to turn into legend" .
This idea of a young nation seeking identity was one of the main reasons for the bravery and courage witnessed on the blood stained, sandy slopes of Gallipoli.The great test in which we needed to prove our worth was upon us, and from that Cove a nation was born.The early Australian newspaper,'The Argus', described it as our "Baptism of Blood" .As Terrill quotes, "The Anzac legend joined the bush legend. Both were soon infused with nostalgia for a failed or abandoned cause" .Australia's need to forge an identity, independent from Britain, is one of the main reasons for Australia's volunteercivilian involvement in World War One.
Although eighteen percent of the enlisted men in the AIF (Australian Imperial Force), were of British stock , they were second generation middle class families who needed Australia to succeed if they were to prosper.
Malcolm Stirling was fighting for something else though, as Richard White surmises, "Australians did not necessarily join the war for the same reasons Australia did" .For Stirling, and a great many other young men from respectable middle class families who "saw no real dissonance between public and private life…notions of pride, duty, honour, sacrifice, loyalty and self-respect…not just for the empire but for his intimate family rel