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Anzac Day

22 Jul 2016

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What is Anzac Day and why is it significant?

LEVEL: Intermediate / Secondary

Anzac Day is a public holiday held on the 25th of April every year when New Zealanders and Australians remember their armed forces, and commemorate the loss of life from the Gallipoli campaign and all the wars we have been involved in since. This date is significant, because it was on 25 April 1915 that the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) landed at Gallipoli during World War One

A good place to start searching for information is the New Zealand government's Anzac website. From the links across the top of the homepage you can go straight to a page about the significance of Anzac Day. From that page there are two further interesting links, one is about traditions and rituals, including the Anzac Day ceremony and poppies, and the other link is about myths and misconceptions.

HOT TIP: We like this site because it's reliable. You can tell because of its web address – it has .govt  meaning it's from a government organisation. It's also a New Zealand site, so relevant for us.

NZHistory is a great website for information about New Zealand Aotearoa including Anzac Day. If we go all the way down the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable. To find the right area,

  1. Choose 'New Zealand at war' or 'the impact of war' from the homepage.
  2. Next, choose 'First World War' from the options,
  3. Then choose 'Commemoration'. 
  4. Now click on 'Anzac Day'. There's heaps of info here about the significance of Anzac Day, as well as info about the red poppy, the Anzacs, the ceremony, and the history about how Anzac Day became a commemorative holiday.

If you are looking for some visual material check out NZOnScreen's Anzac Day collection. The collection includes full length television programmes, films, photos and articles about many aspects of Anzac Day and New Zealand at war. To find it, scroll all the way down to the bottom of homepage until you reach the 'Collections' area and then select Anzac Day Collection.

The National Library’s Services to Schools website features a gallery of primary sources about the New Zealand Anzac experience. Choose 'Explore' from the links across the top, then select 'Image galleries' to take you to the 'Primary Sources' page and choose Anzac.

HOT TIP: We like this resource as you can see letters, diaries, images and orders of service that all relate to ANZACs and Anzac Day.

You may also want to take a look at the Returned and Services Association (RSA) page on the history of Anzac Day. The webpage tells us that their information comes from a book by a well-respected New Zealand historian. Please note that the RSA's website can get really busy around Anzac Day so it could be slow or crash.

The Australian War Memorial is Australia's leading military history museum, and you can find out about Australia's Anzac tradition from its website. On the homepage you will see a link to  Anzac Day and then The Anzac Day tradition down the list on the left. You can find out why the day is special to Australians, about the dawn service and a typical ceremony as well as other useful information.

HOT TIP: Don't forget to check out our other Anzac Day entries (including Anzac poetry, biscuits, and the poppy) as well as entries on the Gallipoli campaign and World War One in general.

More info needed
Hello, There

It dosen't tell you what Anzac poems they read, but great info!
Courtney, Churchill Park School

Thanks Courtney!
Check out our other entries about Anzac Day for more info.
There's so much out there, it's hard to pick the best sites - so follow our tips for good sites.
Annie, AnyQuestions
This page has good ANZAC Day information and links.
Donna, Christchurch City Libraries

There is a big collection of NZ documentaries, films and programmes about Anzac Day - as well as WWI and WWII and other war/army-related programmes, on NZ On Screen here:
Brenda, NZ On Screen

Thanks Brenda - that's really helpful.
Annie, AnyQuestions

we love anzac day and their poems but when we come on this web site there is not alot of poems about anzac
kate and katy, sir edmund hillary colligiate

Anzac day was sad because some people family die ON ANZAC DAY FROM MY SCHOOL
maraea maraki hellier, awapuni

The links to the Hot Topis for National Library are broken
Tania, Auckland

Thanks for letting us know about that Tania, we've fixed these up.
Lisa, AnyQuestions

hi lisa love ihe info it was great for my homework
lisa, auckland

this is a very useful side that most people can get help
caroline, manurewa high school

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School / Kura

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