25th April is ANZAC Day in Australia & New Zealand. ANZAC stands for Australian New Zealand Army Corps. The Day itself is the Anniversary of The Australian & New Zealand Expeditionary Forces taking part, alongside British forces, in The Gallipoli Landings in WW1, 1915. This was the first time they had deployed as national Australian & New Zealand forces. It is now a national day of remembrance in both countries commemorating all Australians and New Zealanders that have fallen in conflicts then and since.
The RIFLES has 7 Regimental Alliances in the Australian Army of today: (The Royal New South Wales Regt, 11/28 Bn, The Royal Western Australian Regt, The Monash University Regt, Western Australian University Regt, Sydney University Regt, Melbourne University Regt, 51st Bn Far North Queensland Regt.) and 4 Regimental Alliances with the New Zealand Army: (1st Bn The Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment – (RNZIR), 2nd Bn [Cantebury, Nelson, Marlborough & West Coast] The RNZIR, 6th Bn [Hauraki] The RNZIR, 7th Bn [Wellington’s Own & Hawkes Bay Bn] The RNZIR.
As todays Riflemen serve alongside’ the Diggers’ of The Australian Army and ‘Kiwis’ of the New Zealand Army in Afghanistan today as part of ISAF, our antecedents also have a close association with the landings at Gallipoli and The ANZACs of 1915; many of them having fought there alongside them in the Dardanelles, where Gallipoli is situated on the Turkish coast.
1/1st Herefordshire Regt in action at Suvla Bay 9 Aug 1915, a sketch for a full painting by Charles Dixon, both of which are in the collection of The Herefordshire light Infantry Museum.
5th Bn Dorsetshire Regiment, 5th Bn (Duke of Edinburgh’s) Wiltshire Regt, 7th Bn Gloucestershire Regt, and the 1/1st Bn Herefordshire Regt, (shown in the paint sketch) of the Gallipoli landings, all took part in this ill fated campaign alongside the ANZACs.
To find out more of our Gallipoli history, why not visit their Regimental Museums in Dorchester, Salisbury, Gloucester and at the TA Centre Hereford – all part of The Rifles Museum Network.