This weekend’s commemoration of the departure of the first convoy of ships carrying Australian and New Zealand soldiers from Albany here in Western Australia represents a defining moment in Australia’s history. The men (and a few women) who sailed 100 years ago were the pioneers of a new Australian spirit and identity.
One of the most interesting themes is the way that conflict created a unique Australian identity… a few British history books have described the UK-born Australian soldiers as British-born soldiers fighting with the Australians, whilst the Australian perspective is that the were all Australians irrespective of where born. The ANZAC tradition that emerged included everybody who served, not just Australian-born men and women.
The Australian War Memorial has an interesting page on the first convoy here.