Every year on 25 April, Australians and New Zealanders gather at dawn to remember fallen service men and women and recognise their service and sacrifice.
What once started as a commemoration of the Australian and New Zealand forces who landed on the shores of Gallipoli in 1915, ANZAC Day has grown in significance.
Where to get involved on ANZAC Day, 2023
ANZAC Eve Youth Vigil
From 6pm on 24 April until 5:30am on 25 April, the SA National War Memorial on North Terrace will commemorate ANZAC Day with a vigil.
Services in Adelaide and surrounds
- South Australian National War Memorial, North Terrace – 6 am
- Light Horse Memorial, corner of North and East terraces – 8 am
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial, Torrens Parade Ground – 8 am
- Cross of Sacrifice, Pennington Garden – after the ANZAC March concludes.
Over 150 ANZAC Day services are held throughout South Australia this year. To find a service near you, visit RSL South Australia.
Adelaide ANZAC Day Commemorative March
The march will commence from the corner of North Terrace and Gawler Place at 9:30 am and will continue along North Terrace and end at the Cross of Sacrifice.
Twenty groups will join the march: veterans, current service men and women, and descendants.
ANZAC Day traditions
Each year, commemorative dawn services are held throughout Australia, New Zealand and further abroad. The significance of dawn represents the time of the original landing in Gallipoli, and these services usually take place at war memorials.
Following the dawn services, ex-service men and women and families join a march through city centres.
ANZAC biscuits have become an ANZAC tradition in modern times. Once known as Soldiers’ Biscuits, these treats were used during the war as a long shelf-life item that could provide high nutrition without requiring a fridge.
The history of ANZAC Day
At dawn on 25 April 1915, during World War I, the ANZACs – an acronym for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey in the Dardanelles Strait.
The Ottoman Empire was a German ally, and the ANZACs had been sent to capture its capital Constantinople (now known as Istanbul).
Upon landing on the shores, the ANZACs, also known as ‘Diggers’ and ‘Kiwis’, were met with fierce resistance, and the campaign went on for eight months in a stalemate.
By the time the Allied forces were evacuated, over 8000 Australian soldiers were killed. However, despite the unsuccessful advance, the ANZACs showed great courage, determination, and patriotism. ANZAC Day was established to remember those who had sacrificed and died in the war.
The last ANZAC, Alec Campbell, died in 2002 at the age of 103.
Today, ANZAC Day acts as a symbol of remembrance for all Australians killed in military operations.