Guide to the the Anzac Day Souvenirs Collection: Collection number: Souvenirs 1




The collection contains items that mark Anzac Day, the anniversary of 25 April 1915. It includes programs for concerts, commemorative and sporting events, invitations, menus, forms of service, seating tickets, poems and other memorabilia. There are items from 1916 to the present day, and the collection is growing.

Anzac Day - 25 April - is probably Australia's most important national occasion. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as Anzacs, and the pride they soon took in that name endures to this day. SERIES 1: Celebrations - concerts and dinners, 1916 - 1992.; Description: Menus, musical programs, song lyrics (including an invitation to Capt. Bean, 1917, in the Somme) for concerts and dinners held overseas and in Australia. The collection includes an ANZAC biscuit recipe.; SERIES 2: Celebrations - sports, 1916-1944. Description: Programs for sports days, some held in conjunction with concerts. Some list the names of competitors, while others contain nominal rolls.; SERIES 3: Celebrations and services held on ships, 1916-1941. Description: Programs for celebrations, services, dinners and sporting events held on ships, including troopships.; SERIES 4: Services held in the Australian Capital Territory, 1928-1941.; SERIES 5: Services held at the Australian War Memorial, 1941- (ongoing). Description: This collection includes programs from the Dawn Service arranged by the Returned Services League, as well as the Anzac Day commemoration service arranged by the Australian War Memorial. The items in these folders include programs (on which are listed the names of special guests and the words of hymns), names of persons laying wreaths, invitations to the service, dais passes to the official stands, and orders of service. (See also the Australian War Memorial Ceremonies Collection).; SERIES 6: Services held in New South Wales, 1916 - Present. Description: Programs, tickets, stickers, unit formation details, and details of competitions.; SERIES 7: Services held in Queensland, 1918-1958.; SERIES 9: Services held in Tasmania, 1936-2000.; SERIES 10: Services held in Victoria, 1917-1984.; SERIES 11: Services held in Western Australia, 1918-Present.; SERIES 12: Services held in Africa, 1916-1959.; SERIES 13: Services held in the Far East and the Pacific, 1937-1995.; SERIES 14: Services held in France and Belgium, 1917-2009.; SERIES 15: Services held in Germany, 1944-1948.; SERIES 16: Services held in Great Britain, 1916-1996.; SERIES 17: Services held in Europe and the Middle East, 1916- . Description: Ceremonies of varying sizes have been held at Anzac Cove from at least 1919, though the earliest program in this collection is from 1923. Newspapers of the time carried reports of ceremonies. Some of the reports include photos of the proceedings. This section also includes Anzac Day ceremonies held in Europe.; SERIES 18: Services held in New Zealand, 1948-1988.; SERIES 19: Services held in North America, 1948-1988.; SERIES 20: Verses and memorabilia, 1916- .

The date, 25 April, was officially named Anzac Day in 1916; in that year it was marked by a wide variety of ceremonies and services in Australia, a march through London, and a sports day in the Australian camp in Egypt. In London, over 2,000 Australian and New Zealand troops marched through the streets of the city. A London newspaper headline dubbed them ""The knights of Gallipoli"". Marches were held all over Australia in 1916. Wounded soldiers from Gallipoli attended the Sydney march in convoys of cars, attended by nurses. For the remaining years of the war, Anzac Day was used as an occasion for patriotic rallies and recruiting campaigns, and parades of serving members of the AIF were held in most cities. During the 1920s, Anzac Day became established as a national day of commemoration for the 60,000 Australians who died during the war. The first year in which all the States observed some form of public holiday together on Anzac Day was 1927. By the mid-1930s all the rituals we today associate with the day - dawn vigils, marches, memorial services, reunions, sly two-up games - were firmly established as part of Anzac Day culture. With the coming of the Second World War, Anzac Day became a day on which to commemorate the lives of Australians lost in that war as well, and in subsequent years the meaning of the day has been further broadened to include Australians killed in all the military operations in which Australia has been involved. Anzac Day was first commemorated at the Australian War Memorial in 1942, but due to government orders preventing large public gatherings in case of Japanese air attack, it was a small affair and was neither a march nor a memorial service. Anzac Day has been annually commemorated at the Australian War Memorial ever since.

Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections, Australian War Memorial.

Open - Contact Senior Curator, Published & Digitised Collections, Australian War Memorial.

Selected additional and related material available at using the search terms described under 'subject _local'. Copies of many items from the Memorial's collections may also be purchased @


Anniversaries; Celebrations; Memorials; National days

Anniversaries; Anzac Day ceremonies; Formal dinners; Memorial services; Souvenirs; Sports meetings

Invitations; Menus; Programs

Coverage Temporal


Related Collections


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