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World War 1 - Gallipoli and the Dardanelles


Facsimile ebook

The Australian and New Zealand Expeditionary Forces (ANZEF): Assemblage at and Departure from Albany

Original photographs by WH Campbell and AG Sands

Published by WF Forster & Co Propritors of the Albany Advertiser


approx 100 years on.......

A very rare 1915 publication of the Australian and New Zealand Expeditionary forces : Assemblage at and departure from Albany which was actually issued in 1920.

25 pp. (1 folded) : chiefly illustrated. ; 25 x 32 cm. The publication is extensively illustrated, containing photographs of the troops on parade, boarding ship as well as shots of the troopships and naval escorts. A large panorama shot can be unfolded which shows the fleet asembled in King george's Sound and also the fleet leaving the sound. Includes a description of the convoy, its time in Albany, the Naval escorts, tables of information on the NZ troopships and athe Australian troopships, plus details of the military arrangements and disposition. The arrival of the convoy at Albany was suppressed by the Military due to fears of German raiders and wasn't lifted until well after the convoy had sailed. This publication capturing such a significant and poignant moment when so many people's loved ones left Australian shores never to return was then prevented from being published by the Military censors until 1920 by which time no-one wanted to think about the war. thus it languished until this facsimile was released in limited numbers. It also escaped most people's attention.

Now with the passage of 94 years these photos are a precious reminder of a Nation's awakening and the high hopes that were held before the tragic waste of lives at Gallipoli, Fromelles, Bullecourt and Pozieres seared themselves into the national consciousness.

This publication records the assembly and departure of the troop convoy of the 1st AIF and the NZ Expeditionary Force from King George's Sound Albany Western Australia in October and November 1914. The small population of Albany had a grandstand seat to the sight of this significant moment in Australian history. Nowhere else in Australia was the fleet assembled before it set sail for Egypt and thence on to the tragedy of Gallipoli and the Western Front.

It is very moving to examine the photographs and the faces of the young men within. The cream of Australia and NZ's youth were assembled for this expedition. Looking at these bright and expectant faces it is sad to reflect on how few returned alive and unwounded after 4 years of war. these photos capture their last moments on Australian soil and also their last view of Australian shores as the fleet left for the open sea. The publication describes the convoy, military dispositions and lists details of the escorting navy vessels, the NZ troop transports and the Australian troop convoy.

Within four days of the outbreak of WW1, the Inspector-General of the Australian military forces, Major-General Sir William Bridges, had, with his staff, worked out the details for the organization of the Australian Expeditionary Force--the A.I.F. The call for enlistment evoked an enthusiastic and eager response from every quarter of the continent. Training camps were established. All the resources the Government could command were strained to the utmost to produce equipment, uniforms, and all the multiple requirements of an army. Steamships were chartered to transport men and horses. With marvellous rapidity an army nearly as large as the British part of the army commanded by Wellington at Waterloo, was fitted out for service, complete to the last button; and within eight weeks of the declaration of war it was ready to leave for the front. That its departure was delayed was due to the fact that the sea was not yet sufficiently secure for a large flotilla to be moved.

New Zealand offered an expeditionary force of 10,000 men, and this joined the Australian force of 20,000 at Albany. The two groups were kept entirely separate, but they sailed together on 01 November 1914, and fought side by side. Twenty-eight transports were employed to carry the Australian force, and it took a further ten to accommodate the New Zealanders. Those loaded up at different ports and only at were they seen together. King George’s Sound was the rendezvous appointed, and between 24 and 28 October 1914, they assembled. The fleet of transports comprised some of the largest and finest commercial steamers and they came from all of the five States of the Commonwealth, as well as from New Zealand. The ships, on entering the Sound, steamed to anchorages already allotted them, and there they rode at anchor, forming four lines running east and west. The transports were concentrated at King George's Sound. They steamed from all the Australian States and from New Zealand the ships crowded with troops--thirty-eight ships, convoyed by the Australian cruisers Melbourne and Sydney, the British cruiser Minotaur, and the Japanese cruiser Ibuki. In twos and threes, the vessels came into Princess Royal Harbour, some took water and others coal. Many also took provisions, but these were delivered to those in want of them while at anchor in the Sound. For the first three days, operations were considerably delayed by one of the most violent easterly gales experienced for many years, but once the weather cleared up rapid progress was made. From the first, numbers of troops were landed in detachments for marching exercise, as many as 1500 coming ashore at one time With the men came bands and regimental mascots in the form of all conceivable breeds of dogs, and in some instances a march of 10 miles was made. There was little leave, but not much, and really only officers and men with business to transact spent any time in the town

On the early morning of November 1 this great fleet, each unit in its appointed place in the long rank, the four protecting cruisers one ahead, one astern, and one on each flank, headed for the Indian Ocean on the voyage to Egypt, where the army was to undergo its last stages of war-training to prepare it for the desperate enterprises which lay ahead.

This historic moment has been captured for posterity and Albany has rightly commemorated this opening event of the Anzac legend since then. The first recorded dawn service was held at Albany in the 1920s overlooking the scene where the ANZEF fleet anchored and departed for overseas. The Light Horse memorial stands proud on Mt Clarence looking out to sea where the young soldiers sailed off into history.

This facsimile record  in PDF format includes photographs taken recently at Albany of the WW1 monuments and also of the places where the expeditionary force came ashore - providing a "then and now" perspective where possible as well as reproducing the original photographs from the publication.

A rare book which gives a different view of a compelling period of ANZAC history.

Illustrations shown are much reduced compared to those in the eBook



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