Today is Anzac Day, Australia and New Zealand’s major day to recognise the military. Australia’s national service takes place at the War Memorial here in Canberra, and we often go to visit the museum afterwards (my father is a veteran).
Of course, this year is a significant one, as it is a hundred years since the First World War ended.
This year is also significant in Australia, as in Canberra and a number of other cities women veterans will be marching together. Why? Because in recent years they have been suffering abuse from strangers who accuse them of wearing their father’s medals – apparently many people still refuse to believe women can serve!
This image is from the Queensland, Australia town of Canungra on the 25th of April, 1937. People lay wreaths at the Honour Board at the School of Arts on Anzac Day, the day to commemorate Australia’s and New Zealand’s fallen soldiers.
The hall in the picture burnt down during the Second World War.
The AWAS was formed in August of 1941, two years into Australia’s participation in the Second World War. Tens of thousands of women served in various positions in the Australian Army, including several hundred who were sent to New Guinea.