- Australian and New Zealand Army Corps
The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps was a First World War army corps of the
Mediterranean Expeditionary Forcethat was formed in Egyptin 1915 and operated during the Battle of Gallipoli. The corps was disbanded in 1916 following the evacuation of Gallipoli. The corps is best remembered today as the source of the acronym ANZACwhich has since become a term, "Anzac", for a person from Australiaor New Zealand.
Plans for the formation of the corps began in November 1914 while the first contingent of Australian and New Zealand troops were still in convoy bound for, as they thought, Europe. However, following the experiences of the
Canadian Expeditionary Forceencamped on Salisbury Plain, it was decided not to subject the Australians and New Zealanders to the English winter and so they were diverted to Egypt for training before moving on to the Western Frontin France.
Secretary of State for War, Horatio Kitchener, appointed General William Birdwood, an officer of the British Indian Army, to the command of the corps and he furnished most of the corps staff from the Indian Army as well. Birdwood arrived in Cairoon 21 December 1914to assume command of the corps.
It was originally intended to name the corps the "Australasian Army Corps" — this title being used in the unit diary — but understandable protests from New Zealand led to the name "Australian and New Zealand Army Corps" being adopted. The administration clerks found the title too cumbersome so quickly adopted the abbreviation "A. & N.Z.A.C." or simply "ANZAC". Shortly afterwards it was officially adopted as the codename for the corps but it did not enter common usage amongst the troops until after the Gallipoli landings.
At the outset the corps comprised only one complete division, the Australian 1st Division. In addition there were the
New Zealand Infantry Brigadeand two mounted brigades — the Australian 1st Light Horse Brigade (1st LH) and the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade(NZMR).
Another convoy transporting an Australian infantry brigade (the 4th) and two
light horsebrigades arrived shortly afterwards. Initially the brigades were arranged by combining the two extra infantry brigades into the "New Zealand Division" and the mounted brigades into the "Mounted Division" but this was deemed unsatisfactory. Instead the New Zealand and Australian Divisionwas formed with the two infantry brigades plus two mounted brigades (1st LH and NZMR). The remaining light horse brigades became corps troops. These two divisions would remain the core of ANZAC for the duration of its existence.
Despite being synonymous with Australia and New Zealand, ANZAC was quite a multi-national body. In addition to the many British officers in the corps and division staffs, ANZAC contained at various times:
*the 7th Brigade of the
Indian Mountain Artillery(corps artillery)
Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps(150 men, corps troops)
Zion Mule Corps(transport)
*two half-brigades (4 battalions) of the
Royal Naval Division
British 13th (Western) Division
*one brigade of the
British 10th (Irish) Division
29th Indian Infantry Brigade
*Scanned PDF volumes from the
Australian War Memorialof the " Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918":
** [http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/ww1/1/index.asp Vol. I — The Story of Anzac: the first phase]
** [http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/ww1/2/index.asp Vol. II — The Story of Anzac: from 4 May, 1915 to evacuation]
* [http://www.anzacsite.gov.au Visit Gallipoli: Australian site about Gallipoli and the Anzacs] , includes previously unpublished photographs, artworks and documents from Government archives. A site by the Australian Department of Veterans' Affairs.
* [http://www.rsa.org.nz/remem/anzac_gallipoli.html New Zealanders at Gallipoli]
Military history of Australia during World War I
Alec Campbell, the last living ANZAC at Gallipoli [Shaw, John. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9406E7D61438F933A15756C0A9649C8B63&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/D/Deaths%20(Obituaries) "Alec Campbell, Last Anzac at Gallipoli, Dies at 103,"] "New York Times." May 20, 2002.]
* [http://www.anzacs.org/ ANZACs at Gallipoli]
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