World War I and Australia

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All users should be aware that some topics or historical content may be culturally sensitive, offensive or distressing, and that some images may contain nudity or are of people not yet identified. Certain words, terms or descriptions may reflect the author's/creator's attitude or that of the period in which they were written, but are now considered inappropriate in today's context.

Key to library resources

Access anywhere with a library card In the Library (or anywhere with a Library card for NSW residents)
Available to access in the library Only in the Library
Publicly available online Publicly available


April - December 1915

The Allied forces hoped to weaken Germany’s war efforts by securing victory against the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). The Ottomans were a threat to British interests in the Middle East including the Suez Canal. They also controlled the Dardanelles Strait which was of strategic interest to the Allies.

After the failed campaign to take control of the Dardanelles Strait by the British naval force, the Allied forces decided to launch an amphibious campaign against the Ottomans at Gallipoli. The thousands of Australian men who volunteered to enlist in the Australia Imperial Force at the outbreak of war were ordered to join the Allied forces to fight in the Gallipoli campaign.

On 25 April 1915 these men fought side by side with New Zealand soldiers at the landing of Gallipoli. This would be the first time the men fought as the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).

For the next eight months the troops continued to try to break through Turkish lines but each time they were unsuccessful. The Battle of Lone Pine and the Battle of the Nek are now part of the ANZAC legend.



Prime Minister Andrew Fisher asked journalist Keith Arthur Murdoch to report back his observations of the Gallipoli campaign during his visit in September 1915. The report now known as the 'Gallipoli Letter' changed the course of the Gallipoli campaign as it led to the evacuation of Allied troops in December 1915.


Diaries and letters

Many of the diaries we received through the European War Collecting Project were written at Gallipoli including:

We've currently digitising the diaries from our collection so more will be available online. Search our catalogue under manuscripts to find other diaries and letters written at Gallipoli using the keywords: Gallipoli personal narratives.

ebooks and printed materials

Artwork and photographs

We have a large collection of photographs taken by soldiers prior to the landing at ANZAC Cove and during the campaign as well as watercolour views by artists such as Leslie Hore, Gilbert Hoskins and Jack Sommers. You can view most of these online.

Bathing party, Gallipoli, October 1915 - Leslie Hore

Maps of Gallipoli

We have hand-drawn maps that were donated to us along with soldiers diaries. We also have printed maps that appeared as newspaper supplements or were published by the Australian government, the British War Office and Australian commercial publishers such as HEC Robinson.

Find out more about our maps of Gallipoli.

Map of the Peninsula of Gallipoli and the Asiatic Shore of the Dardanelles


Archie Barwick's story

Hear Archie Barwick's daughter talking about how her father brought her into the Mitchell Library to see his diaries.


Evacuation Operation order No. 3 from Headquarters, OLD No. 3 Post, ANZAC, 16th December 1915


Copying, publishing or purchasing digital copies

You can make copies of pictures for research and study purposes by:

  • using a digital camera
  • using our microfilm reader printers 
  • ordering paper or electronic copies
  • ordering high quality digital scans  

You need to contact us for permission to publish our original materials. You must also acknowledge the Library and provide the correct location details. 

Find out more about copying and purchasing digital copies.