Australia in WWI

Rightly or wrongly, this unit as determined by those who set these things, is dominated by Gallipoli. Hopefully, you have enough time to look at a range of other aspects of the Australian experience of the war to end all wars.

Activity: WWI: Introduction and Research

Reading: Causes of WWI

You might be able to use two acronyms to remember the causes of WWI. There are four MAIN long-term causes of World War I:

and then remember Austria’s ABUSE of German support during the July Crisis:
Blank Cheque
Serbia’s reply
Escalation to War

Australia & WWI

Australia participated in World War I as the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), consisting wholly of volunteers.
Enlisting in the AIF (DVA)
AIF recruitment, with Qld examples (Qld Archives)

The Australian War Memorial was established in the aftermath of the Great War to commemorate the sacrifice of Australian soldiers who died. It now recognises Australian lives lost in all conflicts (except the ‘frontier wars’ which is a debated topic!)

I recommend the AWM’s overview of Australia in WWI as a starting point.
Within the AWM, you can also find many primary sources, unit journals, information about individual soldiers, specific education publications and research articles. There is a comprehensive bibliography and recommended readings at the end of the overview.

There is also a good range of information on the Australian Army’s website. I particularly like the article on changing technology from 1914 to 1918.


The ABC produced a fabulous animation of the landing at Gallipoli. Watch it here               (Landing 25/4/15)               (Withdrawal Dec 1915) From a Kiwi ANZAC! Authentic letters from France & London

Teacher Resource: trench-warfare-simulation

Western Front

Following with withdrawal in December 1915, Australian troops were reassigned to fight on the Western Front for the next three years. A good (short) summary of Australia’s involvement is from the Australian Army.

Australians on the Western Front 1914-1918 ( is an excellent site for those visiting the battlefields, or researching online. Each battle has information and an animation under ‘What happened here’. Check out other pages about each battle from the menu on the right hand side of the AWF pages.

Key battles for the Australians were at:
Fromelles (July 1916) : Aust on WF  AWM
Pozieres (July 1916) : Aust on WF  AWM – With some activities
Villers-Bretonneux (April 1918) : Aust on WF AWM
Hamel (July 1918) : Aust on WF  AWM

Home Front

Comprehensive page covering many aspects of life in Australia during WWI


A major political controversy in Australia was over conscription – the forced enlistment of Australian men into the AIF.