Australian and New Zealand Army Corps


Australian and New Zealand Army Corps

The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps was a First World War army corps of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force that was formed in Egypt in 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 ANZAC which has since become a term, "Anzac", for a person from Australia or 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 Force encamped 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 Front in France.

The British 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 Cairo on 21 December 1914 to 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 Brigade and 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 horse brigades 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 Division was 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)
*the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps (150 men, corps troops)
*the Zion Mule Corps (transport)
*two half-brigades (4 battalions) of the Royal Naval Division
*the British 13th (Western) Division
*one brigade of the British 10th (Irish) Division
*the 29th Indian Infantry Brigade

Notes

References

*Scanned PDF volumes from the Australian War Memorial of 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]

See also

*Anzac Day
*Anzac spirit
*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]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Australian and New Zealand Army Corps — Corps d armée australien et néo zélandais Pour les articles homonymes, voir ANZAC (homonymie). Le Corps d armée australien et néo zélandais (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, populairement appelé ANZAC) était à l origine un corps d armée… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Australian and New Zealand Army Corps — noun an army corps formed in 1914–15 during World War I, eventually with three Australian divisions and one NZ division; formed in Egypt; saw service at Gallipoli; disbanded in 1916 following the Gallipoli evacuation and replaced with I ANZAC… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Australian and New Zealand Army Corps — Das Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) war ein Armeekorps der Streitkräfte des Britischen Empire im Ersten Weltkrieg. Es wurde aus Australiern und Neuseeländern gebildet. Das ANZAC kämpfte bei der Schlacht von Gallipoli, im Nahen Osten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Australian and New Zealand Army Corps — armed forces from Australia and New Zealand who fought in World War I, ANZAC …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Australien and New Zealand Army Corps — Das Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) war ein Armeekorps der Streitkräfte des Britischen Empire im Ersten Weltkrieg. Es wurde aus Australiern und Neuseeländern gebildet. Das ANZAC kämpfte bei der Schlacht von Gallipoli, im Nahen Osten …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • New Zealand Army — Ngāti Tumatauenga Active 1845 – present Country …   Wikipedia

  • New Zealand Intelligence Corps — New Zealand Army …   Wikipedia

  • New Zealand Army rugby team of 1919 — New Zealand captain James Ryan receiving the Kings Cup from George V The New Zealand Army rugby team of 1919 was a rugby union team which represented New Zealand after the end of the First World War. Although spoken of as a single te …   Wikipedia

  • Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps — Infobox Military Unit unit name=Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps caption= country=New Zealand branch=Army dates=1 January, 1942 – specialization= command structure= size= current commander= garrison= ceremonial chief= nickname= motto=… …   Wikipedia

  • New Zealand Defence Force — Te Ope Kaatua o Aotearoa Service branches Royal New Zealand Navy New Zealand Army Royal New Zealand Air Force Headquarters Wellington Leadership Com …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.