Skip to content

Gallipoli Mateship Essay

ABBEY Drury was this year’s sole winner of the Wingham High School year 9 Gallipoli history essay competition with her essay titled “Why is the Gallipoli campaign so important to Australian history?”

Each year, Eric Richardson OAM sponsors the competition and presents the winners, one female and one male, with cheques of $50 each at the school’s Anzac Day ceremony.

Abbey’s essay is reproduced below.

“Why is the Gallipoli campaign so important to Australian history?”

By Abbey Drury

THE story of our nation’s heroes has been told across Australia for decades. This year, as we celebrate the centenary of ANZAC, the battle at Gallipoli, now known as the Gallipoli campaign, remains just as important to the Australian nation as it was 100 years ago.

At dawn on the 25th of April, thousands of Australian and New Zealand troops landed on the shore of Gallipoli, after many months of training, to face their first day of war. But no amount of training could have prepared them for the task that lay ahead. Those first few steps onto land would be the last for hundreds, and for the survivors it was those first few steps through blood and water that introduced them to a world of devastation and brutality.

What was anticipated to be a quick, easy battle turned into a long and savage fight which the ANZACs would have to endure for another eight months, their world being defined by those two walls of the trench, the continuous sound of gunfire and the unbearable smell of rotting corpses that covered the ground. Conditions were as poor as could be imagined and many men not only lost their lives through bullets and shrapnel, but also from diseases that thrived in the trenches. They were eventually evacuated in mid December 1915, leaving behind 8709 Australians who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Although the landing at Gallipoli didn’t meet the desired outcome, it is still classed as one of the most important events in Australian history today.

As a young and newly developed nation, we hadn’t been faced with an opportunity to participate in a world event and show other countries what we were truly capable of. This was Australia’s first opportunity to stand up and prove itself as a nation.

It established us as a nation of people with many commendable qualities. Australians became legendary for our mateship, our integrity, our resourcefulness, fairness, having the ability to keep our humour and spirit during the most difficult times and our willingness to stand up and fight for our country and freedom.

It also established us as a nation of volunteers. Our Australian force, unlike any other nation directly involved, was made up purely of volunteers from all walks of life.  This was an ultimate example of our nation’s pride, tenacity and determination.

The Gallipoli campaign is one of the most recognised and important events in Australian history because it raised an insignificant colony into a nation respected by the world.

To an Australian, ANZAC is a household world, a legend. An ordinary group of people who did extraordinary things, whom we honour for giving us the freedom to live, all because they had the will to try and the belief it could be done.

This section contains 2,134 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)

View a FREE sample

Summary: This detailed explanation on the importance Australian mateship had in 1915 and still has in our lives, draws from Peter Weir's characters Frank and Archy in the film Gallipoli and touches on my own personal experiences which have made me personally value my mates. It furthermore expands on how times of adversity such as World War One, can bring people together, forging life long bonds.


The Australian Diggers of World War One displayed a mateship that was beyond any ordinary bond, they were willing to face unthinkable odds and place their lives at risk not only for their country, but also for their mates. In the film Gallipoli, director Peter Weir illustrates the importance of mateship and demonstrates why it is recognised as a part of our national identity. The text largely focuses on the protagonists Frank and Archy's journey, both physically and mentally. It places their mateship under 'the microscope' and allows the viewer to observe it evolve over time. The reason why they are mates is also illuminated; their common interest in running serves as a motif throughout the film. The text further envisions the qualities that mateship entails and raises the idea that hardship draws people closer together. Through Frank and Archy's actions the film ultimately advertises the importance that...

(read more)

This section contains 2,134 words
(approx. 8 pages at 300 words per page)

View a FREE sample