Method note. The newspaper was not delivered on 21 or 22 April due to heavy storms.
So far I’ve only been recording Gallipoli and WWI stories when they mention ethnicity, and therefore leaving most stories unrecorded because they do not discuss Australian soldiers’ generally British identification. Ethnicity is only mentioned with regard to minority identity, mainly Aborigines. The stories tell about discrimination during recruitment and post-war treatment. Considerable emphasis has been put on these themes, with an accommodating media being fed by the Aboriginal industry. The contrast with the overwhelmingly Anglo diggers could not be stronger. Their identification with Anglo Australia and with the Empire is not recorded. This despite the Australian Army being a volunteer force whose recruitment was driven by patriotism in addition to lust for adventure. Patriotism at that time had strong ethnic and Empire-loyalist strands. When commentators declare that Gallipoli consecrated the Australian nation, they are being selective and sometimes creative about what actually motivated the soldiers. They are applying their own interpretation when they celebrate Gallipoli for affirming creedal nationalism and multiculturalism, doctrines that underpin what has been described as the cultural genocide of Anglo Australia through mass immigration. Anzacs are held to have fought for freedom and mateship. Small-group bonding is the strongest cohesive force in combat troops, but freedom? No evidence is presented of abstract concept of freedom motivated any Australian soldier. The freedom for which they fought was that of their nation and the British Empire. To accurately record Anzacs’ motivations should redouble our sense of tragedy because Anzacs did not fight and die for the extirpation of their nation as they conceived it. No wonder multiculturalist commentators criticise Anzac Day for being too Anglo and too white.
Despite the above, the omission of most Gallipoli stories has been an error because the event is an expression of Anglo-Australian identity, however the media and education system now represent it. The event forms the heart of the nation’s public ritual life. From now on Anzac stories will be recorded along with their orientation – creedal or ethnic.