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The meaning of ANZAC

Anzac is the acronym for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It was a World War 1army corps of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force that was formed in Egypt in 1915...

The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps was a World War 1 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.
It was originally intended to name the corps the "Australasian Army Corps", this title being used in the unit diary, following the common practice of the time, which often saw New Zealanders and Australians compete together as "Australasia" in sporting events. However, 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 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

Sources : Wikipedia


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