The 95th anniversary of the first Anzac Day will be commemorated around Australia and across the world.
Photo: Anzac Service at Oatley War Memorial in Sydney,
18th April 2010 [Chris Munro]
The ANZAC acronym is formed from the initials of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It was initially used by the military to describe the cove where the Australian and New Zealand troops went ashore at Gallipoli in the early hours of 25th April 1915 but soon began to refer to the men themselves.
The Australian War Memorial describes ANZAC Day as going beyond the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli in 1915. It is the day we remember all Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.
During the Gallipoli campaign 8,709 Australians were killed. One of the casualties was Sergeant Edward Larkin, No 321. Sgt Larkin was killed in action on 25th April 1915.
Photo: Sergeant Edward (Ted) Larkin
in Egypt January 1915 [Munro Collection]
Prior to enlisting Edward Larkin was the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Willoughby in the New South Wales Parliament. Previously he been a policeman but had resigned from the police force to become the first secretary of the New South Wales Rugby League from 1909 until 1913. As a youth he had represented New South Wales and Australia in rugby union.
Private Edward LARKIN, No 321, enlisted on 17th August 1914 in the 1st Battalion AIF and was promoted to sergeant on 22nd August. He embarked aboard the Afric on 18th October 1914. Sergeant Larkin was popular with the men of the AIF and regarded as a ‘good sport’. Private Cavill in his book Imperishable Anzacs remembers him attending a Sports Day in Mena, Egypt in March 1915, preparing for a donkey race. ‘Sergeant (Teddie) Larkin, M.P., was trotting about the ground with a bunch of lucerne, suspended on his stick in front of the donkey’s nose’.
Sergeant Larkin’s actions during 25th April 1915, Gallipoli landing were recorded in official army records as having performed ‘acts of conspicuous gallantry and valuable service, which testified to his devotion to duty towards King and Country’. Private Cavill in Imperishable Anzacs also remembers him as a hero: ‘Wounded and dying he lay, yet when the stretcher bearers came to carry him in, he waved them on, saying ‘There’s plenty worse than me out there.’ Later they found him – dead.’
Photo: Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli Turkey [Munro Collection]
Sergeant Larkin’s name is recorded on the memorial at Lone Pine.
Lest We Forget