Anzac centenary

Anzac centenary

First World War

A century ago, when the great powers of Europe mobilised for the First World War, Australia enthusiastically answered the call.

Men and women from Sydney were among 300,000 who served abroad with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). Others joined British and Allied forces. They soldiered in the mud, flew wood and wire aeroplanes above the trenches, and nursed in tented hospitals from Salonika to the Somme.

Sydney's contribution reflected its diverse population.

Alongside eager recruits of British ancestry were men from other backgrounds, like Private Arthur Malcolm Quong Tart of the 19th Battalion, eldest son of Mei Quong Tart, a prominent Chinese businessman and one of the city's best-loved public figures.

Also in the 19th Battalion was Arthur Stace, who returned home from war to write 'Eternity' on the streets of Sydney.

The Anzac centenary is an opportunity to explore our history of the Great War of 1914–1918. 

Pictured: Private William John Pickup, 1st Battalion, killed in action at Gallipoli. His portrait is from an Honour Board made for the department store Anthony Hordern and Sons Ltd, Sydney, that remembers 46 of the company's employees killed in WWI.


Australian War MemorialNSW Government Centenary of AnzacState Library of NSW

Hear the story behind 'Yininmadyemi'. Download the Culture Walks app.

City of Sydney centenary events

Socks for Centenary program

Anzac Day 2015

Events taking place include the Anzac Day dawn service, the morning march in the city centre, the commemoration service in Hyde Park and the sunset service ceremony in Martin Place.

WWI events at our libraries

Centenary events at our libraries

Our library branches will host a range of events to commemorate the Anzac centenary. The program includes activities for residents and visitors of all ages.

Socks for Centenary program

Socks for Centenary

During World War I, the Red Cross initiated knitting socks for the troops. As a tribute, we are encouraging people to knit a pair of socks to be donated to the Wayside Chapel.

Lone pine at Foley Park

Lone pine at Foley Park

A descendant of the original lone pine tree in Gallipoli has been planted in Glebe’s Foley Park to commemorate the Anzac centenary.

Artwork honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women

History Week 2014 – The Great War

Join historians and curators from the City of Sydney for 2 illustrated talks during History Week. Learn about the conscription debate at Sydney Town Hall, fundraising for the war effort and intimate recollections of the war that are held in the City’s oral history collection.

Artwork honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women

Artwork honouring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women

'Yininmadyemi' – Thou didst let fall, is an artwork that reminds Aboriginal artist Tony Albert of how his grandfather and fellow service people were treated differently to their white comrades after the war.

Stories of war and peace wanted for Oral Histories

Aboriginal service men and women share war and peace stories

Former and current Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service men and women shared stories of war and peace for the Sydney Oral Histories website.

War memorial at Glebe

Maintaining our memorials

The City is working with conservation experts to ensure war memorials across the City are restored in time for the Anzac centenary and preserved for generations to come.

Ray Finn representing the Australian Light Horse at the Coloured Diggers Anzac march

Coloured Diggers march

Honouring our unsung war heroes with an Anzac Day march and service in Redfern. The first Anzac Day march in Redfern was organised by the Coloured Diggers group in 2007.


This Is My Story

Home library users share their ancestors' memories of World War I, and their own experiences of recent historical events, for a Customs House exhibition. 

Last updated: Friday, 24 April 2015