100 years on and we still know little of Anzac history

NEARLY a third of Australian's do not know what Anzac stands for.

A century on from the seminal landings at Gallipoli research from family history website Ancestry shows Australians know little about the First World War.

The research shows while 80% of Australians believe they know what Anzac stands for, only 29% actually do.

The research showed instead of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps many people replaced "Army" with air, auxiliary, or armed, and "Corps" is often replaced with command, core or coalition.

Those surveyed were also found people were unsure about if any ancestors who served in the First World War survived, or where they fought.

Just 29% of Queenslanders knew of an ancestor who fought in the First World War; however that rose to 43% in NSW and 48% in Tasmania.

Ancestry content director Ben Mercer said the Gallipoli landing's centenary was an opportunity for people to learn more about Australia's Anzac history.

"While Australians are proud of our shared Anzac heritage, many simply don't know the detail and some aren't even sure what Anzac stands for," he said.

"They know they have an ancestor, they know that ancestor's name but they often can't tell us anymore and I know they want to know more."


Mr Mercer said Ancestry would be making more than 12 million First World War records available online in a partnership with the Australian National Archives.

"The First World War service records now available to Ancestry members give much greater access to information around those that served in the First World War, awards won, as well as details on our wounded and fallen Anzac heroes, helping to bridge this huge knowledge gap."

National Archives spokesman David Fricker said he was pleased to be able to reach a wider audience.

"We are delighted our relationship with Ancestry will increase the online access to our rich history held within the Archives' Collection by sharing our WWI records more widely. Service records retained by the Archives include details of enlistment, promotions, combat, health and leave, former occupations and next of kin."


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