One hundred years ago on Saturday, November 1, 30,000 Australians left Albany headed for the First World War and the shores of Gallipoli.

On April 25, 2015 it will be the 100th anniversary of the first major military action undertaken by Australian and New Zealand in World War I.

ANZAC Day is always special to us at the library, to the Cockburn community, and to Australia and New Zealand as nations.

To commemorate and remember the events that happened on the beaches of Gallipoli and all of the actions that have solidified the ANZAC legacy Cockburn Library will be looking at our collection and resources to offer reviews, information, and suggestions for people who are interested.

WA Author Dianne Wolfer has written two amazing books about people affected by the war here in WA.

Cover.indd Lighthouse Girl

Her book Lighthouse Girl tells the story of Fay. Who lives on windswept Breaksea Island with only her journal to confide in. Life changes dramatically in 1914 when war is declared and the 30,000 men of the combined Australian New Zealand Imperial Forces gather in Albany. Fay becomes a lifeline for homesick soldiers desperate to send a final telegraph message to their loved ones. She continues the long-distance conversations with letters and postcards, following the fortunes of her soldiers from Egypt to Gallipoli. Then one day a single sad letter arrives and the war is brought brutally home.

Her book Lighthorse Boy is set in 1914 when Jim and Charlie abandon the Australian outback for the excitement and adventure of the war to end all wars. But in the Light Horse they quickly discover the brutal realities of life on the frontline. And nothing will ever be the same again.

Simpson and his Donkey is a story well known in Australia, in this book Mark Greenwood recounts the story of John Kilpatrick Simpson and how he and his donkey, Duffy, rescued over 300 men during the campaign at Gallipoli.

Simpson and his Donkey

We are lucky enough to have video and pictures from the this time. And in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the war breaking out internationally, Richard Pelvin, compiled over 500 rarely seen photographs, historic maps, letters, and diary entries in his book ANZAC : an illustrated history 1914-1918 to bring the story of the First World War to life – including the devastating Gallipoli campaign.


The ANZAC legacy is also immortalised in movies and TV shows. Perhaps the best known example is Gallipoli starring Mel Gibson. It tells the story of two young men who take part in the campaign at Gallipoli. It tells of their friendship and the events that bring them to a tragic climax.

Beyond the stories, books, factual recounts, and various movies that exist revolving around ANZAC Day is the Anzac biscuit. Made without eggs so that the biscuits would not spoil as quickly and could be shipped overseas everyone has their own recipe. One of which can be found in: Australia’s favourite recipes : cherished family recipes from around the country


These are just some of the resources available at your local Cockburn Library.

Keep an eye on our website for more information on these and other ANZAC, and Australia at War, related blog posts in the lead up to the 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day.

Or, comment below with something you would like to share with us.