Marking the first Anzac Day in London
In April 1916, a year after the Anzac landings at Gallipoli, the first anniversary of the battle was observed in Australia, New Zealand and Britain. A grand memorial service was held at Westminster Abbey in London, attended by King George V and Queen Mary. Hundreds of New Zealand and Australian military personnel marched through the streets to the Abbey to attend the service.
Among them was Sydney-born Dr Agnes Bennett, who had been working in Egyptian hospitals treating the wounded from Gallipoli. Some 40 years later she recalled the experience in this excerpt from a radio ‘talk.’
Treating Gallipoli’s wounded – Dr Agnes Bennett
The Australian-born and New Zealand-based doctor Agnes Bennett refused to let routine sexism keep her out of the war. She offered her services to the New Zealand Army as soon as war broke out but was turned down because she was a woman. Undeterred, she paid her own passage to Europe, intending to join the French Red Cross. In May 1915 she was sailing through the Red Sea when word reached the ship of the casualties arriving in Egypt from the Gallipoli campaign. She disembarked at the next opportunity and began working in the over-stretched military hospitals of Cairo, with the status and pay of an army captain. Dr Bennett recalls her wartime experiences in this recording, made in 1959.