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War and Peace

            On August 4th 1914 at 11pm, Britain declared war on Germany. It was the year 1914 when Australia was dragged into the war to help fight against the Central Powers (Germany, The Ottoman Empire and Austria-Hungary) with the Allies (Britain, France and Russia) Australia's participation in the war had affected the whole of Australia, from the soldiers fighting in the war to the home front.
             As the Anzacs were preparing for war in their ships at dawn of 25th April 1915, it is doubtful they were worried about creating a legend. More likely they were dreading the Turkish bullets and bayonets. Despite the fact that the outcome of the Gallipoli campaign was defeat, the Anzacs became heroes and the symbols of a new born nation. .
             When they returned many talked about their courage, bravery, mateship and remarkable determination. Resourceful, honorable, enthusiastic mates with a larrikin sense of humour, this was the image of the Anzacs after Gallipoli. Their patriotism, dedication, tolerance and loyalty had won the hearts of the nation and had put Australia on the map. .
             Although the initial declaration of war was met by enthusiasm at home, as news began to filter back to Australia of the Gallipoli campaign, and later as casualty figures from France increased, enlistment figures began to decrease. By the middle of 1915, the physical requirements were dropped so that more men became eligible; however voluntary enlistment figures in the AIF did not maintain Australia's fighting capacity. The Australian Prime Minister, William "Billy" Hughes, proposed a solution, conscription after following a visit to Britain and France.
             William "Billy" Hughes wanted to introduce compulsory military service, conscription. But as Hughes was a member of the labor party, most members of this party did not support conscription. Hughes therefore decided to call a referendum in October 1916. Voters had to answer yes or no to the question "Should men be conscripted for overseas service?".

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