The first Anzac Day commemoration was organised by
John Monash one year after the fateful landing. The Australian troops were now in Egypt, and here is how Monash
described that first Anzac Day commemoration in a letter to his wife.
“ I turned out the whole Brigade . . at 6.45 in
the morning. Every man who had served on Gallipoli wore a blue ribbon
on the right breast, and every man, who, in addition, had taken part in
the historic landing on April 25/15 wore a red ribbon also.... Alas, how
few of us are left who were entitled to wear both! We then had a short
but very dignified Service.
... We spent the morning in cricket matches
and other amusement, and in the afternoon, the whole Division went down
to the Canal to swim and take part in a great Aquatic Carnival ... one
teeming mass of naked humanity—at times there were over 15,000 men in
the water. ... Of course we had many comic items on the
programme, including a skit on the memorable landing.
... in the evening we had mess dinners
everywhere, and finished up with band concerts, and wished each other
the opportunity of enjoying many happy returns of this famous Day—Our
Tha annual march along Swanston Street and St Kilda Road to the Shrine.