What was a day in the life of the ANZACs like?

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A day in the life of an ANZAC soldier was best described as "hell on earth". To begin with, the diggers left their families behind, and faced the uncertainty of whether they would ever see them again. Communications from overseas were few and far between, and homesickness would have been constant. Any letters they received from home were lifelines.

Worse than that, however, were the conditions endured by the diggers on the actual battlefields. The trenches were hot and suffocating, and mates who had been killed in battle were left there. Over time, their bodies would start to rot in the hot air, swelling and bloating and sometimes bursting, while maggots hatched on their rotting bodies. All around the diggers was the smell of rotten, dead bodies, the smell of dysentery, and the smell of death. They were surrounded by the sounds of machine gun fire, the agonised screams of dying men. There was relentless thirst, whilst the men waited for the water carriers to bring around the water buckets to fill their canteens. Food consisted of dried rations only, except for those lucky enough to receive ANZAC biscuits and fruitcake from home. Lice was a constant problem.

There was camaraderie between the diggers, of course - it was probably the only thing that kept them sane. But then every day, they faced the prospect of losing another of their mates to the fighting. They needed their friends - but they couldn't stand to lose them, so sometimes it was better to not get too close. The mental torture of seeing their mates die around them was not a memory that was easily shed. As for having to kill other people, they would have had to block out the fact that they were killing someone's husband, father, son. They had to focus on the task, and simply not allow themselves to think too much.

For leisure, the men played cards and two-up and made trinkets out of bits of scrap metal. They also carted supplies and did recon of the area.
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ANZACs and all those involved in past and current active defence are honoured on Anzac Day, April 25 each year, in Australia and New Zealand.

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Why do we have ANZAC day?

ANZAC is an acronym for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (pronounced Core), the soldiers who landed at Gallipoli on the Turkish Aegean coast on 25 April 1915, in World Wa

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