The Extraordinary ANZAC Day March in Melbourne, 1921
Edward W Humphreys
Published by Sports and Editorial Services Australia, March 2014
The spectacular Anzac Day March in Melbourne in 1921 almost did not take place. At the time, the RSSILA was more interested in obtaining permission from the Eight Hours’ Day Committee to collect funds for the building and equipping of a building for the social and administrative use of returned servicemen than with any commemorative ceremony. It was not until William Morris Hughes, the Prime Minister at the time, stepped in and held discussions with the RSSILA that any form of commemoration was even considered.
This book, which is a revision of the author’s 2000 Bachelor of Arts Honours thesis, covers the various forms the commemoration of the 1915 landing at Gallipoli took in Melbourne during the years from 1916 to 1920, delves into the background to the 1921 march, describes the march itself, and explores the role of the Prime Minister in the events of the time. The research did not uncover definitive reasons for the march, but (like all research) it illuminated some aspects of the times and exposed gaps in the record that invite further research.
Edward (Ted) Humphreys was born in 1926 in London, England, where he qualified as a chartered accountant. Romantically, on an audit in 1955 he met Alison, an Australian-qualified accountant, and they married in 1956. From 1956 to 1971 they worked and lived in Sudan, Pakistan, Singapore and South-East Asia, and then transferred to Australia in November 1971. Ted retired in 1986 and, while engaged in community work, he cast around for something extra, saying, ‘I can’t play golf and can’t afford a yacht, so what else can I do?’ He began as a mature student at Monash University, completing a Bachelor of Arts, and continued with a Bachelor of Letters and a Bachelor of Arts Honours at Deakin University, after which he went on to complete his Master of Arts by Research at the University of Melbourne. His book Andrew Fisher: The Forgotten Man was based on that degree.
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