The ANZAC Spirit Series

 PRIDE · RESPECT · GRATITUDE

 

 The Perth Mint is honoured to present the final year of the limited edition ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary Coin Series. Capturing the events that shaped our nation’s history in pure silver and pure gold, these poignant commemoratives pay homage to the Australian men and women who bravely served in the First World War. From 2014 to 2018, The ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary Coin Series has depicted the major events and themes from this corresponding period of 100 years ago. The centenary of the First World War serves as an opportunity to reflect on how Australia has developed as a country, from a dominion of the British Empire, to an independent, courageous nation, proud of its own distinct persona.

 

The British declaration of war on August 4, 1914 was greeted with widespread enthusiasm and jubilation across the Empire. In Australia, it was a chance for the fledgling nation to prove itself in battle and to rally to the cause. Convoys of ships carrying the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF), departed from King George's Sound at Albany, Western Australia. For many of the soldiers onboard, Albany would be the last piece of Australian soil on which they would stand. 

 

Declaration of War 2014 1oz Silver Proof Coin 

 The coin’s reverse features a group of soldiers marching beneath a representation of Britannia holding her trident, and wearing a Corinthian helmet, symbolic of British liberties and democracy.

 

In the early hours of April 25, 1915, more than 20,000 men of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzacs) landed on the western side of the Gallipoli peninsula. As the troops came ashore they came under fire, with many being killed or wounded in the battle’s opening moments. The events of this day marked the beginning of a legend that has endured for the past century. 

Making of a Nation 2015 1oz Silver Proof Coin

The coin’s reverse depicts Australian troops in wooden row boats approaching the Gallipoli shore, with its rugged terrain in the background.  

Australia’s first Anzac Day took place on 25 April 1916, one year after the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops on Gallipoli. The Battle of the Somme refers to a series of battles between 1 July and 18 November 1916 in which more than one million men were wounded or killed. Australian troops, Gallipoli veterans and fresh reinforcements, arrived on the Somme by mid-July in support of the British attempt to capture the high ground towards the village of Thiepval.

Be Worthy of Them 2016 1oz Silver Proof Coin

The coin’s reverse depicts a group of soldiers as they charge out of the trenches along the Somme Valley in France.   

 The Middle East Campaign of 1917 took place in the towns of Gaza and Beersheba, in a fight against the Turkish Empire. It was during the Battle of Beersheba, that the legend of the Australian Light Horse was born as the 4th Light Horse Brigade charged Beersheba, and successfully captured the town and its water supplies, breaking the Gaza-Beersheba line. This action was recognised as one of the most famous mounted actions of the First World War.

Many Never Returned 2017 1oz Silver Proof Coin

The coin’s reverse depicts a group of Australian soldiers as they walk through the Menin Gate, past the Cloth Hall, on their return to Ypres from the battlefields of the Ypres Salient.  

The Homefront experienced the war from a distance often mourning the loss of fathers, brothers, husbands, uncles, and friends.  They bore an emotional and sometimes financial burden that was endured for years after the end of the war. During this time of unrest the homefront showed its support of the men serving overseas through charity work and fundraising. Australian women threw themselves wholeheartedly into the war effort, forming groups and organisations to make much needed clothing, and to put together comfort packages, containing small luxuries that were otherwise unavailable to the troops. 

The First World War ended at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Among those who saw action during its four years of unparalleled human carnage were more than 300,000 Australian volunteers – young men who left the security of their families and jobs to face the prospect of slaughter on the other side of the world. Joining their numbers were extraordinary young women, whose bravery in nursing thousands of brutally wounded and dying soldiers often took them perilously close to the extreme dangers of the front line. More than 60,000 Australians made the ultimate sacrifice amid rifle-fire and shrapnel in the rocky gullies on Gallipoli, in the muddy, heavily shelled trenches of the Western Front, and in the arid deserts of the Middle East. More than double that number from our young nation were either wounded, gassed, or taken prisoner. 

 

We Will Remember Them 2018 1oz Silver Proof Coin

The coin’s reverse honours Laurence Binyon’s For the Fallen, considered by many to be the most famous poem written about the First World War. Known as The Ode, its fourth stanza has become central to remembrance ceremonies in Australia and around the world. The coin depicts a soldier in a field of red poppies playing the bugle and the inscription ‘1918 We Will Remember Them’.

  

 

 

For the Fallen
By Laurence Binyon

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

 

 

  

 

Portraying the various stories of the war years, The Perth Mint has produced an emotive series of three-coin sets meticulously researched and crafted to provide a snapshot of the First World War historic period.The final ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary Coin Series 2018 1/2oz Silver Proof Three-Coin Set features a trio of commemorative coins depicting symbolic images and themes from the final year of the First World War.  Don't miss out on this complete set which is available for collectors who wish to secure all five of the three-coin sets issued between 2014 and 2018.


 

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