Reflections on a century of service

Scroll down to find short stories about South Australian servicemen and women, their families and their communities.

Each story has been classified under an Anzac Value selected by the author to best reflect the story’s theme. In some cases stories are listed under multiple Anzac Values. All stories are listed below.

You will find some stories marked as ‘Think Pieces’. These are pieces contributed by eminent South Australians, military historians, authors, academics, educators, journalists, and other specialists who have a particular interest and/or expertise in the Anzac Centenary and in Australia’s military history.  A think piece is added to this section every week or you can opt to receive one in your email inbox each week by becoming a subscriber.

If you would like to receive the new ‘think piece’ direct to your inbox each week register here.

You will also find essays written by South Australian year 9 and 10 students, who are the recipients of the Premier’s ANZAC Spirit School Prize. 

Some stories have been sourced and researched via the RSL Virtual War Memorial which is a resource and repository for anyone wanting to research, study or contribute to the commemoration of  South Australia’s (and the Northern Territory’s) socio-military history, from the Boer War to the present day.

Do you have a story about a South Australian individual, family or community that reflects on the Anzac Centenary? If so we would love you to submit your story or photo or video or artwork direct to the website. 

We can also offer you tips and tricks for preparing your story if you’re not sure how to start.  We invite you to contact us for assistance, or to upload directly via this link.  We review submissions prior to posting live. We can also link from your story to the story of your relative on the RSL’s Virtual War Memorial.

The Vietnam War 1962 – 1975

1962-1975 Served: 49,211 Dies: 520 Wounded: 2,396 Men awarded the Victoria Cross: 4 Australian support for South Vietnam in the early 1960’s was in keeping with the policies of other […]

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Think Piece: Anzac Day – A personal perspective

When I attend an Anzac Day dawn service I can usually hold it together until the Last Post plays, then I feel the moisture rolling down my cheeks. My reflections […]

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The Killing Grounds of Milne Bay

“Australian troops had, at Milne Bay, inflicted on the Japanese, their first undoubted defeat on land.” “Some of us may forget that of all the Allies, it was the Australians […]

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The Battle of Suoi Chau Pha, Vietnam

The Battle of Suoi Chau Pha on 6 August, 1967 was fought during the Vietnam War between Australian troops and the Viet Cong. The battle took place during Operation BALLARAT, an Australian search and destroy […]

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Misery and mud – The Third battle of Ypres

The first contact with World War I for the people of Ypres was on 7 October, 1914 when thousands of German troops marched into their town. They entered from the […]

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Think Piece: From a Partner’s Perspective

Does anyone really consider what they are taking on when they become a defence partner? I didn’t, that’s for sure. You meet someone, you fall in love, and you start […]

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2017 Premier’s Anzac Spirit School Prize Essay – Arthur Fillis Grist

On 26 February 1915 at Keswick, South Australia, two days’ shy of his eighteenth birthday and with his family’s support, Arthur Fillis Grist enlisted in the First Australian Imperial Force. […]

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2017 Premier’s Anzac Spirit School Prize Essay – Vernon Hocking

I would like to introduce you to my neighbour’s grandfather, Vernon Hocking. He lived a normal life, growing up in Semaphore then many years later moving to Sandy Creek, near […]

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2017 Premier’s Anzac Spirit School Prize Essay – Ella Jane Tucker

The Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought side-by-side in the First World War were called the Anzacs and are still remembered and respected today. The Anzac Spirit originated during […]

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2017 Premier’s Anzac Spirit School Prize Essay – Sergeant William Walter Atkinson Fox

On 25 April 1915, the spirit of a nation was born with the landing of the first ANZAC troops. This was the beginning of the Anzac legend. These troops came […]

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