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.

Think Piece: A son of Australia

While growing up as a first generation migrant, I remember attending annual Anzac Day ceremonies at my primary school. Even as a child I recall being deeply moved by the […]

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Think Piece: Being left behind

A couple of days ago was my 47th birthday. Like other recent events (Australia Day, New Year’s Day, Christmas Day) my birthday was spent without my partner. Instead my daughter […]

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Private Saran Singh

How did a Sikh from Jandiala, Punjab enlist in the Australian Imperial Forces and end up dying in the Battle of Messines in Belgium on 10 June 1917? Saran Singh […]

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Think Piece: For we are young and free

….for we are young and free – first line of our national anthem. We sing it often. We sang it this morning. We hear our children and grandchildren sing it. […]

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The Boer War Memorial

If you drive down North Terrace, heading west towards Parliament House, on the right you will see at the entrance to Government House a memorial statue.  This statue has had […]

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Private Saran Singh: a Sikh Australian soldier in WW1

Private Sarn Singh is one of 19 Sikhs who were recruited into the Australian Imperial Force during World War I, but the only known casualty, who died in Belgium in […]

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Hill 60 and the Battle of Messines 1917

“…from the crest of this ridge, which was the scene of terrific carnage.” These words greet visitors to the memorial inside the gate at the Island of Ireland Peace Park […]

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75th Anniversary of the sinking of the Montevideo Maru

“My grandfather went down with the Montevideo …The Rising Sun sent him floating to his rest”. With these words, former Midnight Oil lead singer and former Government Minister, Peter Garrett, […]

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Think Piece: National Servicemen Memorial

On Friday the 17th of March 2017, the National Servicemen’s Association (South Australia Branch) conducted a ‘dedication service’ at its Headquarters (41 Surrey Road Keswick) for a Memorial and Pathway […]

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Think Piece: Recalling the lesser known Indigenous War-time legacy

Approximately 3000 Aboriginals and 850 Torres Strait Islanders served in Australia’s armed forces during World War II. Despite this contribution, few Australians would know about the Indigenous soldiers, airmen or […]

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