Labour History

“Natural Enemies”? Anzac and the Left to 1919

Labour History (2014), 106, (1), 143–162.


In the wake of the Gallipoli landing in April 1915, there emerged a new, distinctively Australian discursive formation. The Anzac legend was a unique blend of nationalism and militarism increasingly advocated and enshrined at commemorative events. Some pre-war labour writing creates the expectation of contestation around the inherent militarism of that mythology. Rather, Anzac typically produced a shift in the labour movement’s rhetoric around war and nationalism. In the period to 1919, the labour movement frequently constituted itself discursively in such a way as to seek inclusion in the mythology rather than to oppose it.

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Author details

Cryle, Mark