Boxing and recruiting
In the early stages of the war sport was seen as a fertile site for recruitment, and this film shows 17,000 spectators crammed into the Sydney Stadium to witness Les Darcy defend his world middleweight title against American Eddie McGoorty in 1915. An intense affair, Police ended the fight in the 15th round after McGoorty was knocked down for the fourth time. Beforehand the Premier of NSW, William Holman, and the opposition leader, Charles Wade, were scheduled to give a recruitment speech.
However, as it became obvious that the war would not be over quickly, and as casualties from Gallipoli mounted, sport was condemned as a distraction from fighting and the home front war effort.
The First Anzac at Gallipoli
Britain’s Royal Navy was in charge of landing the first Australians and New Zealanders at Gallipoli on April 25 1915. From their troop transport ships, the men were loaded into smaller boats which were towed as close to the beach as possible. The steam-powered ‘picket’ boats which towed them were commanded by teenage Navy midshipmen like 15-year-old Eric Bush, who was responsible for getting about 200 Anzacs ashore. Among the first Australians to land was Private James Bostock, who recalls how he jumped overboard and waded onto the beach at what would soon be known as Anzac Cove. Both men were recorded in 1955 for a BBC radio documentary marking the 40th anniversary of the landings.