2014 marks 100 years since the start of the First World War – an horrendous conflict that drew millions of people from around the globe into mechanised warfare more deadly than anything previously seen.
Those who rushed to the seat of conflict in Europe included Antipodeans from the opposite side of the world who saw it as their duty to support the Mother Country – Great Britain – in her hour of need.
Unbeknown to them at the time, Australians and New Zealanders who departed Western Australia at the end of 1914 were, in fact, on a date with destiny at Gallipoli, a strategically important peninsula overlooking Turkey’s Dardanelles Strait.
The dreadful casualties experienced by ANZAC troops during this eight-month failed campaign resulted in the rate of reinforcements slowing down. In response, the Government issued a series of propaganda posters impressing upon eligible males the need to fight.
The Perth Mint is proud to begin its commemorations of World War I with a remarkable collector coin series featuring historic Australian Posters of World War I – commencing with ‘A Call From The Dardanelles’ by artist H.M. Burton.
The image features a WWI digger in a slouch hat standing astride the Dardanelles, one foot on the Gallipoli peninsula and the other on Asia Minor, calling out the Australian bush cry of ‘coo-ee’. By 1915, when the poster was made, strong Australian symbolism rather than references to Britain and the Empire were deemed to deliver a more effective message to men at home.
Struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver and limited to a maximum mintage of just 5,000, this coin is to be followed by four more annual releases featuring historic posters relating to the Australian Red Cross, War Bonds, Home Front and Peace Bonds.