The story of the First World War from an Australian perspective is told through The Perth Mint’s ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin Series.
With three coins issued per year between 2014 and 2018, we’re now at the penultimate release featuring designs symbolising key events from 1917 – a year in which Australian forces fought in telling campaigns on the Western Front and in the Middle East.
Front Line Angels
Nurses from Australia worked in field hospitals comprising little more than a series of tents, and on medical ships transporting the wounded to England and Australia. Enduring a constant threat of artillery, bombing, and torpedoes from enemy submarines, they provided medical, emotional, and psychological support for many soldiers suffering horrific wounds.
The Grim Path Back
During the Third Battle of Ypres, months of shell-fire had rendered the landscape desolate and waterlogged. Duckboards were erected to allow troops to move up the line to the fighting, and for the wounded to be brought back down for medical treatment.
Speed and Surprise
When Australian light horsemen charged towards the Ottoman defences at Beersheba in Palestine in October 1917 they faced more than 1,100 Ottoman riflemen, nine field guns, and several machine-guns. The momentum of the surprise attack carried them through enemy positions and on to a remarkable victory. Success at Beersheba played a role in the fall of Gaza along the Palestinian coastline.
Free replica badge for subscribers
A replica Returned From Active Service Badge will be sent to subscription customers of the five-year ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin Series. Originally awarded by the Department of Defence to returned servicemen and servicewomen who had fought overseas during the First World War, the badge was worn to show the civilian wearer had served overseas during the war.
Bonus items for subscribers accompanying earlier releases in this series comprise:
- 2014 – replica Sydney Morning Herald front page from 4 August 1914
- 2015 – replica letter from the brother of two soldiers killed at the battle of The Nek in 1915
- 2016 – replica silk post card of the type used by WWI troops to write messages home
- 2017 – replica Returned from Active Service Badge (pictured above)
- 2018 – to be announced
By subscribing to The ANZAC Spirit 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin Series, collectors also qualify for a free replica billy tin in which all 15 silver coins can be housed.
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