Mar 102015
 

In military tradition, the Last Post is the bugle call signalling the end of the military day. Historically, it was part of ‘Tattoo’, thought to have originated with British troops stationed in Holland during the 17th century.

The custom included the First Post which marked the start of evening inspection (beginning at the first sentry post). In between the sounding of First and Last Post, a drum was beaten to call off-duty soldiers in from local hostelries. The word tattoo comes from the Dutch for “turn off the beer taps”.

The Last Post was eventually incorporated into military funerals where it symbolises that the duty of the dead is over and that they can rest in peace. It is an equally important and moving component of commemorative services held each Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day in Australia.

On these occasions the Last Post is followed by a minutes silence, which is broken by another bugle call – either Reveille, or more usually, the Rouse.

Reveille derives from the old French word meaning ‘wake up’ and for hundreds of years has been sounded to awaken soldiers at sunrise. While the Last Post is associated with death, Reveille symbolises resurrection.

A shorter call, the Rouse, was the signal for soldiers to arise and attend to their duties. While the Rouse is most commonly used in conjunction with the Last Post at remembrance services during the daytime, Reveille is the bugle call heard at ANZAC Day dawn services.

2015 Anzac Day $1 Coin in Card

This year’s ANZAC Day $1 uncirculated coin marks 100 years since Gallipoli. Portraying a line of diggers with the inscription Lest We Forget, the coin is housed in a display card illustrated with a silhouetted Australian trumpeter sounding the Last Post and Reveille.

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Mar 042015
 

This month we’re adding two extremely poignant coins to The ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary Coin Series:

Goodbye Cobber 2015 1/4oz Gold Proof Coin

On 7 August 1915, the 3rd Light Horse Brigade attacked Turkish trenches at the Nek on the Gallipoli peninsula. In the words of Lieutenant-Colonel Noel Brazier, what occurred was “sheer bloody murder” as the Australian troops were mowed down by Turkish rifle and machine-gun fire. Despite calls to abandon the attack, four waves of men went over the top into a maelstrom of bullets.

With fatalistic recognition of what was about to happen to him, Trooper Harold Rush of the 10th Light Horse, aged 23, famously uttered to his mate: “Goodbye Cobber, God bless you.” The words are inscribed on his headstone and, in tribute to Rush and all those who fell with him, they now appear on this Australian coin made from 99.99% pure gold.

Restricted to a limited mintage of just 1,000, the coin’s emotive portrayal depicts an Australian soldier at a graveside being comforted by the spectral figure of his fallen comrade.

ANZAC-Lest-We-ForgetLest We Forget 2015 1 Kilo Silver Proof Coin

More than 60,000 Australians lost their lives during the First World War. Many men died in battle, their final resting place the battle fields on which they fought.

They are buried in war cemeteries or listed on memorials to the missing in countries around the world – from the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Greece and Turkey, to Israel, the Lebanese Republic, Papua New Guinea and Syria.

Over the past 100 years, there have been many moving symbols that have come to be associated with military loss. One of these is the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross, also known as the Battlefield Cross or Battle Cross, which is portrayed on the reverse of this magnificent pure silver release.

With a mintage of only 500, the Australian coin’s depiction of this silent sentinel is framed by a list of symbolic words and phrases, including the names of battlefields and cemeteries associated with World War I.

Now in its second year, the five-year ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary Coin Series honours the actions and sacrifices of those who served their country between 1914 and 1918, and how their courage, mateship, resourcefulness and egalitarianism helped shape Australian society and our national identity into what it is today.

Produced in association with the Australian War Memorial

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Mar 032015
 

This month’s new product bulletin presents outstanding collector coins that are certain to impress.

Pride of place on the bulletin front-cover goes to the new Kimberley Sunset Pink Gold Coin, a stunning release featuring an iconic Argyle pink diamond. It’s no exaggeration to say that this coin is a masterpiece!

We know that many of you have been anxiously awaiting the next release from our popular Australia Map Shaped Coin Series. Hopefully the wait has been worth it, for this superb new addition celebrates Australia’s largest bird of prey – the magnificent Wedge-tailed Eagle.

As the nation prepares to commemorate the landing of troops from Australia and New Zealand on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915, two more very limited releases are available from the five-year ANZAC Spirit Coin Series, both poignantly reflecting sacrifice and remembrance.

Additionally, we’ve created a special 100th anniversary edition of our ANZAC Day $1 Coin Series, appropriately inscribed with the words ‘Lest We Forget’.

For further information about these coins, as well as the Australian Sovereign Gold Proof Coin for 2015, please review this electronic bulletin or visit Recent Releases.

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Jan 302015
 

The Perth Mint is proud to present two important additions to The ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary Coin Series:

2015TheANZACSpirit_coins

Both coins commemorate the courage, endurance, mateship and sacrifice of Australian and New Zealand troops who fought alongside British, other Empire and allied forces on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915. Further, they recognise the significance of the Gallipoli campaign as an important founding legend and as a symbol of national identity in both antipodean nations.


In late 1914, fighting on the Western Front in France had reached a stalemate. Senior British political and military figures thought that the pressure in western Europe could be eased by attacking the Central Powers, comprising Germany and her allies, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), in the eastern Mediterranean.

The British Admiralty decided upon a naval assault on the Turkish capital of Constantinople by a fleet of British and French ships which would force their way through the Dardanelles into the Sea of Marmora, with the aim of assisting Russia in her fight against the Turks, and to open Russia’s Black Sea ports to the Mediterranean.

After the navy was unable to breach the Turkish defence, it was decided to send infantry against the enemy’s shore batteries. A combined Allied force known as the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force was formed to launch a series of amphibious assaults on the Gallipoli peninsula. The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzacs) was ordered to land at Ari Burnu on the western side of the peninsula, while larger British and French landings were to take place further south at Cape Helles, and in a feint, on the opposite shore at Kum Kale.

Disembarking

25 April 1915: Australian troops leave a transport ship, by means of rope ladders, for the landing at Anzac Cove. Australian War Memorial – J05589

Before dawn on Saturday 25 April 1915, the Anzacs were transferred from their transports to the landing boats that would take them to the beach. Survivors remembered it was a still night, with hardly a breath of wind. To maintain the element of surprise for as long as possible, troops and sailors were ordered to remain silent as they left the transports and approached the shore.

Troops of the 2nd Brigade landing at Troops of the 2nd Brigade landing at Anzac Beach, Gallipoli. Australian War Memorial - P10140.005

Troops of the 2nd Brigade, AIF landing at Anzac Beach, Gallipoli. Australian War Memorial – P10140.005

The first boats were almost ashore when the Turks opened fire. Some men were killed before they even reached the beach. The landing had taken place further north than expected, at what would later become known as Anzac Cove, and instead of coming ashore on a gently sloping beach, the troops were confronted with steep cliffs and a warren of ridges and gullies.

AnzacCove

Anzac Beach packed with Australian soldiers and supplies with more arriving in small boats. Australian War Memorial – H03574

Despite the chaos, the Anzacs persevered under increasingly heavy fire, attempting to negotiate their way up the cliffs and onto the ridges that formed their early objectives. By nightfall they had established a precarious beachhead but had suffered the loss of more than 2,000 men killed and wounded.

PopesHill

The 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade going into the trenches at Pope’s Hill. Australian War Memorial – P00332.001

Over the next week, fighting continued to rage. By early May a stalemate had ensued. The Anzacs could make no progress inland and the Turks could not dislodge them. An attempt to break the stalemate in August failed, and with progress proving impossible, the Anzacs were evacuated in December 1915.

By the end of the Gallipoli campaign more than 10,000 Australian and New Zealand troops had lost their lives and some 18,000 had been wounded. The bodies of many of the fallen were never found, and the hills and gullies above Anzac Cove became their final resting place.

Injured

Three Australian Army soldiers attending to a wounded comrade at Gallipoli. Australian War Memorial – H10369

Gallipoli was considered a costly military failure, but from this defeat the Anzac legend was born. The Anzacs had earned an enduring place in the Australian psyche, creating an incredible story of courage and endurance in the face of death and despair.

Gallipoli was the first major test for the newly federated Australian nation. People believed that in the Dardanelles, Australia’s soldiers laid the foundation for a lasting sense of national identity.

New Coin details

Making-of-a-nationMaking of a Nation 2015 1oz Silver Proof Coin

Struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver, this coin depicts Australian troops in wooden row boats approaching the Gallipoli shoreline, with its rugged terrain in the background. The design includes the inscription ‘Making of a Nation’.

No more than 7,500 of these coins will be released.

 

BaptismofFire_coin-caseBaptism of Fire 2015 2oz Gold Proof High Relief Coin

Struck from 2oz of 99.99% pure gold, this coin depicts Anzac soldiers as they battled to scale the cliffs above Anzac Cove. The design includes the inscription 1915 – BAPTISM OF FIRE.

No more than 100 of these coins will be released.

Produced in association with the Australian War Memorial

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Jan 092015
 

While Australian women were not permitted to serve in battle on the frontline during World War I, many of them volunteered to serve in the Australian Army as nurses, medical workers and ambulance drivers. Their contribution to the war effort was enormously significant, with their support proving essential to military medical service.

The Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS), formed in 1903, was made up of volunteer nurses who were willing to serve in the event of a national emergency. The AANS sent 2,139 of its members overseas during World War I and a further 423 served in military hospitals at home in Australia.

They endured extremely trying circumstances on hospital ships anchored off Gallipoli or in field hospitals that consisted of tents close to the front line in France. With little sanitation, and a lack of fresh water and medical supplies, nurses also had to contend with the often extreme weather conditions. The tents offered little to no protection from the freezing European winter or the hot, mosquito-infested summer. The medical ships also presented great challenges, as supplies and water were limited, and the motion of the ship made performing even the more simple tasks extremely difficult.

Constantly understaffed and in danger of contracting the illnesses and infections of those they cared for, nurses worked tirelessly around the clock, dedicated to making the lives of their patients as comfortable as possible. Eight Australian nurses received the Military Medal for their bravery.

Clare-Deacon

Group of Tasmanian nurses including Clare Deacon, who enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 29 November 1914 as a staff nurse. Clare served at Mena throughout the Gallipoli campaign and was promoted to nursing sister in December 1915 when she left for France. On the night of 22 July 1917, she was one of four Australian nurses to rescue patients from burning buildings of the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station near Armentières, which had been bombed. For “coolness and devotion to duty” she and her nursing colleagues were awarded the Military Medal. [Australian War Memorial J00721]

On home soil, Voluntary Aid Detachments (VADs) were formed following an appeal “to the women of Australia” by Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, founder of Red Cross in Australia. Not formally qualified as nurses, these volunteers received instruction in first aid and performed the duties of nursing orderlies and other supports in Australian hospitals, convalescent homes, and on troop trains.

VADs were restricted from traveling overseas by the Australian Defence Council. As a result, many chose to travel on their own initiative and join British detachments, often in Australian hospitals. The policy was changed in 1916 after a request from Great Britain, and the first detachment of 30 official Australian VADs to serve overseas left Australia in September 1916.

VADs

Australian Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment members, washing up outdoors after a public function, Sydney, c. 1918. [Australian War Memorial P01102.020]

During the course of the war, campaigns ran throughout Australia encouraging women to join Red Cross or to volunteer their services on the home front. Posters were an integral part of these campaigns, and artists were often commissioned to produce works that would inspire women to support Australian troops through fundraising efforts, quasi-nursing duties, organising comfort packages to send to soldiers, and volunteering to work in Red Cross’s Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureaux.

One such artist was Scottish-born David Henry Souter, who settled in New South Wales in 1887 where he worked as a journalist and illustrator for books and magazines, including the Bulletin, and was one of the first artists to start designing Australian posters. One of these was the ‘Help’ poster designed by Souter during the First World War to inspire Australian women to support the war effort.

Australian Posters of World War I – Australian Red Cross
2015 1oz Silver Proof Rectangle Coin

The second release from Australian Posters of World War I depicts a superb coloured representation of David Henry Souter’s Australian Red Cross ‘Help’ poster.  It features a nurse in a stylised Red Cross uniform standing with her arms outstretched, as if appealing for help, in front of a red cross. In the background is a ship, an ambulance and a field hospital displaying the Red Cross emblem.

Issued as Australian legal tender, no more that 5,000 of these outstanding 2015 coins will be released.

Help_silver-coin

The coin is housed in a upright display case with a latex centre that displays the coin’s reverse and obverse. It is presented in a illustrated shipper which comes with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.


AWM_Red-Cross

Produced in association with the Australian War Memorial.

The red cross emblem is an internationally recognised symbol used to identify those providing impartial humanitarian assistance and protect them from harm in times of armed conflict. The use of the emblem is restricted under both international and Australian law in order to ensure that this meaning continues to be understood. In Australia, the use of the emblem without the authorisation of the Minister of Defence is a criminal offence.


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Jan 062015
 

Happy New Year to coin collectors everywhere. We hope you’re looking forward to 2015 with as much anticipation as we are! This year’s exciting and extensive program features some fantastic new themes; new editions of our established favourites are back for long-term collectors, and we’ll also bring you some outstanding world releases.

January’s line-up looks amazing. One of our favourites is the simply gorgeous Snugglepot and Cuddlepie silver coin release. If you love cats, then this bulletin is definitely not to be missed! Enjoy these and many more as we start another great year for modern Australian collectables.

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