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Gallipoli Boat

Video clip synopsis – A small lifeboat, retrieved from the shores of Gallipoli, is a direct link to the first Anzacs and the day that helped forge Australia’s identity.
Year of production - 2004
Duration - 5min 0sec


Gallipoli Boat

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About the Video Clip


Gallipoli Boat is an episode of the series National Treasures produced in 2004.

Gallipoli Boat
How did a lifeboat, left to rot on the shores of Gallipoli, come to have pride of place at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra? Curator John White tells the story of this little boat’s tumultuous journey as Warren Brown helps us imagine what it was like for those first Anzacs on the day that helped forge Australia’s identity.

National Treasures
Take a road-trip of discovery with the irrepressible Warren Brown – political cartoonist, columnist and history “tragic” – as he reveals a fascinating mix of national treasures drawn from public and private collections across Australia. On its own, each treasure is a priceless snapshot of an historic moment. Together, they illustrate the vitality and uniqueness of the Australian experience.

National Treasures is a Film Australia National Interest Program. Produced with the assistance of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Background Information


In 1915 Australian troops were part of an Allied landing at Gallipoli, Turkey.

The aim was to open a way for Allied ships to attack Constantinople, thereby allowing supply ships to help Russia in its fight against Germany. Turkey, an ally of Germany, controlled the Straits of the Dardanelles, stopping supply ships from entering the Black Sea and sailing to the main Russian port of Odessa. Allied troops would land at Gallipoli, move overland and capture the Turkish guns that were overlooking the Straits, and then Allied ships could sail through safely to bombard and capture Constantinople, forcing Turkey to surrender.

This was the first engagement of the war in which Australian troops had been involved in large numbers as part of an international group — it was commonly seen as their ‘test’ as a nation.

The invasion troops were brought into the area on naval ships, then loaded on lifeboats, and rowed silently into shore during darkness, just before dawn.

The result was a disaster. The landing troops did not manage to move up from the coast to seize the Turkish guns, and naval ships that tried to force their way up the Straits were sunk by mines. However, stories sent back from the landing by British and Australian journalists praised the fighting qualities of the Australian troops — they had passed the test.

Nine months after the landing, all Allied troops were withdrawn.

Despite the tactical failure of the landing, it has been commemorated ever since in Australia as our most significant national day, with ANZAC Day becoming a nationally observed day since 1927.

Digital resources using the clip - Gallipoli Boat

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Clips on Screen Australia’s Digital Learning site have been used to build multiple learning resources. This list shows all resources using the clip ‘Gallipoli Boat’. Follow the links below to see curriculum-specific learning resources built around this clip.

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Gallipoli Boat

A small lifeboat, retrieved from the shores of Gallipoli, is a direct link to the first Anzacs and the day that helped forge Australia’s identity.

NSW / NSW Stage 5 / NSW Stage 5 History / NSW Stage 5 History Topic 2 Australia and World War 1
NSW / NSW Stage 5 / NSW Stage 5 Visual Arts / NSW Stage 5 Visual Arts Critical and historical studies
VIC / VIC VELS Level 6 / VIC VELS Level 6 History / VIC VELS Level 6 History World War 1
National / National Year 9 & 10 / National Year 9 & 10 Australian History / National Year 9 & 10 Australian History World War 1