Anzac Day, 25 April, is one of Australia's and New Zealand's most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landing in Gallipoli in 1915, the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.
The soldiers who landed in Gallipoli quickly became known as Anzacs, and the pride they took in that name endures to this day. The spirit of the original Anzacs — courage, mateship and sacrifice — has passed to all who served our countries. This spirit forms part of Australia's and New Zealand’s national identities.
Anzac Day is a day of national remembrance for Australians and New Zealanders. We remember and reflect on the service of our men and women in all conflicts and in peacekeeping operations. We honour those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that our nations may enjoy the freedoms they have today. And we pay our respects to those who continue to serve our nations today.
In 2021 the embassy was honoured to receive special memorial boards to recognise the Australians who fought in central Europe during the Second World War.
Thanks to the research of Mr Nigel Earnshaw, we can continue to share their stories by publicly displaying the boards at the embassy.
Interactive map: Anzacs in Austria and Hungary
You can now explore the stories of the 43 Anzacs who died in Austria and Hungary through this special interactive map.
Tip: Zoom in and click on each of the icons on the map to read their stories.
John Boden was a 19-year-old student when he enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in Brisbane. During his time training in the UK he met and married Ethel Pullen.
John was part of the crew of Wellington JA127 which took off from Italy on the night of 16 April 1944, with orders to bomb the rail marshalling yards in Budapest, Hungary. The aircraft crashed at Gyal, presumably the result of enemy action. John and all his crewmates were killed.
John is buried at the Solymar Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Hungary. His wife Ethel moved from England to Brisbane after the war, and eventually remarried.
Albert Reynolds was born in Bunbury, Western Australia. He was 29 years old when he enlisted for overseas service with the 2nd Australian Imperial Force in November 1939.
Albert was allocated to the 2/11th Infantry Battalion, which sailed for the Middle East in 1940. He took part in the first Australian land battle of the Second World War at Bardia, then at Tobruk, Derna and Benghazi.
In May 1941, Albert and his Battalion were part of the defence of the Retimo airfield in Crete. While initially victorious, they were left isolated when the broader defence of Crete collapsed. Albert suffered a gunshot wound to the chest, and was taken as a prisoner of war while in the field hospital.
Albert’s German captors gave him medical treatment that saved his life. Once well enough, he was transported to Stalag 18A prisoner-of-war camp near Wolfsberg in Austria. Albert survived the typhus epidemic that struck the camp and served as part of the labour commands that numerous prisoners were allocated to.
Tragically, the camp was bombed by the US Airforce on 18 December 1944 after being mistaken for a German military installation. Albert was among the 36 Allied prisoners of war killed in the bombing. He is buried at the Klagenfurt Commonwealth War Cemetery in Austria.
Keith Bardsley was a 20-year-old law clerk from Sydney when he enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force in 1942. He trained as a pilot before commencing bombing operations from Italy in February 1944.
Keith was the pilot of Liberator EW280 which took off from Amandola, Italy on 13 October 1944, tasked to attack the Szekesfehervar rail marshalling yards in Hungary. After Keith’s aircraft failed to return to base, other crews reported it had been struck either by anti-aircraft fire or by enemy fighters north of Pecs in Hungary. All eight crew members were killed.
Keith is buried at the Solymar Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Hungary. He is commemorated on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial, at the University of Sydney, and at Rose Bay in Sydney.
Born in Newcastle, New South Wales in 1920, Josiah Turner worked as a clerk at the Department of Education before enlisting in the Royal Australian Air Force at the age of 21. After training as an air gunner, Josiah was later discharged on the grounds he was “not likely to become an efficient aircrew”.
Determined to serve his nation, Josiah was given a second opportunity to enlist in the RAAF in June 1943. Having a passion for raising German Shepherds, Josiah took his dog Dian with him into the RAAF, who became War Dog 508 and served on guarding duties. While on leave he married Joyce Body. Together they would have a daughter, Kaye. Josiah saw Kaye just once before embarking for overseas service.
Josiah was posted to No. 70 Squadron of the Royal Air Force, serving as a rear gunner flying out of Italy. On the night of 6 July 1944, Josiah was in Wellington MF138 when it flew into Austria as part of a detail to attack the airfield at Fuersbrunn. Allied aircraft inflicted significant damage to the airfield, but Josiah’s aircraft was amongst thirteen allied aircraft that failed to return to Italy. He and all his fellow crew members were killed.
Josiah is buried at the Klagenfurt Commonwealth War Cemetery in Austria.
Jack Emmott was a 20 year old pilot flying his 8th mission in Wellington bombers when his aircraft went missing in an attack on rail yards in Hungary on 22 November 1944.
After the war it was learned that their target had been heavily protected by enemy fighters and that his aircraft had exploded mid-air, falling to the ground over a wide area near Kámaházapuszta. Jack and his crew were buried by locals and later reinterred at Solymar CWGC near Budapest. At 20 years of age Jack was the youngest member of his squadron to die in the war.
Bob Flegg was a member of the St Kilda Football Club side in 1941, and was its top goal kicker, having kicked 47 goals that year. He left his promising career to become an RAAF bomber pilot in 1942. Bob was allocated to number 70 Squadron RAF and flew numerous missions into Europe.
On the night of 6/ 7 July 1944 Bob's aircraft was shot down during an attack on Luftwaffe fighter bases near Krems, Austria. The operation caused significant damage to this important airfield, grounding many enemy fighters. However, the cost was severe. Ten Wellington bombers, two Liberators, and one Halifax aircraft failed to return out of a force of 57. Bob and his crew were buried nearby, then reinterred at Klagenfurt Commonwealth War Cemetery after the war. He was 25 when he died.
Jack Irwin was a New Zealander working in Melbourne for The Age newspaper when he enlisted in the RAAF in 1942. He was trained to fly Mosquito fighter bombers and had completed numerous ground attack and photo reconnaissance missions before he was killed near Vienna in 1944.
Jack and his British co-pilot, Leo Moody, were attempting to make their way to Italy after a mission in Munich when they were attacked by a fighter, possibly flown by Luftwaffe ace Horst Carganico. Jack went down with the aircraft, crashing near Aspangberg. Jack’s and Leo's remains were recovered by locals and buried nearby but reinterred at Klagenfurt Commonwealth War Cemetery after the war. Jack was 21 when he died.
Albert Reynolds was a West Australian who fought as an infantryman in numerous battles including Bardia, Tobruk, Derna, Benghazi, Greece and Crete.
In Crete, Albert was shot in the chest and captured during fighting at Rethymno. He recovered from his wounds in a prison hospital and was sent to Stalag 18A at Wolfsberg, Austria. As a prisoner, Albert survived a typhus epidemic but was killed alongside 36 others during an Allied air raid that mistakenly bombed the camp on 18 December 1944. He was buried at the camp cemetery and reinterred at Klagenfurt Commonwealth War Cemetery after the war. Albert was 34 when he was killed.
The contents of this page were kindly provided by Nigel Earnshaw.
Photo credits: National Archives of Australia, www.saints.com.au, Nigel Earnshaw.