As part of the 100th Anniversary of the 1915 Gallipoli Landing, Back Track trekkers will be acknowledging and commemorating the Anzac Spirit that was born on the beaches of Gallipoli and has become a significant part of our military history forever more.
Each of our 2015 Kokoda Track team departures correspond with an event (listed below) that highlights the Anzac Spirit throughout the past 100 years.
In this special 100th Anniversary year, as part of each ceremony held on the Kokoda battlefield at Brigade Hill, every team will also commemorate the special event coinciding with their team departure.
All our Kokoda treks are special no matter what year, however, in 2015 there is additional significance and special reasons why you should consider making your Kokoda experience a reality.
Each 2015 Trek commemorates a special Australian military event
25 April 2015
19-20 May 1915
|Lance Corporal Albert Jacka became Australia’s first Victoria Cross winner for conspicuous bravery at Courtney’s Post, Gallipoli.
31 May 1942
|Two Japanese midget submarines penetrated the outer defences of Sydney harbour. Two torpedoes where fired by one of the submarines. One torpedo struck the depot ship, HMAS Kuttabul, killing 21 sailors.
11 June 2008
|For ‘his selfless actions in circumstances of great peril’, Corporal Benjamin Roberts-Smith was awarded a Victoria Cross during an operation to hunt for a Taliban commander in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan
28 June 1945
|Private Leslie Starcevich was awarded the Victoria Cross during the capture of Beaufort, British North Borneo. His single-handed attacks on Japanese machine gun positions resulted in the decisive success of the action.
4 July 1918
|Acting Wing Commander Hughie Edwards led 12 bombers on a low level attack on Bremen, Germany. For outstanding courage while under intense fire, Edwards was awarded the Victoria Cross.
4 July 1918
|Lance Corporal Thomas Axford was awarded the Victoria Cross during the Battle of Hamel, France. He assisted in an attack on a German machine gun position. Using bayonet and bombs he killed 10 Germans and captured 6.
19-20 July 1916
|The Battle of Fromelles was the first appearance of Australian soldiers on the Western Front. Ordered to attack entrenched German positions in broad daylight, they suffered over 5,500 casualties. Almost 2,000 were killed or died of wounds and 400 were captured.
24 July 1945
|Private Frank Partridge became the only militiaman and the last Australian to win the Victoria Cross in World War Two. During an attack on Japanese bunkers on Bougainville, despite being wounded his ‘outstanding heroism and fortitude’ inspired the success of the attack.
28 July 1916
|Sergeant Claude Castleton was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross during the Battle of Pozieres in France. On two occasions while under enemy fire he went out and carried wounded from the battlefield. He was shot and killed when he went out a third time.
06-09 August 1915
|The Battle of Lone Pine took place during the Gallipoli Campaign. Furious hand-to-hand fighting took place as the Australian troops attempted to capture Turkish positions. The 4 day battle resulted in over 2,000 Australian casualties.
09-12 August 1915
|Private Martin O’Meara was awarded the Victoria Cross at Pozieres, France. For 4 days, showing a complete disregard for danger, he repeatedly ventured out over no-mans land to rescue wounded men and to carry up ammunition.
23 August 1918
|Lieutenant Lawrence McCarthy won the Victoria Cross at Madame Wood, near Vermandovillers, France. He and a sergeant attacked German machinegun posts, capturing 460 meters of German trench and forced the surrender of between 40 and 50 of the enemy.
11 Sept 1914*
|The first Australian killed in World War One was Lieutenant Commander Elwell, RN when Australian troops landed at Kabakaul, German New Guinea, and engaged German Army forces. This action subsequently led to the surrender of German authority in the region.
18 September 1918
|Private james Wood was awarded the Victoria Cross at Le Verguier, near St Quentin, France. His patrol attacked and captured strongly defended German position then defended it against counter attacks. During the action he ‘displayed a splendid example of valour, determination and initiative’.
26 September 1946
|Members of the Special Operations Australia Z special Unit, paddled collapsible canoes into Singapore Harbour and attached limpet mines to Japanese merchant ships. Seven ships, totalling 35,000 tons were sent to the bottom of the harbour.
12 October 1917
|Captain Clarence Jeffries won a posthumous Victoria Cross at Passchendaele, Belgium. He successfully led troops forward under heavy fire to capture 2 German pillboxes and 55 prisoners. Jeffries was killed in the attack.
23 October 1942
|The Australian 9th Division play a crucial role during the Battle of El Alamein in Egypt. Their aggressive attack over a week of fierce fighting forced General Rommel’s German Afrika Corps to divert his forces, thus weakening his defences, leading to an allied victory.
31 October 1917
|The final phase of the Battle of Gaza was the mounted charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade. The Brigade stormed through the Turkish defences and seized the strategic town of Beersheba. This enabled British forces to break the Ottoman line near Gaza and advance into Palestine.
08 November 1914*
|The Battle of the Cocos Islands between the Australian Light Cruiser HMAS Sydney and the German Cruiser Emden resulted in a decisive victory for the Sydney.
*These events took place in 1914, prior to the Gallipoli Landing. Thus are outside the 1915-2015, 100 year celebration. However they are historically significant events worthy of recognition and celebration.