Recent decades have witnessed an extraordinary resurgence in the popular observance of Anzac Day in Australia. The anniversary of the Gallipoli landings on 25 April 1915 has become so prominent in Australia’s commemorative calendar that it is easy to forget how close the entire occasion came to extinction. As recently as the 1960s, the commemoration of Anzac experienced a marked decline both in terms of public awareness and official promotion – so much so that Ken Inglis predicted the ultimate demise of Anzac Day, together with ‘the decline and eventual disappearance of the RSL [Returned Services League]’.1 Within a few years, this view was receiving widespread attention in the Australian press, as each passing Anzac Day raised further doubts about its long-term viability.2 A common criticism was that the entire occasion had become a tired, halfhearted hurrah for the glories of war, but there were also concerns that Anzac was far too narrow in its constituency to embody a truly national occasion. Just as Empire Day had faded into the imperial sunset, so too Anzac Day seemed ready to be put to rest along with the generation of servicemen it commemorated. As the Sydney Mirror speculated in 1965: ‘Will Anzac Day be as meaningless to future generations as Trafalgar and Waterloo, once so cataclysmic, have become today?’3