Reasons For Australia's Participation In World War I

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The assassination of the Archduke of Austria initiated World War I, which began in 1914 and lasted 4 years before ending in 1918. Australia being a part of the Commonwealth became involved in this war and fought alongside Britain. When the war started they encouraged people to enlist in this war. Most people did not know what war would be like - difficult, gruesome and totally out of the comfort zone by any standards, and so they enrolled. Some of the reasons for enlisting were pride, patriotism and glory. However, others reasons were to avoid embarrassment, lack of employment and boredom. Although these reasons are very different they are all for the same purpose. To protect and serve “The Mother Country.”

Patriotism was the most common reason
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In a time when all Europe is in arms we shall remember that we fulfil our duty best by insisting that our loyalty shall display itself in a practical form.”
“A United Empire”, The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday, 3 August 1914.

This quote is a great example, showing the loyalty of Australians towards England. It is stated above how Australians spoke of their loyalty and how it would be a good time to prove it in the progressing war.

As weird as this may sound people also enlisted because of boredom. It sounds pretty absurd and stupid if you think of it now but back then they did not know how horrific and horrendous the war was as the government was promoting and glorifying war. For most men this would be the only chance they could go overseas and explore new places. They also reassured the Australians that the war would end in Christmas but unfortunately it lasted an extra 3 years. During these 3 years the true horrors and trepidation were divulged but it was too late. Most men already decided to enlist for the reason of
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He was absolutely discontented when he realized that he wasn 't going to go to England. He never wanted to battle for the mother country. All he wanted was to go to England and shoot “Old Kaiser” in the head. This suggests that Australians had enlisted to go on an adventure rather than serve England.

Another significant reason that men enlisted was the sense of pride. Australia wanted to make a statement and go down on history books, as it was a very young country. Having federated in 1901 Australia was just thirteen and a half years old. Australians wanted to show the whole world that Australia was a strong and powerful nation with national pride.

“His wife and two babies were to have joined him in October 1914, as he meant to settle in Australia, but the war having broken out he felt it his duty to join up…”
Everard La Touche’s Mother

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