ABC marks 100 Years of ANZACs


In April, ABC, ABC2 an ABC3 will feature a wealth of programming to mark the 100th Anniversary of Gallipoli.

From Monday 20 April, ABC News team will be reporting live from Gallipoli.

ABC News Breakfast’s Michael Rowland and ABC News 24 host Scott Bevan will be heading the news coverage, with ABC Television’s Stephanie Brantz and alongside reporters Philip Williams, Sally Sara, James Glenday, Eliza Borrello and Tim Leslie.

ABC Europe Correspondent Mary Gearin will be in France to cover the commemorations at Villers-Bretonneux.


Four Corners: ANZAC to Afghanistan
Monday 13 April, 8.30pm ABC
Anzac to Afghanistan combines mostly unseen interviews with Gallipoli veterans with commentary from modern Australian soldiers. In this Four Corners special, Chris Masters, drawing on his 1988 program, ‘The Fatal Shore’, presents a revealing and original take on the Australian military experience one century apart — with some considerable help from the people who form the legend.

Australia’s Great War Horse
Sunday 19 April, 7.40pm ABC
1 x 60’
Over 130,000 Australian horses served in the Great War of 1914 – 18. Nearly 30,000 were engaged in the Middle East. Popularly known as ‘Walers’, it was in the desert sands that their legend was born. They carried their men to victory on the long road to Damascus, but at war’s end they did not come home. Australia’s Great War Horse takes us on an epic journey from the outback of Australia, across the vast Indian Ocean, to the pyramids of Egypt, the living hell that was Gallipoli, and the unforgiving desert sands of the Middle East. This epic desert war couldn’t have been undertaken without the horses, or the small army of horse breakers, veterinarians, farriers, saddlers and feed suppliers who were essential to keeping thousands of horses in the field and battle-ready. This is the story of the horses’ colonial origins, their gallant service, and their shameful fate. A Mago Films Production. Producer: Marion Bartsch, Director: Russell Vines, Writer: Barry Strickland. With thanks to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Commissioned as part of the Anzac Centenary national program.

Australian Story: Operation Jaywick
April 8pm, ABC
The story of an audacious covert attack behind enemy lines during WWII, a romance that grew and endured despite the secrets, and a small unassuming fishing boat that became a war hero. Named MV Krait, the trawler is currently on display at the wharves of Sydney’s Darling Harbour. But thanks to the persistence of a 91-year-old special ops veteran, plans arein motion to preserve the Krait in a brand new custom-built wing of the National Maritime Museum. Producer Winsome Denyer.

Jennifer Byrne presents Great War Stories
Sunday 19 April, 6pm ABC
1 x 30’
Around 25,000 books and scholarly articles have been written about every aspect of WWI, from well known works such as All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque, to Gallipoli and The Great War by Les Carlyon, alongside books of poetry and verse from the 1930s. This special episode will invite a panel of guests including Merrick Watts, Peter Fitzsimons, and Dr Christina Spittel to bring their favourite books to discuss and recommend to the audience.

Compass: The Legacy Man
Sunday 19 April, 6.30pm ABC
1 x 30’
Stan Savige fought at Gallipoli, saved 70,000 Assyrian refugees from certain death in Mesopotamia and went on to found Legacy — an organisation still providing aid to children of service men and women. In an extraordinary military career Stan became Lieutenant General Sir George Stanley Savige, one of Australia’s most decorated soldiers. Compass tracks down the man behind the legend.

Why ANZAC with Sam Neill
Tuesday 21 April, 8.30pm ABC
1 x 90’
Sam Neill confronts the Anzac century through the lens of his family’s military tradition. He uncovers forgotten truths that reveal the power of the enduring myth of Anzac that still haunt our two countries’ histories. Filmed in a score of international locations and against a background of continuing turmoil, Sam’s sharing of poignant, intimate stories suggests the universality of our need to remember in ways that may offer redemption. Produced by Essential Media and Entertainment. Writer/Producer: Owen Hughes, Director: Kriv Stenders. With thanks to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Commissioned as part of the Anzac Centenary national program.

Lest We Forget What?
Wed 22 April, 9.30pm ABC
1 x 60’
On Anzac Day ask yourself this question: lest we forget what? What are we remembering? Mythology? Or history? Will this day which is increasingly used to define our nation’s very essence be the remembrance of a sepiatinted pastiche of vague anecdotes about the ANZAC spirit and derringdo, or the real stories behind the ANZACS and our role in World War One based on fact and evidence? A Pony Films production. Producer: Dylan Blowen, Writer/ Director: Rachel Landers. Hosted by Kate Aubusson. With thanks to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Commissioned as part of the Anzac Centenary national program.


Good Game ANZAC Spcial
Tuesday 21 April, 8.30pm ABC2
1 x 30’
War has been the setting for many of the most enduring, popular and profitable video games of all time. In this special edition of Good Game, Bajo and Hex will explore what makes war such a compelling theme for video games. They’ll talk to some key developers that work across titles that use war as their theme but deliver very different experiences; meet current and ex-service personnel to find out how war games are used by the professionals for education as well as entertainment; and look at how the modern armed services use games to train, recruit and educate their personnel. They’ll also explore the rich time line of war video games that have seen millions of gamers become virtual participants in war.

Our World War
Tues 21, Wed 22, Thurs 23 April, 10.30pm ABC2
3 x 60’
Capturing the visceral reality of combat, Our World War hurtles straight to the frontline, using immersive camerawork and intimate documentary filming styles to bring WWI to life in a bold and fresh way. With eye-witness immediacy, this is history as seen through the soldiers’ eyes. Drawing on the first-hand testimonies, interviews, letters and audio recordings of the soldiers themselves, the series of three original dramas reveals their often hidden and disturbing front-line experiences throughout the duration of the war. A BBC production.


Horrible Horrible Histories: Frightful First World War
Saturday 25 April, 1.45pm & 6pm ABC3
1 x 30’
In this First World War special, Bob Hale and Rattus Rattus guide us through the horrible history of 1914 – 18. Featuring the soldiers, pilots, civilians, girl guides, suffragettes and even kings who were all caught up in the fighting. A BBC production.

Behind the News WWI Special
Saturday 25 April, 2.15pm & 6.30pm ABC3
Wednesday 29 April, 10.25am ABC3
1 x 15’ (repeat)
Beginning with an overview of the events that led up to the First World War, this episode also reveals some of the firsthand accounts of Australian soldiers that fought in it. It also features a poignant story by Rookie Reporter Lucinda, who travelled to the Western Front in search of the resting place of one Aussie digger who happened to share her last name. And a boy named Anzac has a very special connection to the War that changed the world.

Small Hands in a Big War: Episode 2, The Escape
Saturday 25 April, 2.30pm
1 x 22’
A poor Flemish girl is caught stealing. The German occupying forces punish her severely: four months in prison or an impossibly large fine. She flees in secret and passes an electrified security fence at the Belgian border. Co-Production LOOKS Film & TV, GmbH with NTR, BBC / MG Alba, UR, Se-ma-for, CwmniDa.

Studio 3
Saturday 25 April, 5.55pm ABC3
1 x 5’
Leading into ABC3’s evening Anzac Day programming, Studio 3 will include a moving interview by regular host Tim Matthews, speaking to his grandfather who is a war veteran.

Harriet’s Army
Saturday 25 April, 6.45pm ABC3
Wednesday 29 April, 11.35am ABC3
1 x 90’
Fourteen year old Harriet is a girl who doesn’t quite fit in, and when she’s kicked out of the Girl Guides for fighting, her father doesn’t know what to do with her. As war breaks out and the Scouts and Guides are volunteered to support the war effort at home, Harriet decides to form her own army of misfits, mounting their own patrols to track down German spies. A thrilling WWI family drama, following the adventures of a group of brave and determined children as they hold the front line at home, revealing the astonishing real roles played by children as their fathers and brothers went to fight in the trenches. A BBC production.

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