1915 The Spirit of Anzac

In 1915 New Zealand’s role in the First World War reached a new level. In near-impossible conditions, the New Zealand Expeditionary Force took part in the Gallipoli campaign alongside our Australian neighbours. The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) was formed and the spirit of Anzac lives on today. 

Issue information

First observed in 1916 and commemorated as an official day of remembrance in 1921, Anzac Day commemorates the landing of the troops at Anzac Cove on 25 April 1915. 100 years on a new generation reflects on the events that occurred at Gallipoli, and remembers all New Zealanders who have served their country during times of conflict and peace.

The intention of the Gallipoli campaign was to open the Dardanelles strait to the Allied fleets, giving them access to the Ottoman capital of Constantinople to possibly force a Turkish surrender. After nine months of conflict, the ultimately unsuccessful campaign came to an end and the peninsula remained in its defenders’ hands.

The effects the Gallipoli campaign had on New Zealand and Australia were devastating. More than 8,700 Australians and more than 2,700 New Zealanders lost their lives fighting for King and Empire in this ambitious campaign. It was through this hardship that the Anzac spirit was born, a comradeship felt and remembered to this day with the annual observance of Anzac Day - 25 April.

The second issue in this special five-year stamp and coin programme, 1915 The Spirit of Anzac told the story of New Zealand’s role in the First World War. Through the Anzac theme we look at the tale of Evelyn Brooke, a nursing matron from New Plymouth. Evelyn was one of more than 500 nurses from New Zealand who served overseas during the war, and the only New Zealand nurse to be awarded the Royal Red Cross and Bar for her services.

When the Gallipoli campaign was being planned, few foresaw the need to provide hospital ships for the treatment and evacuation of the wounded. In July 1915, as casualties mounted, the Maheno left Wellington for Egypt, with a matron, 13 nursing sisters, five medical officers and 61 orderlies among the personnel on board.

The Anzac Book, compiled by Australian war correspondent C.E.W. Bean, was first published in early 1916 and told the story of the Gallipoli campaign through satire, poetry, and illustrations. Included in the book was this poster by Australian soldier Otho Hewett, a contemporary look at the beginning of the Anzac tradition.

The stamps in this special issue were complemented by the sheetlet, two miniature sheets, first day cover and two miniature sheet first day covers.

Commemorative booklet

The second in a series of five, this unique book contained more details on the story of each stamp and tells New Zealand’s story in 1915 – from training in Egypt to the Gallipoli campaign and those at home.

Weaved within the pages was the story of Evelyn Brooke. Usually known as Eva and sometimes ‘Brookie’, Evelyn was a dedicated nurse who once described herself as “very pleased to be able to help”. Her service spanned the length of the First World War and took her across the globe before returning to New Zealand in 1919.

As well as a range of imagery and ephemera, this collectable book contained 12 unique miniature sheets – not available individually. It fit into a case that was specially designed to house the entire series of five. 

Commemorative coins

Take a look at the commemorative coins that were also part of this issue. Click here to find out more.
 

Product listing for 1915 The Spirit of Anzac

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Sheetlet Mint, used or cancelled sheetlet with ten gummed stamps. $13.80
Se-tenant Stamps Se-tenant set of six 80c gummed stamps. $4.80
Se-tenant Stamps Se-tenant set of two $2.00 gummed stamps. $4.00
Se-tenant Stamps Se-tenant set of two $2.50 gummed stamps. $5.00
Set of Two Miniature Sheets One mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet with six gummed stamps and one mint, used or cancelled miniature sheet with four gummed stamps. $13.80
Sheetlet First Day Cover First day cover with ten gummed stamps affixed. $14.30
Set of Miniature Sheet First Day Covers Set of two first day covers with gummed miniature sheets affixed. $14.80
Miniature Sheet Booklet

The second in a series of five, this unique book contains more details on the story of each stamp and tells New Zealand’s story in 1915 – from training in Egypt to the Gallipoli campaign and those at home. This commemorative book was the second in our five year series.

Still available for purchase. Click here.

$39.90

Technical information

Date of issue: 23 March 2015
Number of stamps: 10 gummed stamps
Stamps and first day covers designed by: Strategy Design and Advertising, Wellington, New Zealand
Denominations: 6 x 80c, 2 x $2.00, 2 x $2.50
Printer and process: Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography
Number of colours: Four process colours
Stamp size and format: 36.95mm x 37.5mm (horizontal)
Paper type: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper
Number of stamps per sheet: 24
Perforation gauge: 14.4 x 14.62
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 22 March 2016. First day covers remained on sale until 23 May 2015.