The Great War of 1914-1918 touched the lives of all Australians. From a population of less than 5,000,000, more than 330,000 Australians sailed across the world to join this 'war to end all wars'. What was initially considered a great adventure exacted a great toll. Some 60,000 would die, more than 155,000 would be physically wounded and tens of thousands more would carry the mental scars of war to their graves. The story of the Australian Imperial Force's fight begins at Gallipoli. The courage shown on this rugged Turkish peninsular gave rise to a sense of national identity, pride and spirit which carried Australian troops through the trenches of Europe and the deserts of the Middle East.

In this, the first year in our 100th anniversary commemorations of the First World War (1914-18), the story of our boys' passage to and through Gallipoli unfolds with the superb Sands of Gallipoli Limited Edition Medallions. Six stunning medallions have been minted with the obverse of the medallions featuring designs based on a series of sketches depicting the early stages of Australia's involvement in the Great War. The sketches, by renowned Australian artist Drew Harrison, were specially commissioned for this collection. The reverse of the medallions reflects the reverse of the Victory Medal. While most recognise 1918 as being the year the war ended, the medal bears the year 1919, the year in which the Treaty of Versailles was signed, bringing about the formal end of the war.

The medallions, finished in highly polished and frosted silver, are available individually or as a set of six. Each is struck from a silver-plated brass blank and is 50mm in diameter and 4.5mm thick.



Set of Six Limited Edition Medallions

All six Sands of Gallipoli 2014 Limited Edition Medallions are housed in the attractive dark timber finish display case. The lid of the two piece case doubles as a stand for display on a table, mantlepiece or shelf while the bottom section has a keyhole on the back so the set can be hung on the wall.

In addition to the six medallions, the set also features an antique finish metal Centenary of the Great War logo badge, a 1914 badge and a vial of genuine sand from the beaches of Gallipoli. Only 2,500 sets will be released and each comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Click here to order yours now.

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War Declared Limited Edition Medallion

Following the declaration of war between England and Germany on 4 August 1914 Australians rallied with great enthusiasm to support the Mother Country. Australia’s political leaders were in the midst of an election campaign but only days before had pledged support for England. Labor’s Andrew Fisher, declared “Australians will stand beside the Mother Country to help and defend her to the last man and the last shilling.” Liberal Prime Minister, Joseph Cook added, “If the old country is at war so are we.” Cook committed a force of 20,000 to the cause. But by war’s end more than 410,000 Australians would serve in the Australian Imperial Force.

This medallion, with a limited release of only 500, is presented in a stylish leatherette display case and is accompanied by a vial of genuine sand from the beaches of Gallipoli. The numbered certificate of authenticity, with the story behind the medallion on the back, completes this superb collectable.

Click here to order yours now.

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Signing On Limited Edition Medallion

Australia sent only volunteers to the Great War. Even those already in the Permanent Military Force, some 3,000 men, had to join the volunteer Australian Imperial Force to go. Recruitment in towns and cities after the declaration of war drew unprecedented support. Within weeks the number of recruits swelled beyond the Australian Government’s commitment of 20,000. The basic requirement for service was that recruits should be aged 18-35 years and stand at or above 5 foot 6 inches tall with a chest of no less than 34 inches inflated. Those accepted were marched into their state’s training camps and allocated their ‘regimental number’, given uniforms if available, and drilled in warfare. Before year’s end they would set sail for war.

This medallion, with a limited release of only 500, is presented in a stylish leatherette display case and is accompanied by a vial of genuine sand from the beaches of Gallipoli. The numbered certificate of authenticity, with the story behind the medallion on the back, completes this superb collectable.

Click here to order yours now.

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March to War Limited Edition Medallion

Within two weeks of the declaration of war a special Australian force set sail for New Guinea to conquer German forces on the islands. Meanwhile, the newly formed Australian Imperial Force was preparing for embarkation, and in mid October troops marched proudly through port cities and towns toward waiting merchant ships that would carry them to the rally point at Albany in Western Australia and on to the fight in Europe. On 1 November a convoy of 36 ships with some 20,000 AIF, and almost 8,500 members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, set sail for the battle in Europe but as fate would have it, turned instead to Egypt for training before entering the war against the Turks in the ill-fated
Gallipoli campaign.

This medallion, with a limited release of only 500, is presented in a stylish leatherette display case and is accompanied by a vial of genuine sand from the beaches of Gallipoli. The numbered certificate of authenticity, with the story behind the medallion on the back, completes this superb collectable.

Click here to order yours now.

Hover over the image to the left for a larger view.

 


Victory at Sea Limited Edition Medallion

On the morning of 9 November 1914, as the first convoy of troops bound for Europe passed near the Cocos Keeling Islands, the escort HMAS Sydney turned to investigate a distress call from the islands, “SOS… Strange warship approaching”. Sydney reached the islands at 9.15am to find Germany’s most feared warship in the Indian Ocean – the SMS Emden ready to fight. Emden, under the command of Captain Karl von Müller, fired from more than 9,000 metres. Fifteen shells rained down on Sydney but only five exploded. Sydney, under Captain John Glossop, retaliated with relentless accuracy. Soon Emden was ablaze and in less than two hours she sat wrecked on the rocky shore of North Keeling Island. Sydney had triumphed in Australia’s first sea battle.

This medallion, with a limited release of only 500, is presented in a stylish leatherette display case and is accompanied by a vial of genuine sand from the beaches of Gallipoli. The numbered certificate of authenticity, with the story behind the medallion on the back, completes this superb collectable.

Click here to order yours now.

Hover over the image to the left for a larger view.


Training in Egypt Limited Edition Medallion

When the first contingent of Australian and New Zealand troops departed Albany in Western Australia on 1 November 1914 all thought their destination was the training grounds of England and the fight in Europe. But as the convoy entered the Red Sea new orders would see the troops disembark and train in Egypt. The troops landed on 3 December to find the camps and training facilities were not ready. For many the first night in Egypt was spent lying on the desert sands with the great Pyramids silhouetted against the night sky. After months of training new orders were posted on 2 April 1915. Instead of Europe the AIF and their New Zealand counterparts would take part in the push against the Ottoman Empire at Gallipoli.

This medallion, with a limited release of only 500, is presented in a stylish leatherette display case and is accompanied by a vial of genuine sand from the beaches of Gallipoli. The numbered certificate of authenticity, with the story behind the medallion on the back, completes this superb collectable.

Click here to order yours now.

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Australian and New Zealand Army Corps Limited Edition Medallion

The legendary Australian and New Zealand Army Corps – The Anzacs – was created as the troops trained in Egypt. While neither the Australian nor the New Zealand command had expressed a desire to serve together, the British saw a combined corps as a logical partnership. The suggested title for the force was the ‘Australasian Army Corps’ but this was rejected and instead the Australian and New Zealand commands elected to be known by the name which is now legend in our national histories. The corps was commanded by British officer, Lieutenant-General William Birdwood, but Australia’s Major-General Bridges retained command of the AIF, while Major-General Godley had the same prerogative for the NZ force.

This medallion, with a limited release of only 500, is presented in a stylish leatherette display case and is accompanied by a vial of genuine sand from the beaches of Gallipoli. The numbered certificate of authenticity, with the story behind the medallion on the back, completes this superb collectable.

Click here to order yours now.

Hover over the image to the left for a larger view.

The Great War Collection

From 2014-2018 Australia will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War. Our 'Australia in the Great War 1914-1918' Centenary Collection is designed to entice, educate and entertain as we share the story of Australia's involvement in the Great War. There will be new releases throughout the centenary to coincide with historic and topical events. View the collection.