My great grandfather Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny (1882-1952) served as a doctor in World War 1.

In 1917 he was in charge of the 1st Australian General Hospital in Rouen which dealt with general battle casualties. On 9 July 1917 Her Majesty Queen Mary visited the hospital. She was photographed with my great grandfather inspecting an honour guard of nurses.

Rouen, France. 9 July 1917. Her Majesty Queen Mary visiting No. 1 Australian General Hospital (1AGH). HM is accompanied through a guard of honour of nurses of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) by the hospital’s commanding officer, Colonel Trent Champion de Crespigny DSO. Temporary wards and tents are on both sides of the path and patients in hospital uniform look on. Australian War Memorial photograph id K00019

That photograph has been reproduced on a biscuit tin a hundred years later ‘in honour of ANZAC Day and in remembrance of the nurses who served in the war.’

photograph taken in Woolworths supermarket, Ballarat April 2017

The tins are filled with Anzac biscuits. The biscuit company promises that from the sale of the tins, which ‘celebrate the origin of Anzac biscuits, reminding us of the packages of love and care from home that helped buoy the Anzac Spirit in the trenches of Gallipoli’, will go towards service organisations such as the Returned and Services League (RSL).

Dr de Crespigny on behalf of the hospital at Lemnos dealing with the sick and wounded from Gallipoli, received tins of biscuits from Australia. The biscuits were probably not the Anzac biscuits we know today.

WATTLE DAY LEAGUE WAR EXTENSION WORK. (1915, November 18). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 – 1929), p. 6. Retrieved from

One of the earliest Anzac biscuit recipes was in a 1916 newspaper, winning 4th prize in a Western Australian recipe contest; 4th prize was an electroplated butter knife with an engraved handle.

Fourth Prize (1916, June 4). Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 – 1954), p. 7 (Second Section). Retrieved from

This 1920 recipe from the Argus is much closer to the recipe I have made. I don’t know about eating the biscuits with a spoon though.


KITCHEN AND PANTRY. (1920, September 15). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 7. Retrieved from
the bought biscuits, not bad, but I normally associate Anzac biscuits with being home-made

The Unibic factory is in Broadmeadows, a suburb of Melbourne. The biscuit factory is over 60 years old and employs 170 people. In 2012 Unibic got into financial difficulties. The factory was threatened with closure but was rescued by a consortium of investors. The production of Anzac biscuits and the support of the Returned and Services League helped the company survive. (“Anzac Biscuits Factory Looking Forward To A New Future | Australian Food News”. 2012. )

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