Wednesday 25 April 2007 by Simpson Prize. No comments
Battlefield Tours, Simpson Prize

DAY 5 OF OUR SIMPSON PRIZE ADVENTURE!

Today we met our Turkish historian Keenan Celia, who guided us through the important historical sites on the Gallipoli Peninsula that included Ataturk's house in the village of Bigali, trenches and memorials on the Turkish side, as well as the Turkish field hospital site and mass grave.  After teaching for many years in various levels of education, Kenan retired and is now an historian and guide for the Gallipoli campaign in addition to one of the most significant Turkish scholars. After Kenans thorough and informative historical guide, we returned to our hotel for yet another four course lunch. Many of us were amazed to see an even wider selection of pastries and desserts than the previous day (a record we thought impossible to beat). That afternoon we headed to Shrapnel Valley Cemetery for our first media experience. Channel 7 journalist Nick McCullum interviewed Zoe and I for news a presentation to be broadcasted back in Australia. We discussed our thoughts about visiting Anzac Cove and Shrapnel Valley Cemetery, how examining and reflecting the endless gravesites affected us, and our emotional feelings towards ANZAC Day and the ceremonies that we would be attending. After exploring the frontline cemeteries and sites, we continued our adventurous journey up to Lone Pine Cemetery, where we continued our individual presentations of a soldier that died during the Gallipoli campaign. My soldier, Geoffrey Bennett was 20 years old when he died, just after the landing at Gallipoli on the 25th April 1915. He was from my hometown of Camberwell, Victoria and he attended my primary school. Although I talked about my soldier at Beach Cemetery yesterday, I found his name under the 6th Battalion on the Memorial plaques at Lone Pine. After hearing part two of the "Rusty Richards" story we continued our journey, walking along the road and visiting the remains of original trenches, along with Walkers Ridge, Johnson's Jolly and Quinn's Post. Finally, we arrived at The Nek, where the European correspondent for Channel 9-James Talia - met us, along with his cameraman and reporters from News Limited (they produce the Herald Sun, Sunday Telegraph etc.). A few hours later we returned to the Kum Hotel, where we were greeted by another 4-5 course meal. This was followed by an absolutely glorious sunset (I got a little carried away with taking photos) then Andrew's presentation of recovered footage called "Heroes of Gallipoli". After such an action packed day, we were pleased when our heads touched our pillows.

KATHERINE WESTERMAN