• Recovery and return

    Tuesday 28 April 2009 by Andrew Gray.

    Varun and Onder, our bus driver, laying a wreath at the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial The return to the hotel after our big Anzac morning was a chance to relax, catch up on sleep and do whatever we felt like.  As it was a lovely warm day, Maddy and Lauren braved the waters for another swim, others walked and talked on the beach, Varun learnt card games - Pisti and Kapti Kacti - from our bus driver, while the more senior members…

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  • Anzac Day

    Sunday 26 April 2009 by Andrew Gray. 11 comments

    View of Dawn Service from our seats Well, by the look of all the comments we don’t have to tell you what we’ve been up to, as you’ve seen us in action on TV.  Before Lone Pine, though, we had of course been at the Dawn Service at North Beach.  We got up after midnight, dressed warmly (some with every layer they possibly could) and headed off to the site.  It was amazing to see the place full of people in sleeping bags …

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  • The frontline and the coast

    Saturday 25 April 2009 by Andrew Gray. 7 comments

    Simpson Prize group rugged up during the trip up the Anzac coastline Today we braved the elements and walked the frontline at Anzac from Lone Pine to Walkers Ridge.  Lone Pine is the site for the main Australian service on Anzac Day so it’s full of action with seating stands, a/v equipment, catafalque party rehearsals and musicians trying to warm up.  Many of the soldiers we were to present had no known grave, so we found …

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  • Cultural exchange in Helles

    Friday 24 April 2009 by Andrew Gray.

    On the way down Rhododendron Ridge The day before our big night at Anzac dawned clear and sunny.  While there was still a cool breeze blowing, we were pleased to see a change in the weather.  The plan for the morning was to travel down south to Helles and visit site of some of the big battles in this area.  However, we hadn’t counted on the enthusiasm of Turkish authorities to close off roads due to memorial services at some…

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  • Reflections on first visit to Anzac Cove

    Friday 24 April 2009 by Andrew Gray. 12 comments

    Simpson Prize students on the Cannakale Ferry By Eleanor Lourey (Simpson Prize winner): Being here for Anzac Day seems so much more important now that I have learnt so much about WWI and the Gallipoli campaign.  Seeing so many Australian graves makes the whole day more purposeful to remember and commemorate their lives.  Seeing what some of the relatives had written on the gravestones made it seem so much more real and made me …

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  • The Gallipoli Landing and the first Anzac Day

    Thursday 23 April 2009 by Annette Gaykema. 5 comments

    As we ready ourselves to commemorate Anzac Day at the Australian War Memorial, we can gain a small insight what it was like at the Gallipoli landing. Personal diaries held by the Memorial describe what it was like landing at Gallipoli on Sunday, 25 April 1915 under the heavy fire of Turkish machine guns. Although the photos accompanying this blog post do not relate directly to the diary entries, they are able to illustrate the stories in a …

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  • Australia's Gallipoli Victoria Crosses

    Thursday 23 April 2009 by Craig Blanch. 2 comments

    Anzac, the landing 1915 by George Lambert ART02873 For ninety four years the story of Gallipoli has galvanised Australians to remember, on ANZAC Day, those that have served, and continue to serve, in conflicts around the globe. The description by poet John Masefield in 1917 of the landing on Gallipoli creates an indelible backdrop to the fighting: Those who wish to imagine the scene must think of any rough and steep coast known …

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  • First day at Gallipoli

    Thursday 23 April 2009 by Andrew Gray. 1 comments

    Grave of Major EC Oldham A very pleasant drive down to the Gallipoli Peninsula through fields of bright yellow canola crops and pine forested mountains had us arriving at the Kum Hotel in time for lunch.  It was the first taste of the fabulous food and hospitality of this hotel, which is only 10 minutes drive from the Anzac area.  Our rooms are small, but comfortable, and once we had mastered the mysteries of plumbing, wrestled…

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  • Thoughts from our two days in Istanbul

    Thursday 23 April 2009 by Andrew Gray.

    Simpson students and teachers in front of the Blue Mosque Heading down to Gallipoli we had a chance to reflect on our introduction to Turkey from our two days in Istanbul.  The hotel in Taxim Square was a great location - busy, chaotic and full of life.  It's a very cosmopolitan part of the city with thousands of people moving through the square and down Istiklal Street. In this area are plenty of familiar brand-name shops you …

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  • The Simpson Prize trip 2009

    Tuesday 21 April 2009 by Andrew Gray. 7 comments

    The Simpson Prize is a competition for high school students from around Australia, with a winner from every state and territory getting the opportunity to travel to Turkey and attend the services on ANZAC Day at Gallipoli. The students this year are Varun Sundar (ACT), Lauren Tang (NSW), Madeleine Foote (TAS), Johanna Stott-Williams (SA), Megan Proutt (QLD), Nicholas Dyer (WA), Eleanor Lourey (VIC) and Erin Moriarty (NT).  The accompanying …

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