• 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,…

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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 …

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  • Shrapnel Valley Cemetery

    Thursday 1 May 2008 by Robyn van Dyk.

    The tour visited Shrapnel Valley Cemetery in the late afternoon and were touched by the sad expression of loss on the grave of Private John Edward Barclay of the 8th Battalion. He was killed in action on the 21 June 1915 and was the husband of Louisa Mary Barclay. He is buried at Shrapnel Valley Cemetery Anzac. The grave of John Edward Barclay Shrapnel Valley gained its name from the heavy shelling that it received from …

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  • Plugge’s Plateau

    Thursday 1 May 2008 by Robyn van Dyk. 2 comments

    Pearl McGill's great uncle died of wounds on Anzac Day and is buried at Plugge's Plateau. Private George Bell of the 11th Battalion was killed in action on 25th April, 1915. He was 28 years old and the son of Jane McFadyen Bell. Pearl is the first person from the family to come back and visit his grave. We were moved when Pearl shared his story with us and read some prayers. Pearl McGill at the grave of her great uncle …

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  • Walking the battlefields

    Thursday 1 May 2008 by Robyn van Dyk.

    The Walk from Chunuk Bair down Rhododendron Ridge to the northern outposts gave the tour an appreciation of the difficulty of the terrain around this area of the peninsula. Gallipoli terrain from Rhododendron Ridge A bush fire several years ago reduced the vegetation, opened up the view and exposed parts of the landscape including old trenches. The vegetation has now grown back to about chest height which would have been…

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  • The Landing, 25 April 1915

    Sunday 27 April 2008 by Robyn van Dyk.

    Anzac Cove is the name given to this stretch of the west coast of the Turkish Peninsula where the Australians and New Zealanders made their landing on the 25 April 1915. The landing marked the start of an eight month campaign on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The Anzacs under General Birdwood were to make the northern landing. Once ashore they were to press inland.The Battlefield tour took a boat trip yesterday to the coast where the Anzacs …

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  • ANZAC Day at Gallipoli

    Sunday 27 April 2008 by Robyn van Dyk. 5 comments

    A couple of days after the landing on the 25th April 1915 the weather turned bitterly cold for the Anzacs dug in at Gallipoli. Having been blessed with the weather so far, the battlefield tour received a good dose of what it would have been like for the diggers in 1915. Most of us on the tour agree that we have just spent the coldest night of our lives camped out for the Dawn Service! We left the hotel at 12 am in order to arrive at …

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  • The Ancient City

    Thursday 24 April 2008 by Robyn van Dyk. 1 comments

    Homer described the location of the city of Troy as situated at the entrance of the Dardanelles. The Gallipoli campaign was fought a few kilometres from the site of the ancient city. The historical connections between the ancient and modern battlefields were not lost on the Australians fighting in this region. Many Anzacs found pieces of ancient pottery when tunnelling into the hills.The battlefield tour took the opportunity to walk …

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  • Aboriginal ANZACs

    Thursday 24 April 2008 by Robyn van Dyk. 24 comments

    There are only five known Aboriginal servicemen buried at Gallipoli, however, it is estimated that 500-800 Aboriginal diggers served in the First World War. Ethnicity was not recorded in the enlistment process and research into indigenous service can involve trawling across many different sources, sometimes we may never know who these servicemen were. Garth O'Connell, a fellow member of the battlefield tour, has been researching …

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  • Memorial to the Bouvet

    Wednesday 23 April 2008 by Robyn van Dyk.

    The first action by the Allies against the Ottomans began as a naval operation and occurred here on the Dardanelles. On the 18 March a large British and French fleet of 18 war ships advanced towards the Narrows, hoping to put the forts that defended the Dardanelles out of action, threaten Constantinople and open supply routes to Russia.The war operation began with preliminary bombardments of the Turkish forts in January and February …

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