Turkish soldier's shoe : Chunuk Bair, Gallipoli

Place Middle East: Ottoman Empire, Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Sari Bair Area, Chunuk Bair
Accession Number RELAWM00354
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Uniform
Physical description Leather
Maker Unknown
Place made Ottoman Empire: Turkey
Date made c 1914-1915
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Remains of a Turkish soldier's open shoe made from thick cow hide. The body of the shoe is cut from one piece of leather and is gathered into shape around the upper edge by means of a leather thong threaded through a series of slits. The toe is sewn into a traditional upturned point. The shoe is badly damaged and misshapen. About a third of the shoe leather (including the pointed toe) is bent backwards, towards the heel. The leather is torn where it bends, and is torn along the length of the toe end. The heel was originally shaped by cutting the sole into a. arch shape, and sewing the sides to each other and the base. This stitching has come undone.

Four leather keepers, through which a leather strap and buckle would have been threaded, are attached to the sides of the shoe by the leather thong. The heel was once reinforced both inside and underneath the body of the shoe by leather semi-circles attached to each other by a series of nails. These pieces of reinforcing leather are absent, as are most of the nails. Many of the remaining holes have dried mud embedded in them.

History / Summary

The remains of this Turkish shoe were found by the Australian Historical Mission to Gallipoli at Chunuk Bair on 23 February 1919. The shoe had been sitting out in the elements for almost four years.

The Mission, led by Official Historian C E W Bean, visited Gallipoli in February and March 1919 to collect items for the nation, to record the area through artworks and photographs, and to explore the battlefields to answer some of the 'riddles of Anzac' for the future Australian official history of the war.