The Simpson Prize 2016

The Question

The landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 is often given prominence in accounts of the Gallipoli campaign. What other events or experiences of the campaign would you argue require more attention? Why?


The Simpson Prize requires students to respond to the question using both the Simpson Prize Australian War Memorial Source Selection (the eight sources below) and their own research. It is expected that students will make effective use of a minimum of 3 of the sources. It is also expected that up to half of their response will make use of information drawn from their own knowledge and research.

Information about word or time limits, the closing date, entry forms and judging can be found at the Simpson Prize official website.

Note: students who submit winning entries for this year's Simpson Prize question will travel in 2016.

Source 1: Film

With the Dardanelles Expedition: Heroes of Gallipoli, Ashmead Bartlett (1915).

Source 2: Artwork

The charge of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade at the Nek, 7 August 1915, George Lambert, 1924.
Oil on canvas, 179.5 x 333.2 cm x 10.5 cm.


On 7 August 1915 the Australians and Turks faced each other over a narrow strip of open ground on Gallipoli; the Australians were met with a torrent of gunfire and four out of five who took part in the assault were killed or wounded. In its futility, if not for its scale, this charge was one of the tragedies of the First World War. In 1920 the Memorial commissioned Lambert to produce this large painting along with Anzac, the landing 1915.

Source 3: Statistics

Australian deaths at Gallipoli

Month Killed in action Died of wounds Died of disease Total deaths
April 25-30 643 203 14 860
May 1,805 469 24 2,298
June 265 199 9 473
July 143 113 46 302
August 2,054 532 80 2,666
September 145 163 91 399
October 82 84 115 281
November 295 184 120 599
December 50 46 124 220
January 1916 0 19 42 61
Totals 5,482 2,012 665 8,159*

*A revised estimate, dated January 26, 1919, in the same book gives the total number of Australians killed as 8,709. This larger figure is the accepted official estimate of the total number killed. In all 61,522 Australians lost their lives in the First World War. As well, an estimated total of 664 Australian officers and 17,260 men were wounded. According to the Official history, 70 Australians were captured on Gallipoli.

Source 4: Photograph


Photographer unknown.

A Turkish officer, Major Kemal Ohri, being led blindfolded on a horse after the Turkish counter attack of 19 May 1915, to negotiate an armistice. More than one million rounds of ammunition were fired during the one day attack, with 3,000 Turks and approximately 160 Australians killed. The stench from the dead was so unbearable that the Turks initiated a nine hour armistice so that both sides could recover and bury the dead.

Source 5: Photograph


Nurses of No 3 Australian General Hospital about to follow a piper into their camp, under the leadership of their matron, Miss G M Wilson and second in command of the hospital, Lieutenant Colonel J A Dick at Mudros West. The nurses of this hospital underwent the same heavy privations as the men of the army at the front during this period. Ships are anchored off shore.

Source 6: Photograph


Gallipoli, 1915. A group of Indian stretcher bearers carrying a patient along a track.

Source 7: Diary

Cpl. Reginald S. Gardiner wrote letters to his mother between 18 July and 25 December 1915. He wrote to her about Lemnos and his view of the Gallipoli landing several months after his experiences of each but wrote his thoughts on the evacuation at the time it happened. Gardiner was a student teacher when he enlisted upon the outbreak of war in 1914. He served overseas for 5 years.

Read extracts of diary and letters

Source 8: Diary

Private Cecil Anthony McAnulty had been a clerk in civilian life. He wrote accounts of his Gallipoli experience between 1 June and 8 August in a notebook. When that was full, he wrote on the backs of envelopes and letters from home. The accounts here are written exactly as McAnulty wrote them, with the final ones describing preparations for the battle at Lone Pine. He was killed in action in that battle sometime between 8 and 10 August 1915.

Read diary extracts