Anzac Walk: 1-day audio tour of Gallipoli battlefields

 

Anzac Walk in Turkey commemorates 14 places where Australians served and died on the Gallipoli peninsula. Listen to our audio tour to explore each site and learn about its significance in Australia's military history.

A walk around Anzac battlefield sites

A map with a trail line
Map of the Anzac Walk showing numbered sites

The Anzac Walk covers most areas on Gallipoli that were important to the Australian forces in World War I.

Many Australians are fascinated by the Gallipoli Campaign. It's also a remarkable event for the Turkish people.

You will hear stories about the Australian soldiers who served on Gallipoli in 1915. These insights will help you to travel back in time as you stop at each site along the walk.

To access the stories at each site, you can either:

  • play the audio file embedded on this page
  • click on the audio link to download the mp3 file to your device or read the transcript

North Beach — Stop 1

Audio file

After the August Offensive of 1915, North Beach became a major military base. The Allied soldiers built two piers here.

Dead mules were being washed up. Further north, near Fisherman's Hut, several bodies buried shallow in the sand had been half uncovered. Around in Anzac Cove the beach was simply a litter of the trestle of old piers, old barges half broken up sawing and bumping about like elephants dancing some slow side step on the water's edge. The beach was littered with the big debris of the piers over which the waves were bursting in mass after mass of foam.

[Kevin Fewster, Frontline Gallipoli: CEW Bean, diaries from the trenches, Sydney, 1990, pp179-181]

On 20 December 1915, the last Australian soldiers left Gallipoli from Williams' Pier. This place is captured in George Lambert's most famous wartime painting.

'Anzac, the landing 1915' by George Lambert. AWM ART02873

Ari Burnu — Stop 2

Audio file

On 25 April 1915, the Allied battleship tows lost their way in the dark. The Australian soldiers expected to land at a gently sloping beach. Instead, they landed before the steep cliffs of Ari Burnu.

Hundreds of soldiers rushed up the steep slopes. Turkish shells burst all over the area, causing many casualties.

The Battle of the Landing lasted until 3 May 1915.

Anzac Cove — Stop 3

Audio file

Close to 50,000 Australians fought at Gallipoli, and most of them landed at this spot.

Anzac Cove quickly became a complete army base. Thousands of men, including Lieutenant General Sir William Birdwood, would swim in the cove, despite the constant risk of Turkish shelling.

Anzacs swimming and relaxing at Anzac Cove. AWM P01116 005

… it is recorded that on June 23, during bathing, eight men were hit - one of them came out of the water holding his almost severed arm.

[Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Vol II, Sydney, 1924, p.383]

Hundreds of men were killed or wounded at Anzac Cove by Turkish guns. In 1985, the Turkish Government agreed to the official naming of this place as 'Anzac Cove'.

Anzac Cove by Leon Gellert

There's a lonely stretch of hillocks:
There's a beach asleep and drear:
There's a battered broken fort beside the sea.
There are sunken trampled graves:
And a little rotting pier:
And winding paths that wind unceasingly.
There's a torn and silent valley;
There's a tiny rivulet
With some blood upon the stones beside its mouth.
There are lines of buried bones:
There's an unpaid waiting debt:
There's a sound of gentle sobbing in the south.

Hell Spit — Stop 4

Audio file

The sea is nearly always like oil and as the crimson path streams across the water the store ships, hospital ships, torpedo boats and mine sweepers stand out jet black. God, it's just magnificent!

[The Gallipoli Diary of Sergeant Lawrence of the Australian Engineers, Sir Ronald East (ed), Melbourne 1983, p.35]

The sea here would have been full of warships and other vessels during the 8 months of the Gallipoli campaign. One such ship was a little North Sea trawler (fishing boat) which brought fresh bread across from the Australian Field Bakeries on Imroz. At one point, over 14,500 bread rations were arriving every day!

The ships off Anzac assisted with the landing, ongoing naval bombardment support, and supply of food and fighting material. They also helped with the removal of the sick and wounded, and the successful evacuation.

Bodies of the dead on stretchers covered by Union Jack flags being transferred from the decks of the hospital ship Gascon to trawler for burial at sea. AWM A01859

Shrapnel Valley — Stop 5

Shrapnel Valley was the main route up from the beach area to the Anzac front.

When the Turkish forces realised the valley had become a highway for Allied soldiers, their guns rained shrapnel shells onto the area. Turkish snipers killed or wounded hundreds of men here. Many an Anzac was introduced to war as he moved up these valleys to the ridge.

It was also here that the best known Anzac, Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick, worked. Charles Bean wrote about 'the man with the Donkey':

For nearly four weeks he [Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick] came up and down that valley - through the hottest shrapnel, through the aimed bullets of the snipers and the unaimed bullets which came over the ridges. When the shells were so hot that many others thought it wiser to duck for cover as they passed, the man with the donkey calmly went his way as if nothing more serious than a summer shower were happening. Presently he got another donkey, and started to work with two of them. He was coming down the gully on the morning of 19th May after the attack, clearing some of our 300 or 400 wounded – the Turks lost twice that many thousand – when he passed the waterguard, where he generally took his breakfast. It happened this morning the breakfast was not ready. "Never mind," he said to the engineers there, "get me a good dinner when I come back." But he never came back.

[Charles Bean, dispatch, Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, 23 July 1915, p.1394]

Brighton Beach — Stop 6

Brighton Beach was a backwater during the campaign. The Indian Mule Cart Company were established here. They would transport water and other supplies up into the hills on mules or along the shore in small carts. Shelling was severe, so boxes were carefully stacked to hide those working and protect them from shrapnel.

On the morning of 22 May 1915, the Turks waved a white flag on Gaba Tepe. The Australians waved a towel instead of a white flag. Then Turkish envoys approached Brighton Beach. They wanted to bury the thousands of Turkish soldiers who had died during a failed attack on 19 May. A Turkish envoy was blindfolded and carried by naked Anzac swimmers around tripwire. The two sides negotiated a truce.

Male soldiers on a beach with two men carrying another man on a stretcher.

The blindfolded Turkish envoy, seated on a stretcher, being carried around the barbed wire entanglements on Brighton Beach by two naked Anzac swimmers on 22 May 1915. He had come to negotiate a truce to bury the thousands of Turkish dead who lay out in front of the Anzac trenches after the failed Turkish attack of 19 May. AWM G00988

Artillery Road — Stop 7

There were many units and batteries stationed in these hills. In preparation for the August Offensive, thousands of soldiers hid here in dugouts. The Anzacs' job was to widen and extend the road up the hill.

You must not imagine that life in one of these year-long modern battles consists of continuous bomb fighting, bayoneting and bombarding all the time … [the] chief occupation is the digging of mile upon mile of endless sap [trench], of sunken road … The carrying of biscuit boxes and building timbers for hours daily … the sweeping and disinfecting of trenches in the never ending battle against flies - this is the soldier's life for nine days out of ten in a modern battle.

[Charles Bean, dispatch, Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, 2 December 1915, p.3058]

Artillery Road had bad sanitary conditions. Piles of food scraps and rotting corpses attracted many flies.

Private Roy Facey is buried in the nearby Shell Green Cemetery.

On 28 June 1915, Roy and his older brother Private Albert Facey took part in an attack. Albert later wrote:

… on arriving back I was told that Roy had been killed. He and his mate had been killed by the same shell. This was a terrible blow to me. I had lost a lot of my mates and seen a lot of men die, but Roy was my brother … I helped to bury Roy and fifteen of our mates who had been killed on the twenty-eighth. We put them in a grave side by side on the edge of a clearing we called Shell Green. Roy was in pieces when they found him. We put him together as best we could - I can remember carrying a leg - it was terrible.

[Albert Facey, A Fortunate Life, 1984, p.273]

Lone Pine — Stop 8

Audio file

On 25 April 1915, a 'single dwarf pine tree' stood near here. Within days the tree had been shot away, but the place continued to be known as Lone Pine. This was a strong and important position for the Turkish forces. One of the bloodiest actions of the campaign was fought here: the Battle of Lone Pine.

The Australians attacked Lone Pine to distract Turkish attention from the main attacks the north. There, Allied troops were attempting to occupy the Sari Bair Range including the hill known as Chunuk Bair.

For 3 days and nights in August 1915, Australians and Turks fought in the trenches and tunnels at Lone Pine.

The wounded bodies of both Turks and our own … were piled up 3 and 4 deep … the bombs simply poured in but as fast as our men went down another would take his place. Besides our own wounded the Turks' wounded lying in our trench were cut to pieces with their own bombs. We had no time to think of our wounded … their pleas for mercy were not heeded … Some poor fellows lay for 30 hours waiting for help and many died still waiting.

[Private John Gammage, 1st Battalion, quoted in Les Carlyon, Gallipoli, Sydney, 2001, p.360]

Seven Australians were awarded the Victoria Cross for their outstanding courage at Lone Pine. The battle cost Australia more than 2000 casualties and the Turks somewhere in the region of 7000. Although Lone Pine was a costly success for the Anzacs, Chunuk Bair did not fall.

'The taking of Lone Pine' by Fred Leist. AWM ART02931

Johnston's Jolly — Stop 9

Audio file

On 18 May 1915, close to 42,000 Ottoman soldiers gathered in valleys to the east for a surprise attack. Airmen of the British Royal Naval Air Service spotted the Turkish force, and as a result, the Anzac trenches were ready by 3:00am.

The Australians poured almost a million rifle and machine-gun bullets into waves of attacking Turks. The firing was especially intense here at 400 Plateau, at German Officer's, and on the ridge towards Quinn's Post.

One Australian compared the tough confrontation to a 'wallaby drive'. After 19 May, the Anzacs began to see the Turks as fellow sufferers. Respect for the Turks' courage and prowess grew.

Quinn's Post — Stop 10

Audio file

On 29 April 2015, Captain Hugh Quinn arrived at this spot with a detachment of Queenslanders from 15th Battalion. The resulting struggle with the Turks continued 24 hours a day for 8 months.

The Turkish front lay on just the other side of the road: very, very close to the Anzac trenches at Quinn's Post. Here the Turks had only to advance a few meters, breach the Anzac line and the whole Anzac area could be lost.

Up until mid-June 1915, the fighting at Quinn's was ferocious, of an intensity unequalled on any other part of the line. This included bombing duels and aggressive tunnelling below ground. This gave Quinn's Post a fearsome reputation.

Quinn's Post was especially dangerous because the enemy surrounded the Allies on three sides. Raising your head above the trench could mean instant death from Turkish rifles. The invention of the famous periscope rifle was important for this reason.

Turkish Memorial — Stop 11

Audio file

On the slopes behind the monument, one of the most crucial actions of the Battle of the Landing was fought. The capability and courage shown by the Turks here sealed the fate of the Anzacs.

At 6:30am on 25 April 1915 a report reached Colonel Mustafa Kemal of an advancing enemy force. By 9:30am, Kemal was standing at Chunuk Bair with some other officers. A group of Turkish soldiers came quickly up the hill towards him. Kemal asked them why they were not defending Battleship Hill:

'Why are you running away?' 'Sir, the enemy', they said. 'Where?' 'Over there', they said, pointing out hill 261 … I said to the men who were running away, 'You cannot run from the enemy'. 'We have got no ammunition', they said. 'If you haven't got any ammunition, you have got your bayonets', I said, and shouting to them, I made them fix their bayonets and lie down on the ground. When the men fixed their bayonets and lay down on the ground the enemy also lay down …

[Kemal quoted in Robert Rhodes James, Gallipoli, London, 1999, p.113]

The advancing Anzacs were halted and held back by Turkish forces for the rest of the day. The Anzacs took up the positions that they would come to occupy for the next 8 months.

The Nek Cemetery — Stop 12

At this spot on 7 August 1915, 234 Australian Light Horsemen from Victoria and Western Australia were killed, and 138 were wounded. This action features in Peter Weir's 1981 film, Gallipoli.

George Lambert's famous painting – The Charge of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade at the Nek, 7 August 1915. ART07965

The attack at the Nek was meant as a diversion while Allied units attempted to take Chunuk Bair and Hill 971. This larger attack began on the night of 6 August, but by 4:30am it was failing. Allied troops were still fighting for the heights while others had become lost in the gullies and scrub below. The Light Horsemen were ordered in any way.

An artillery and naval bombardment on the enemy's trenches stopped several minutes before the attack began. When the first wave - men of the 8th Light Horse - rose from the trench, the Turks were ready and cut them down quickly.

A second wave of the 8th was similarly destroyed. There was a pause. An officer questioned the value of sending more men to certain death.

Yet the Light Horse was ordered to press on. Next rose the first wave of the 10th Light Horse:

The 10th went forward to meet death instantly, as the 8th had done, the men running as swiftly and as straight as they could at the Turkish rifles. With that regiment went the flower of the youth of Western Australia …

[Bean, Story of Anzac, Vol 2, p 617]

Many Western Australian soldiers of the fourth wave also charged before the attack was finally called off.

Charles Bean called this event 'one of the bravest actions in the history of war'. Each soldier in each wave went forward, knowing he was unlikely to survive.

Walker's Ridge Cemetery — Stop 13

From Walker's Ridge between 7 and 10 August 1915, you would have seen wounded men lying in pain all over the heights and valleys before you. Those capable of walking or crawling made their way to aid posts at the end of the valleys. These casualties were the result of the various battles which made up the failed August Offensive.

Just before dawn on 10 August, Colonel Mustafa Kemal prepared his men to drive the British from the heights. He later wrote:

The blanket of dawn had lifted. Now was the hour for the attack. I looked at my watch. It was nearly 4.30am … I greeted the men and addressed them: 'Soldiers! There is no doubt that we can defeat the enemy opposing us. But don't you hurry, let me go in front first. When you see the wave of my whip all of you rush forward together'. Then I went to a point forward of the assault line, and, raising my whip, gave the signal for the assault.

This fierce rush swept the British troops away from Chunuk Bair. But as the Turks dashed down the slope, they were stopped and killed in their hundreds by New Zealand machine guns and shells from British warships.

On the New Zealand Memorial are these words:

In honour of the soldiers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force 8th August 1915 From the Uttermost Ends of the Earth

Kemal added Atatürk (Father of the Turks) to his name in 1923, when he became the first President of the Republic of Turkey. Gallipoli helped to shape Atatürk, just as it helped shape the Anzac legend.

Overlooking North Beach at Walker's Ridge — Stop 14

At 4:00am on 20 December, one steamboat was left at North Beach. Colonel John Paton, commander of the Anzac rearguard, was among the last to leave:

Ah, well! We're gone! We’re out of it now. We've some-where else to fight. And we strain our eyes from the transport deck, but 'Anzac' is out of sight!

A male soldier carrying his personal items on his back and around his waist.

An Australian soldier on the day he was evacuated from Anzac, December 1915. AWM P00176.017

Description of the walk

The walking path is a near circuit that goes about 2km down the western coastline of the Gallipoli peninsula. It traverses North Beach past Brighton Beach and then inland and northward along the ridge lines, finishing at Walker's Ridge.

Begin at North Beach and walk 250m south, to the 2nd stop at Ari Burnu Cemetery. A little further south is Anzac Cove. At the southern end of Anzac Cove, along the coast road, is Hell Spit. Turn left back towards Anzac Cove and walk a few metres up Shrapnel Valley, the main route up from the beach area to the Anzac front line. On the ridge is the 5th stop, Shrapnel Valley Cemetery.

Turn back from Shrapnel Valley Cemetery onto the main coast road.

Walk south along the road for about 500m to the 6th stop, Brighton Beach. About 500m along the Brighton Beach road, you will see an unpaved road uphill to the north-east. This was known as 'Artillery Road' to the Anzacs. It leads to Shell Green Cemetery and further uphill to Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial, the 8th stop.

Continue north-east along the main ridge road for 300m and you'll come to Johnson's Jolly.

An equal distance further along the ridge road is the 10th stop, Quinn's Post.

A little further uphill is the Turkish Memorial, a representation of the ordinary Turkish soldier.

A short distance further up the road, turn left onto an unpaved road to the 11th stop, The Nek Cemetery.

Turn down the track towards the coast to Walker's Ridge Cemetery.

Winding westwards further along the track you reach the end of the ridge. It overlooks North Beach to the south-west, where you started your walk.

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