This commemorative publication is a part of the series; Australians in World War I. It contains a selection of images and a brief history of the Gallipoli campaign. This book is supplemented with teaching activities for students in the booklet, Gallipoli: Educational Activities
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Chapter 1: Gallipoli
February 1915–January 1916
On 19 February 1915, the sea off the entrance to the strait of the Dardanelles in Turkey was calm; there was no wind and the sun shone. A few kilometres offshore from the old Ottoman imperial forts guarding either side of the en-trance—Seddülbahir at the toe of the Gallipoli peninsula and Kumkale on the Asian side—a small fleet of British and French warships took station. From there they opened a leisurely bombardment of the forts. All day shells fell on Sed-dülbahir and Kumkale without reply. Then, as the Allied ships came to within three kilometres, the Turkish gunners fired back, showing that the forts had not been destroyed. The British and French attempt to knock the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) out of World War One had begun. It became known as the 'Gallipoli campaign' and it lasted until 8 January 1916, when the last British soldiers left the Gallipoli peninsula from positions near Seddülbahir.
Chapter 2: On the way to England
The Australian Imperial Force
Australian involvement with Gallipoli began, although none of the individuals concerned at the time would have realised it, with the raising of a military force during the later months of 1914. After the outbreak of war on 4 August 1914, the Australian government offered a force of 20,000 men to the British Empire war effort. This force, to be known as the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), was recruited throughout Australia. On 1 November, the first contingent - infantry, artillery, light horse, field ambulances, engineers, and the many other units which made up a modern army - sailed away in convoy from Albany, Western Australia, into the Indian Ocean towards the Suez Canal. Private Archibald Barwick of the 1st Battalion AIF, who was to fight with his unit for the whole war and return home in 1919, wrote:
... all that day we watched the Australian coast fading away, till darkness shut it out, and when we got up in the morning we were out of sight of land, and nothing but the calm blue sea all around us, like a sheet of shimmering glass, and at last we felt we were fairly on the way to England.
Indeed, it was to England that the men of the AIF thought they were going, and then across the English Channel to France to engage the German army, which had invaded France and Belgium in August 1914. Few of them would have heard of a place called Gallipoli.
The first contingent of the AIF never got to England. On 3 December 1914 the force, along with men from the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF), disembarked in Egypt and went into training camps there. Word had come from the Australian High Commissioner in London, Sir George Reid, that facilities in England were totally unsuitable for Winter lodgings, a conclusion with which the British military authorities agreed. Between December 1914 and March 1915, as the Australians and New Zealanders trained in the desert beneath the pyramids, a situation developed which was to bring them to battle not with the Germans but with the men of the Ottoman Army.
Chapter 3: Such an array of might and power
18 March 1915
The British Empire's decision to launch a major naval and military attack on Turkey in 1915 arose from the stalemate reached in France and Belgium by late 1914. Here, an initial war of movement had turned into static trench warfare, with neither side confident of breaking through the other's lines and forcing a victory. The British War Cabinet began looking for other strategic fronts where it might be possible to gain some success and cause problems for Germany. A request from the Russian Empire, battling with Ottoman forces on its southern frontier, turned Britain's attention to the possibility of using its own superior naval power to force Germany's ally out of the war. This might be accomplished by a rush with a battle fleet up the Dardanelles and through to Constantinople (Istanbul). The shelling of the Ottoman capital, it was thought, would then cause the Turks to sue for peace.
Between 19 February and 17 March 1914, a British and French naval force attempted to subdue Turkish forts and mobile howitzer batteries arrayed on either side of the Dardanelles from its mouth to the Narrows at the town of Çanakkale. It was also necessary, before the great battleships could steam past the Narrows and on up the Dardanelles to the Sea of Marmara, for small minesweepers to sweep a channel through numerous minefields laid across the strait. This they failed to achieve, largely because of the accurate fire of shore-based mobile Turkish howitzer batteries. So it was decided that, on 18 March, a large British and French naval force would enter the Dardanelles and with naval gunfire hammer the Turkish forts and batteries to a point where they were no longer capable of resistance. Minesweepers could then approach safely and clear a way for the warships.
As the great fleet of sixteen battleships sailed into the strait on the morning of 18 March 1915, one British naval officer observed 'no human power could withstand such an array of might and power'. All morning the gunners on shore withstood it, their guns firing round after round; warships were hit, men killed and metal twisted, but the Turkish shells could not pierce the main armour of the battleships. Meanwhile, Allied shells crashed into masonry, hit munitions and caused loss of life at the batteries. Sensing a weakening of Turkish resistance, the British Admiral John de Robeck ordered the last line of battleships forward. As his second line turned away to allow these ships through, the French warship Bouvet suddenly sustained a massive explosion and sank within minutes, taking more than 600 sailors to their deaths. It had struck a mine. By late afternoon, the Allied fleet had lost three battleships and three more had been badly damaged.
That 'great array' of naval 'might and power' had not gained the day on March 18. There has been some dispute ever since about the state of the Turkish shore defence after the warships sailed away. Were they dangerously low on ammunition? Had the defenders' morale been affected? Whatever the situation, one basic fact remained - the mine-fields, whose clearance was essential to any further progress, remained virtually intact. The naval attack never resumed. On 22 March, at a conference on the British flagship Queen Elizabeth, de Robeck announced that he could not seize the Dardanelles alone. It would be necessary to land a sizeable military force to capture the shore batteries and allow the navy through the strait.
Chapter 4: Australia's chance
Gallipoli invasion plans
For some time before the naval attack was called off, the British Army had been preparing for the eventuality that a landing to support the navy would be necessary. General Sir Ian Hamilton, a semi-retired officer, was sent out to Egypt to take command of what became known as the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF). This force ultimately consisted of British, French, British India Army, New Zealand and Australian units. During their training in Egypt the AIF and the NZEF were combined into a corps—the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC)—consisting of the First Australian Division and the New Zealand and Australian Division commanded by a British India Army officer, Lieutenant-General Sir William Birdwood.
The Australians and New Zealanders, soon to be known simply as Anzacs, were given the task of invading the central section of the Gallipoli peninsula. This landing was to be effected at dawn on 25 April 1915, while two hours later the main British force was to go ashore at the tip of the peninsula. The French would stage a diversionary landing on the Asian shore of the Dardanelles near Kumkale, but come off within days to support what was envisaged as a successful British capturing of the main features of the Gallipoli peninsula. The British, so the plan went, would have advanced rapidly to the taking of Kilid Bahr, the high plateau which lay across the centre of the peninsula. Meanwhile, the Anzacs would have seized the heights of the Sari Bair range immediately inland of their prospective landing sites and made their way across the peninsula to a hill called Mal Tepe. This hill commanded the roadway leading from the eastern part of Gallipoli to the south, and was essential to Turkish forces moving to reinforce positions there. It was all meant to be over quickly; few thought that it would result in an eight-month long unsuccessful campaign. High opinions were not held of the fighting capacity of the armies of the Ottoman Empire, whose fortunes had been in decline for more than a hundred years.
In the month before the invasion, the MEF units gathered on the Greek island of Lemnos, 100 kilometres to the south-west of Gallipoli. Here, at Mudros Harbour, was the main base camp for the campaign, and soon to be an area for large tented hospitals such as the Australian No. 1 Stationary Hospital and the 3rd Australian General Hospital. The Australians, aware now of their destination, practised landings and some officers were instructed in that art:
... Lieutenant Green [12th Battalion, Tasmania and Western Australia] was detached for duty. No one exactly knew what his duty was, but he could always be seen careering around the harbour in a motor or steam launch, or towing lighters or barges from jetty to troopship ... the ease with which he substituted nautical orders for military words of command gained him the nickname ... 'The Admiral'.
On the afternoon of 24 April 1915, the Anzacs boarded troopships, destroyers and battleships for their short over-night journey to Gallipoli. The more reflective among them were aware that they were embarked on a significant venture, not only for themselves, but for Australia. Lieutenant Alan Henderson of the 7th Battalion, a 20-year-old accountant from Hawthorn, Victoria, confided in a letter that would have arrived home well after his death in action a few days later:
It is going to be Australia’s chance and she makes a tradition out of this that she must always look back on. God grant it will be a great one. The importance of this alone seems stupendous to Australia.
Heading for Gallipoli that night was the British destroyer Ribble, commanded by Lieutenant-Commander Ralph Wilkinson, with elements of the 12th Battalion on board. Wilkinson, who admired the soldiers in his care, describing them as 'the cream of the men of Australia', had a close conversation with one of them:
I well remember a very fine Australian officer ... he spoke to me of his wife and his children, showing me snap-shots of them. He asked me, 'Was I right to volunteer and come?'—I trust my answer helped to reassure
Chapter 5: The difficult business
The Battle of the Landing, 25 April–3 May 1915
As dawn approached on 25 April the Ribble, along with other British destroyers and battleships, eased its way towards the Gallipoli peninsula. The first wave of men, whose task it was to storm the beach and then push inland as fast as possible, was composed of the units of the 3rd Australian Brigade: three infantry battalions of men from Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. They made the last part of their night journey in thirty-six rowing boats, towed inshore from battleships by small Royal Navy steam boats. Even before they reached the beach in the half light, the small Turkish garrison had spotted them and bullets began hitting the boats, killing some, wounding others. As the boats grounded around the tip of the Ari Burnu promontory men launched themselves out, some into deep water where they drowned. Most struggled ashore, soaking wet and weighed down by their rifles and sodden packs. There was initial confusion about where exactly they had landed, for above them towered a steep cliff-like landscape. Australia's official historian, Charles Bean, later described this critical moment:
Lieutenant Talbot Smith with the scouts of the 10th Battalion [from South Australia], thirty-two in number, had struck the shore just after the first shot was fired. 'Come on, boys', he cried, 'they can't hit you' ... '10th Battalion scouts,' he shouted, 'are you ready?' He then led them straight up the height, while the Turks were firing over their heads. From the left hand edge of the plateau could be seen the flash of a machine-gun. They made towards it.
Soon hundreds of Australians were hard on the ascent of what was later known as Plugge's Plateau, their first major obstacle on the peninsula. It was no easy climb: the wounded or killed slid back down the slope until stopped by a bush; bayonets were dug into the earth to help them climb; and from the top of the plateau the Turkish defenders kept up a steady fire. Soon, the Australians reached the top and quickly overcame a trench full of Turkish soldiers, while the remainder of the garrison made off into the country beyond.
From the top of Plugge's it would have been possible in the increasing light to see just what the landing force had taken on. Stretching away into the distance were the ridges and deep valleys of a wild, rugged, scrub-covered land-scape. The ridges stretched southwards from the main Sari Bair chain, which lead up to the highest points on this part of the peninsula: Chunuk Bair, Hill Q and Hill 971, Koja Temen Tepe. For the Anzacs, the day's fighting, as it developed, never brought them near the objectives called for in the original plan. Small, isolated groups did manage to make their way up landward slopes towards Chunuk Bair and on to Third or Gun Ridge, from which positions the strait of the Dardanelles was visible, but they were beaten back by ever strengthening Turkish counter-attacks. Indeed, one historian of Gallipoli is convinced that it was this swift and decisive Turkish response that defeated the Anzacs:
... it was the celerity with which the Turkish command propelled reserves towards the battlefield and the tenacity with which those who met the landing continued to fight that turned the tables.
So the Anzacs were discovering not, as they had envisaged, an enemy that would soon run from determined attack, but soldiers who would stand and fight. Leading the Turkish counter-attack down from Chunuk Bair was the commander of the 19th Turkish Division, Lieutenant-Colonel Mustafa Kemal, who famously told his men:
I don't order you to attack, I order you to die. In the time it takes us to die, other troops and commanders can come and take our places.
On 25 April, despite their efforts to get inland, and the landing of the bulk of their infantry, the Anzacs were held by the Turks to an area of the peninsula (soon also called 'Anzac') about one kilometre deep and two kilometres long. The front line eventually stretched from the south at Brighton Beach, northwards along Bolton's Ridge, through Lone Pine and along Second Ridge to Quinn's Post. There was then a gap in the line across a valley to a small ridge known as Pope's Hill. A further valley separated Pope's from the left wing of the Anzac position at Walker's Ridge and Russell's Top. To the north along Ocean Beach were the Outposts, No. 1 and No. 2, positioned to give warning of any Turkish attack from that area.
By the evening of 25 April, the little cove to the south of Ari Burnu, soon named Anzac Cove, was crammed with the wounded who had made their way down or been carried down from the front line. Turkish shelling, which had begun within an hour of the initial landing, also took an increasing toll. So pessimistic were some Australian commanders on the spot that they recommended to General Birdwood, when he came ashore, that the whole force be withdrawn, as it had failed to meet its objectives. Although horrified, Birdwood relayed this opinion to Sir Ian Hamilton, then asleep on the battleship Queen Elizabeth. After hearing from naval commanders that instant evacuation was virtually impossible, Hamilton replied:
You have got through the difficult business, now you have only to dig, dig, dig until you are safe.
Hamilton also sent the reassuring news that the Royal Australian Navy's submarine AE2 had successfully made its way through the Turkish defences of the Narrows and was on its way up to the Sea of Marmara. At the Anzac firing line, developing along the seaward side of Second Ridge, ordinary soldiers might have been a bit surprised to hear thoughts of retreat. Private Roy Denning of the First Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers, wrote:
In spite of the dirty and in some cases ragged uniform covering tired bodies the men were cheerful and laughed at their plight, some jokingly saying, 'Oh, if only my girl could see me now' ... In the early hours of the morning I heard the Officers going along amongst the men, saying 'Stick to it lads, don't go to sleep', and the cheerful reply would come, 'No, Sir, we won't go to sleep' ... and my heart swelled with admiration ... I thought I was justified in being an Australian ... Give me Australians as comrades and I will go anywhere duty calls.
The struggle to hold, even enlarge, the Anzac position, called by Bean 'The Battle of the Landing', went on for nearly ten days. During that time the Turks made a number of fierce attacks aimed at driving their enemies back into the sea, and only equally determined Anzac defence prevented disaster. In this they were assisted by the guns of the British warships, whose shell bursts were capable of breaking up bunched groups of Turkish soldiers making a mass attack. Private Archibald Barwick fought through those days in one of the hottest parts of the line — the Chessboard area near Quinn's Post:
I had two rifles smashed in my hands during the fighting on the 27th ... the piece of ground opposite us was literally covered with dead bodies, our own boys and Turks. God knows what our losses were must have run into a few thousands.
During the night of 2–3 May 1915 a final attempt was made to push the Anzac line forward, up towards a hill called Baby 700, on the way to Chunuk Bair. Four Anzac battalions, among them the 16th Battalion from Western Australia, were to take the action up steep slopes to Turkish trenches at the top. Private Les Wallis of the 16th Battalion was one of the few to reach the crest of the hill known as the Bloody Angle. He wrote to his brother:
At 12 o'clock ... we were entrenched where the enemy had been. I can't speak of our Dead and wounded — too sad Jimmie ... bullets were again flying around like flies ... I'm scratches all over ... It's a sad, sad day when we land in Fremantle, if we ever do, what's left of our old 16th West Aust Batt.
Shortly after dawn, the 16th were beaten off their newly won trenches. Landing on 25 April with more than 1000 men, the battalion had been reduced in nine days of continuous fighting to only 309 men. Bean eventually estimated the loss to the Anzac Corps during this period as 8364 killed, wounded and missing. Signaller Ellis Silas, 16th Battalion, wrote that there were few left at battalion roll call on 11 May: 'just a thin line of weary, ashen-faced men, behind us a mass of silent forms, once our comrades'.
Chapter 6: As if into fierce rain
The Second Battle of Krithia, 8 May 1915
The British landings at the tip of the peninsula on 25 April were no more successful than those at Anzac. The initial objective—the capture of the height of Achi Baba behind the village of Krithia (modern AlÇitepe)—was nowhere near reached. A determined push at the so-called First Battle of Krithia on 28 April gained little. Sir Ian Hamilton then ordered that two brigades—the 2nd Australian Brigade (5th, 6th, 7th and 8th Battalions, from Victoria) and the New Zealand Infantry Brigade—be sent to assist British and French troops in a second attempt to capture Achi Baba. The Second Battle of Krithia commenced on 6 May, and after two days of fighting little progress had been made.
On the morning of 8 May, the New Zealanders tried to advance towards Krithia, but were soon pinned down by Turkish fire and took heavy casualties. In general, nobody was really clear where the Turkish positions were, and this situation still prevailed in mid-afternoon when the Australians were suddenly ordered to attack. The Victorians were camping and cooking a meal when the order came for the advance across 'wide, dry, level grassland'.
They soon ran into intense Turkish fire. 'The heavily loaded brigade', wrote Charles Bean, 'hurried straight on, heads down, as if into fierce rain, some men holding their shovels before their faces like umbrellas in a thunderstorm'. During one hour they advanced about 900 metres, but had nowhere reached the Turkish front line, and the houses of Krithia were still far off. In this tragic advance, which gained no ground, the AIF lost nearly 1000 men killed, wounded and missing. Among the dead was 52-year-old Lieutenant Robert Gartside, the commanding officer of the 7th Battalion. Struck in the stomach by machine-gun bullets, he was heard to call as he rose to lead his men forward, 'Come on, boys, I know it's deadly but we must go on'. After this action, decried by one historian as 'one of the most misconceived episodes in a misconceived battle', Australians never fought again in any numbers on the Helles front.
Chapter 7: No sound came from that terrible space
The Turkish attack of 19 May 1915
Despite the consolidation of the Anzac position, Turkish leaders did not give up on their hope of driving the invaders back to the sea. To make up for terrible losses during the Battle of the Landing, thousands of Turkish reinforcements were brought to Gallipoli in preparation for a hopefully devastating attack along the whole of the Anzac line. The main weight of the attack was prepared for those sections considered most vulnerable, such as at Quinn's Post, where opposing trenches were only metres apart, and a breakthrough would make the whole Anzac line untenable. Fortunately for the Anzacs, the Turks lost the element of surprise when Royal Naval Air Service reconnaissance aircraft observed these reinforcements making their way across the peninsula. There was also an ominous slackening of normal Turkish fire on 18 May, the day before the planned assault. When it began, in the darkness of the morning of 19 May, the Anzacs were ready.
Between 3.30 am and noon on 19 May, Turkish soldiers hurled themselves at their enemies. As always in this war, when close-packed masses of men attempted to storm strong trench positions defended by thousands of riflemen and machine guns, disaster ensued. Thousands were killed or wounded within metres of the Anzac line, but nowhere was it breached. It was calculated that more than 948,000 rounds of rifle and machine-gun bullets were fired at the Turks. When the attacks ceased, the scene was horrific. Charles Bean wrote:
... the dead and wounded lay everywhere in hundreds. Many of those nearest to the Anzac line had been shat-tered by terrible wounds inflicted by modern bullets at close ranges. No sound came from that terrible space.
Of the 42,000 Turkish soldiers involved, 3000 lay dead along the ridge and another 10,000 had been wounded. That day gave new Turkish names to positions on the Anzac battlefield — Kanli Sirt, Bloody Ridge; Kirmezi Sirt, Red Ridge; and Shehidlar Tepe, Martyrs Hill. Anzac losses amounted to 160 killed and 468 wounded.
Within days, the bodies lying out in no-man's-land, along Second Ridge and elsewhere, were rotting in the sun. The smell became unbearable. A truce was arranged for 24 May to bury the dead, and for a few brief hours the firing ceased as Turks, Australians and New Zealanders moved hundreds of corpses into large, hastily dug pits. Bodies of men killed in earlier struggles along the ridge were also discovered and buried. Private Albert Facey of the 11th Battalion, from Western Australia, worked with the burial parties:
Most of us had to work in short spells as we felt very ill ... The whole operation was a strange experience — here we were, mixing with our enemies, exchanging smiles and cigarettes, when the day before we had been tearing each other to pieces ... Away to our left there were high table-toped hills and on these there were what looked like thousands of people. Turkish civilians had taken advantage of the cease-fire to come out and watch the burial.
From that time forward the Anzacs gained a new appreciation of their adversaries. They were soldiers like themselves, bound to the business of war, but experiencing equally its brutalities and sufferings.
Chapter 8: Of all the bastards of places
Life at Anzac
As the period between the landing of 25 April and the truce of 24 May showed, the Anzacs had been unable to force their way inland across the peninsula. Likewise, the attempts of the Ottoman Army to drive them away had also failed. War at Anzac soon settled into exactly what the Gallipoli planners had never envisaged—the stalemate of trench warfare. In one of his many official dispatches to Australia, Charles Bean informed his readers of the characteristics of this sort of warfare at Anzac. Military actions, he wrote:
... are the incidents in long, weary months, whose chief occupation is the digging of mile upon mile of endless sap [trench], of sunken road, through which troops and mules can pass safely ... The carrying of biscuit boxes and building timbers for hours daily, the waiting in weary queues, at thirty half-dry wells, for the privilege of carrying wa-ter cans for half a mile uphill ... the sweeping and disinfecting of trenches in the never ending fight against flies.
For the soldiers, their main problems revolved around keeping clean, surviving on poor rations, and staying healthy. Water was scarce and had to be carried up to the front; to shave or wash, a man had to try to save enough from his small daily ration. Clothes were soon riddled with lice, causing constant itching, and the creatures were difficult to get rid off. An added advantage of a cleansing swim at the beach was the opportunity it provided for thoroughly soaking a uniform in salt water, thus hopefully drowning the unwanted insects. As Joseph Beetson reported, this didn't always work:
I saw one man fish his pants out; after examining the seams, he said to his pal: 'They're not dead yet'. His pal replied: 'Never mind, you gave them a ... of a fright'.
Swimming was a dangerous activity and emphasised the fact that at Anzac the soldiers were never safe from hostile fire. Turkish artillery regularly shelled Anzac Cove, the main supply base for the whole Anzac position until after August. It was recorded that during bathing at the cove on 23 June, eight men were hit by a shell and that one of them came out of the water holding his severed arm. At times, men simply disappeared, having been killed in the water.
The monotonous Anzac diet was composed largely of tinned bully beef, hard dry biscuits, jam, tea and sugar. The biscuits were so hard that they often had to be soaked in water and then grated into a mush to make them edible. Many a tooth was broken by this hard tack and in the early days there were no official dentists on Anzac. As the flies multiplied in the hot weather, fed by half-buried, decomposing corpses, food scraps and other human material in the unhygienic trenches, they got into everything. Trooper Ion Idriess of the 5th Light Horse, from Queensland, recalled how the flies swarmed into a jam tin he had opened. Despite his best efforts to keep them away, they also swarmed all over his jam covered biscuit and got into his mouth. Eventually he gave up the struggle:
... I threw the tin over the parapet. I nearly howled with rage ... Of all the bastards of places this is the greatest bastard in the world.
The heat of summer, bad diet and poor hygiene soon had its effect on general health. By August doctors were reporting that most of the Anzacs were suffering from some form of dysentery or diarrhoea and the evidence for this was the fact that hundreds of men were being evacuated sick. Indeed, many, many more men were evacuated from Gallipoli sick than were killed or wounded. In late August 1915, the Regimental Medical officer of the 15th Battalion summed up the cumulative effects of battle and the strains of life at Gallipoli on his unit:
The condition of the men of the battalion was awful. Thin, haggard, as weak as kittens and covered with suppurating sores. The total strength of the battalion was two officers and 170 men. If we had been in France, every man would have been sent to hospital.
This gradual, insidious wearing down of the army at Gallipoli was pointless. The aim of the landings had been to seize quickly the shore batteries on the Dardanelles and to allow the Royal Navy safe passage up to Constantinople. As June and July wore on, a plan was devised to break out from the Anzac position, a plan that hopefully would see a successful end to the campaign. The ensuing battle to put this plan into operation began on 6 August 1915.
Chapter 9: Like corn before a scythe
The August Offensive, 6–10 August 1915
The country immediately to the north of the Anzac line at Walker's Ridge stretched away in a series of long ridges and deeply eroded valleys. These ridges snaked down from the main range leading to the heights of Chunuk Bair and, during the months of May and June 1915, Major Percy Overton, Canterbury Mounted Rifles, scouted the area. He found it lightly held by the Turks. Just as nobody thought the Turks would attack Anzac from the north along the beach, exposed to the guns of the British warships, so the Turks thought themselves free from attack from this seemingly impassible terrain. Only Lieutenant-Colonel Mustafa Kemal thought an attack up these precipitous slopes possible, but his fears were discounted by higher command. Kemal was right. It was from this very direction that the proposed breakout from Anzac was attempted.
The plan was a complex one. On 6 August there would be a diversionary Australian attack on key Turkish positions on the Lone Pine plateau, strong enough to make the enemy think that this was a major onslaught. As it was in progress, the New Zealand infantry would make its way north from Anzac, into the valleys and then up to a ridge line just below Chunuk Bair, from where, at dawn on 7 August, that commanding position would be assaulted. An Australian force would also make its way well to the north behind the beach, then swing east into a valley, up to a ridge and on to capture the highest point of the Sari Bair range—Koja Temen Tepe (Hill 971), the 'hill of the great pasture'. The plan also called for other diversionary attacks in the early hours of 7 August, including one by Australian light horsemen. While all this was going on there would be a new British landing at Suvla Bay during the night of 6–7 August, well north of Anzac at the far end of Ocean Beach, followed by the capture of Turkish positions further inland. Thus would the Turks be confronted by the Anzacs on the heights of Sari Bair and a major new British force inland from Suvla. Might not these strokes win the campaign? At least, so it was thought.
During the morning and early afternoon of 6 August, the New South Welshmen of the battalions of the First Australian Brigade filed into the trenches of Lone Pine. Charles Bean described the scene:
The men chaffed each other drily, after the manner of spectators waiting to see a football match. Some belated messenger hurried along the trench to find his platoon, and, in passing, recognised a friend. 'Au revoir, Bill', he nodded, 'meet you over there'. 'So long, Tom', was the answer, 'see you again in half an hour'.
It was 5.30 pm; Anzac artillery, which had been bombarding the Turkish lines, fell silent; officers' whistles blew; and the Australians rose from their positions and raced across no-man's-land. Within half an hour the Turkish trenches, after hard fighting, had been seized and new posts established well into the Turkish position. But the real battle of Lone Pine—the Turkish efforts over the next three days to take back their lost trenches — was just beginning. As anticipated, the Turkish commanders saw these positions as essential, and reinforcements were quickly diverted to assist in their recapture.
The Lone Pine fighting for both sides during these Turkish counter-attacks was all about throwing bombs across hastily erected barriers, dashing around corners in trenches and getting off a few rounds at the shapes of advancing men, slipping over the dead and avoiding the dying and wounded. The dead and wounded, according to Sergeant Cyril Lawrence of the 2nd Field Company, Royal Australian Engineers, were impossible to avoid:
Right beside me within a space of fifteen feet, I can count fourteen of our boys stone dead. Ah! It is a piteous sight. Men and boys who yesterday were full of joy and life, now lying there, cold—cold—dead — their eyes glassy, their faces sallow and covered with dust ... somebody's son — now merely a thing.
For the Anzacs, now the defenders, all efforts went into holding on to the sand bag barriers hastily erected during their attacking phase. Dozens of small-scale actions were fought on 7, 8 and 9 August to hold off the determined Turkish efforts to drive the Australians out of their new Lone Pine positions. Typical of these actions was the one fought by men of the 7th Battalion, from Victoria, on 9 August. Lieutenant Frederick Tubb was in command of a captured Turkish trench and some of his men had been assigned to catch the Turkish bombs (grenades) and hurl them back before they exploded. Gradually, these men were killed or mutilated. One of them, Corporal Frederick Wright, clutched at a bomb that burst in his face, killing him. Another, Corporal Harry Webb, described by Charles Bean as an 'orphan from Essendon', continued to catch bombs until both his hands had been blown off. He walked out of the Pine and died. Tubb later described what it had been like:
Three different times I was blown yards away from bombs. Our trenches were filled with dead, mostly ours ... We were glad to get out ... I cannot write of details but many of our brave boys were blown to pieces. As fast as we put men in to fill the breaches they were out. I kept sending for reinforcements and bombs, all our bomb throwers were killed and so were those that volunteered to fill their places.
Conditions in Tubb's trench got worse. Tubb himself was wounded and soon only two soldiers were left fighting with him — Corporals William Dunstan and Alexander Burton. A huge explosion virtually demolished their main barricade and, as Dunstan and Burton worked swiftly to rebuild it, Tubb covered them with his revolver. A bomb now killed Burton and temporarily blinded Dunstan. Reinforcements arrived from nearby and the barricade was held and not again seriously attacked. Tubb, Burton and Dunstan all received the Victoria Cross, the highest award in the British Empire and Commonwealth for bravery in action. Indeed, something of the sheer intensity of the fighting at Lone Pine is evident from the fact that seven Victoria Crosses were awarded to Australians for this action, in addition to a host of other lesser bravery awards. It was all over by the morning of 10 August, when Turkish counter-attacks ceased. Anzac casualties amounted to more than 2000 killed, wounded and missing, while Turkish losses were estimated at more than 6900.
While the Australians held their gains at Lone Pine, one of the Turkish officers opposing them there, Major Zeki Bey, realised that this was not the main attack. He later told Charles Bean:
... all these days I had been looking over my left shoulder seeing your shells bursting on the rear slopes of Chunuk Bair ... I knew things must be happening at Chunuk Bair which were more critical by far, and, if you succeeded there what use would be our efforts at Kanli Sirt [Lone Pine]?
The New Zealand and British attempt to seize and hold Chunuk Bair began after dark on 6 August. As the Australians struggled at Lone Pine, New Zealand, Australian, and other British Empire units left the Anzac lines and headed north beside the beach. Soon, the New Zealanders broke off and into the valley known as the Sazli Dere. Before their arrival, other New Zealand units, among them the Maori Contingent, had begun to capture local Turkish outposts. The Maoris attacked in traditional style:
They yelled as they went, with bayonets at the charge, 'Ka mate, ka mate! Ka ora, ka ora', the ancient Maori battle song ... On they went ... there was no breath to finish the chant; they needed it to push the bayonet home. The lads flung themselves at the foe like a band of destroying angels.
By dawn on 7 August, the New Zealand infantry was well on its way up the ridge to take position for an attack on the summit. However, the soldiers were exhausted after the strenuous and bewildering night march through difficult countryside and, instead of moving directly on to Chunuk Bair as the plan required them to do, they halted on Rhododendron Ridge. Below them, and to the south, they could see the Australian trenches at the Nek.
The Nek was a small area of ground where the ridge between Russell's Top narrowed on the way up towards Baby 700. On each side lay precipitous slopes. The plan was that as the New Zealanders captured Chunuk Bair, and were hopefully coming down the range behind the Turks, the men of the 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade, from Victoria and Western Australia, would simultaneously attack across the Nek. The Turks, feeling themselves vulnerable from both front and rear, would retreat. However, at the time for the planned attack, 4.30 am, there were no enemy troops behind the Turks. In this situation even General Birdwood had felt an attack at the Nek was pointless:
These [Turkish] trenches and convergences of communication trenches ... require considerable strength to force. The narrow Nek to be crossed ... makes an unaided attack in that direction almost hopeless.
Hopeless or not, the attack went forward. A bombardment of the enemy lines unaccountably ceased minutes before the start time, so allowing the Turkish riflemen and machine-gunners to take up position for what they knew was coming. Between 4.30 and 5.20 am, four consecutive waves of light horsemen rose from their trenches and ran into a perfect storm of bullets; not one of them is thought to have reached the Turkish line. Lieutenant William Cameron, 9th Light Horse (South Australia and Victoria), watched in horror:
We saw them climb out and move forward about ten yards [nine metres] and lie flat. The second wave did like-wise ... As they rose to charge, the Turkish Machine Guns just poured out lead and our fellows went down like corn before a scythe. The distance to the enemy trenches was less than 50 yards [45 metres] yet not one of those two lines got anywhere near it.
The first two lines were composed of men of the 8th Light Horse from western Victoria. The next to go, the 10th Light Horse from Western Australia, met a similar fate. Charles Bean wrote of this dire loss:
With that regiment went the flower of the youth of Western Australia, sons of the old pioneering families, youngsters—in some cases two and three from the same home—who had flocked to Perth at the outbreak of war with their own horses and saddlery in order to secure enlistment in a mounted regiment of the AIF.
Despite Bean's later claims, that the attack may have held Turkish reinforcements temporarily from Chunuk Bair, this disastrous action had little, if any, outcome for the battle over all.
Much further to the north, on the ridges leading to Koja Temen Tepe, other Australians were having little better success. The assaulting column, commanded by Brigadier General John Monash and composed of the battalions of the 4th Australian Brigade, had got lost on their night march, and dawn found them in hastily dug positions exposed to Turkish fire. They were ordered to continue the advance on 8 August, but, as the Australian battalions moved over an exposed slope, they were caught by Turkish machine guns and suffered heavy casualties. By the evening of that day Monash was informed that so great had been the losses that further advance was impossible; one unit, the 15th Battalion, which had set out from Anzac 850 strong had been reduced to just 250 men. So came to an end the Australian attempt to capture Koja Temen Tepe, the highest point in the Sari Bair range.
After witnessing the light horse attack at the Nek on 7 August, the New Zealanders now struggled on up Rhododendron Ridge. In the teeth of intense Turkish fire and heavy casualties they dug in. Finally, at dawn on 8 August, the Wellington Battalion, led by Colonel William Malone, made it to the top of Chunuk Bair. Sergeant Daniel Curham was aware of the significance of the moment:
Some chaps had a glimpse of the sea and all the country in between and we knew perfectly well that this hill was the key to victory or defeat on the peninsula.
For a whole day the Wellingtons, with support from two British regiments, defended the 'hill' in what is regarded as one of the epics of New Zealand military history. Time and time again, determined Turkish assaults were beaten off from the New Zealand trenches. One soldier wrote of the position to his right where 'all our men are wounded or dead'. Late in the day, Malone was killed and after dark the Wellingtons were withdrawn. Of the 760 of them who had captured Chunuk Bair only 70 unwounded or slightly wounded came out. Bean's words capture something of their condition:
Their uniforms were torn, their knees broken. They had had no water since the morning; they could talk only in whispers; their eyes were sunken; their knees trembled; some broke down and cried.
Throughout 9 August, the New Zealanders, again supported by British units, clung to Chunuk Bair. In the valleys below them British, and British India Army, reinforcements struggled in vain to reach them. Only the 6th Gurkha Battal-ion managed to burst over the crest of the summit between Koja Temen Tepe and Chunuk Bair—Hill Q—but shells fal-ling among them from Anzac and from offshore warships drove them back. Unknown to those defending Chunuk Bair, a great Turkish counter-attack was in the making.
At this critical point, Lieutenant-Colonel Mustafa Kemal came to take command of Turkish forces at Chunuk Bair. There he found his men disheartened by the strong New Zealand stand and the constant naval shelling. But, convinced that a last all-out effort must be made to drive his enemies off the heights, he called forward, despite some protests, the last of the available Turkish reserves. Near dawn, on 10 August 1915, he walked to the front of his force, realising that an attack needed to commence before daylight and not allow the naval guns or machine guns to recommence their demoralising fire. Kemal addressed the Turkish soldiers:
Soldiers! There is no doubt 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.
At Kemal's signal, the Turks charged and swept aside the British troops manning the old New Zealand trench lines on the heights. Rushing down the seaward slopes of Chunuk Bair, they were caught in the open by New Zealand machine guns and the attack eventually stalled. The Turks had, however, regained Chunuk Bair and brought the Anzac and British effort to seize these heights to an end. Like the landings of 25 April, the August Offensive was a failure; a sizeable area to the north of the old Anzac position had been captured but no breakthrough had occurred, and the strait of the Dardanelles remained as far away as ever.
The tragedy of the battle for Chunuk Bair was visible in the valleys and on the slopes of the ridges. The dead lay everywhere, and the sheer number of wounded temporarily overwhelmed the medical services responsible for their treatment and evacuation. Those incapable of struggling down through the dense scrub called out to the stretcher bearers who, working night and day to the point of collapse, had to make hard decisions about which man to take first. The carry down to the embarkation point on the beach was long and steep; some bearers were shot on the way. Private Ormond Burton, New Zealand Medical Corps, saw the plight of some 300 wounded:
No one appeared to be responsible for them. Their wounds were uncared for and in the heat some were in a shocking state. They had no food and no water. Many died there—some able to see the hospital ships with their green bands and red crosses no distance out to sea.
Once a wounded man reached a hospital ship he fell under the care of the British Empire nurses, amongst them the nurses of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS). These were the first Australian women to fully experience the devastating effects of modern war on their men folk, and working so close inshore they were, as Nurse Daisy Richmond reported, at times in danger from stray bullets, although the Turks never deliberately fired on the hospital ships:
We are well under fire many bullets coming on the decks. I was speaking to one boy, moved away to another patient when a bullet hit him and lodged in his thigh. It just missed.
The hospital ships took the wounded to military hospitals on the nearby Greek islands of Imbros and Lemnos, to Alexandria—1050 km away in Egypt—or even to Malta or England. On Lemnos, Matron Grace Wilson and her staff of AANS nurses at the 3rd Australian General Hospital (AGH) tended the Australian and British Empire wounded. Military historians have summed up the August Offensive in broad strategic terms; Matron Wilson's conclusions went to the heart of the matter for its victims:
11 August—Convoy arrived—about 400—no equipment whatever ... Just laid the men on the ground and gave them a drink. Very many badly shattered, nearly all stretcher cases ... Tents were erected over them as quickly as possible ... All we can do is feed them and dress their wounds ... A good many died ... It is just too awful — one could never describe the scenes — could only wish all I knew to be killed outright.
Chapter 10: Land is very dear here
Hill 60, 21–28 August 1915
While the August Offensive raged at Anzac, the British at Suvla had been slow to consolidate their positions. By the time the offensive was over, the Turks had brought up enough reinforcements to hold the British to a small area of the western part of the Suvla plain. At the southern end of the British line and the new Anzac line there was a gap, overlooked by a rise at the end of one of the ridges, known as Hill 60. It was felt necessary that this position be denied the Turks, as it was thought to be dangerously close to the main line of communication between Anzac and Suvla. Consequently, between 21 August and 28 August recently dug Turkish trenches at Hill 60 were assaulted by a combined British, Indian, Australian and New Zealand force.
The initial assault on 21 August was a costly failure. The Australians involved—men of the 13th and 14th Battalions from New South Wales and Victoria, units exhausted and depleted in the 4th Brigade's failed effort to take Koja Temen Tepe (Hill 971) in the recent battles—were badly hit when crossing a shallow valley on their advance towards Hill 60. To make matters worse, enemy shells started a fire on ledges among captured Turkish bivouacs that were made from branches of cut scrub. Charles Bean described the scene:
The flames, reaching some of the dead or wounded, ignited their clothing and exploded their bombs and rifle ammunition, and thus pieces of burning cloth or wood were flung to other ledges, starting more fires. Any wounded man who so much as stirred to crawl out of reach of the flames was instantly shot by the Turks.
On 22 August, the 18th Battalion (New South Wales), only recently arrived on Gallipoli and described by an old Anzac hand as 'great big cheery fellows, who it did your heart good to see', were sent against Hill 60. Commanders on the spot felt that only fresh, fit troops would have a chance of taking the position. The first wave managed to get through a gap in a hedge in a wheatfield below Hill 60 and into a captured Turkish trench. Other waves were not so lucky. Three Turkish machine guns were now brought to bear on the wheat field, inflicting heavy casualties. Among them was Lieutenant Wilfred Addison:
... [who] with dying and wounded men around him, and machine gun bullets tearing up the ground where he stood, steadied and waved forward the remnant of his platoon until he himself fell pierced by several bullets.
In its first action of the war the 18th Battalion, which had set out from Anzac 760 strong, took 383 casualties, of whom approximately 190 were killed. In subsequent actions on Hill 60, the unit suffered a further 256 casualties; within a week of coming to Gallipoli more than 80 per cent of those 'big cheery fellows' were dead, missing or wounded.
Further attacks on Hill 60 between 27 and 29 August involved, again, the men of the 4th Australian Brigade, the 9th Light Horse Regiment (South Australia) and the 10th Light Horse Regiment (Western Australia). The attack by the exhausted and worn down soldiers of the 4th Brigade was quickly shot to pieces by the Turks. A planned artillery bombardment on the trenches facing them never happened and, as the Australians rose to attack, Turkish rifle and machine-gun fire was raking the parapet of the trench above their heads. The first wave was, in Charles Bean's words, simply 'swept away'. There followed a night attack by the 9th Light Horse who, in confused fighting, gained little; their commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Carew Reynell, and a great many of his men were killed or wounded.
During the night of 28–29 August, the 10th Light Horse, the unit already hard hit by their costly attack at the Nek on 7 August, attempted to take a trench on the top of Hill 60. In a fierce bombing battle, the Western Australians inched the Australian line closer to the summit, holding off repeated Turkish counter-attacks. Throughout the action Lieutenant Hugo Throssell, despite his wounds, refused to leave the action and kept encouraging his men. Next morn-ing he was observed, as he tried to smoke a cigarette, by Captain Horace Robertson at a medical aid post:
He took the cigarette but could do nothing with it. The wounds in his shoulders and arms had stiffened, and his hands could not reach his mouth ... [his] shirt was full of holes from pieces of bomb, and one of the 'Australia's' [shoulder badges] was twisted and broken and had been driven into his shoulder.
Throssell was awarded the Victoria Cross, the last to an Australian soldier on Gallipoli. It was, wrongly, believed that the light horsemen had seized the summit, but it was later felt that they had pushed the line far enough up the hill for the battle to be called off. At the cost of more than 1100 casualties a position had been gained on the slopes of Hill 60 from which there was a view out over the plain. A New Zealand soldier, Corporal James Watson of the Auckland Mounted Rifles, accurately summed up the Hill 60 fighting:
We gained about 400 yards [360 metres] in four days ... 1000 men killed and wounded. Land is very dear here.
Chapter 11: It was a lonely feeling
The evacuation of Gallipoli, November 1915–January 1916
After Hill 60 serious fighting virtually came to an end on Gallipoli. Attention now turned, at Anzac, to the development of new trench lines in the rugged territory captured during the August Offensive, and to the looming problem of supplying an army during the coming winter, with its inevitable storms. A new, larger base was developed at North Beach, now relatively free from observation by Turkish snipers. Piers were developed and mounds of boxes of stores soon appeared. By November, two large tented hospitals had moved into the area, including the No. 1 Australian Stationary Hospital from Lemnos. Sergeant Cyril Lawrence, returning from a long rest period on Lemnos, was amazed by North Beach:
What a change! Why, when we left there was hardly anything round this side of the Cove [Anzac Cove]. It was not safe. Now there are tents and a YMCA and what is this great sandbag mansion going up directly in front of us? A Post Office, eh. Eighty feet long, twelve feet high and twenty feet wide. Some building! Windows, doors and a counter, too. Crikey, things are coming on in these parts.
But, if there seemed to be improvements aimed at easing the strain of life at Gallipoli for the ordinary soldier, what was most exercising the minds of the higher command was whether to remain on the peninsula at all. After the overall failure to make any real progress against the Ottoman defence, Sir Ian Hamilton had estimated that significant rein-forcements would be needed to make any progress in the coming year. Doubts were now raised about Hamilton's continuing suitability to command the MEF, and in early October he was replaced by General Sir Charles Monro.
Monro was a convinced 'Westerner', one who believed that the war to defeat Germany, the main foe, was being fought in France and Belgium along the Western Front. To him, Gallipoli was a sideshow capable of drawing off much needed men and supplies. Monro soon sent in a report which stated that many of the troops, with the exception of the Anzacs, were incapable of further sustained effort; the Turks held all the high ground; and that information had been received that heavy guns were reaching the Ottoman Army from Germany. If used effectively, the latter could destroy the Anzac positions. Indeed, on 29 November a heavy bombardment was experienced by Australian positions at Lone Pine, which showed clearly that heavy artillery was now being used. The narrow approach trenches to the frontline positions were largely destroyed and the 23rd and 24th Battalions, both from Victoria, suffered some of the last heavy casualties to be sustained by Australian units at Gallipoli. Private Mark Peters, 24th Battalion, told the Australian Red Cross what had happened to his mate, Private Alexander Macbeth, as a result of this shelling:
Macbeth was taken off the cooks fires and put into the trenches. He was at work in a sap Nov 29 at Lone Pine ... A big shell came over and blew the sap to pieces. His mates hunted for Macbeth, but failed to find him. They all believed him blown to pieces and buried in the debris.
It was a foretaste of things to come for the men of the AIF when they reached the Western Front a few months later. General Monro recommended the evacuation of Gallipoli, and this opinion was later endorsed by Field Marshall Lord Kitchener, the British Minister for War, when he visited the peninsula in early November. After some dithering and much discussion, the British War Cabinet finally decided, on 8 December, to end the campaign. Unknown to them, the higher command on the spot had anticipated this decision and an evacuation plan was already in operation.
Could the Anzacs just sneak away, unseen? There was a view that any evacuation would result in heavy casualties but, in the event, there were virtually none. At Anzac and Suvla, an Australian staff officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Brudenell White, devised a plan to gradually withdraw men and equipment while convincing the Turks that everything was normal. 'Silent stunts' were instituted, where nearly all firing from Anzac ceased, in order to make the enemy think preparations for winter were under way. After the end of these stunts, an irregular rifle and artillery fire, of the sort to be expected by the Turks, was kept up. Although much equipment was taken away by night, during the day material was still brought ashore at the piers at Anzac Cove and North Beach. On 17 December, just two days before the final evacuation, a famous game of cricket was held at Shell Green while Turkish shells passed overhead.
By 13 December, everyone had realised that they were going. For many, the hardest part of the evacuation was leaving behind their dead mates, and Charles Bean noticed soldiers in the cemeteries, alone or in groups of two or three, tidying up graves. When General Birdwood came ashore on the final day to take his leave, an Anzac said to him, pointing to one of the cemeteries: 'I hope they won't hear us marching down the deres [valleys]'. As he left, Padre Walter Dexter went through the cemeteries and gullies scattering silver wattle seed: 'If we have to leave here, I intend that a bit of Australia shall be here'.
The Anzacs left Gallipoli in three stages. During the first two, the garrison was reduced to 26,000 men, a number thought capable of holding off any major Turkish attack. Then on the last two nights, 18–20 December, the rest came off. By 19 December, just 10,000 men held the Anzac line from Bolton's Ridge in the south to Hill 60 in the north. On the final night, as the last contingents made their way to the piers, small rear parties manned the trenches, firing occasional shots and making enough noise to convince the enemy that the whole garrison was still there. Private Joe Gasparich of the Auckland Infantry Battalion was among the last to leave:
I walked through the trench and the floor was frozen hard ... when I brought my feet down they echoed right through the trench down the gully, right down, you could hear this echo running ahead ... It was a lonely feeling.
Shortly after 4 am on 20 December 1915, the last steamboat left from North Beach. Anzac and Suvla were de-serted. On the night of 8 January 1916, the British left Helles; the Gallipoli campaign was over.
Chapter 12: Laid down his life at Gallipoli
In human terms, the nearly eleven months of the British Empire and French effort to take the Ottoman Empire out of the war cost more than 141,100 dead and wounded soldiers, not to mention the sailors who died in the earlier naval efforts to get through the strait of the Dardanelles. Australian losses amounted to more than 8700 dead and 19,400 wounded. This was close to 50 per cent of the approximately 50,000 to 60,000 men of the AIF who saw service at Gallipoli. The Ottoman Empire lost some 86,000 dead and 164,000 wounded, but of them it could be said they sacrificed themselves on native soil in defence of their homeland.
How have military historians assessed the Gallipoli campaign? Some have judged it ill advised, largely badly executed and overall of little or no significance in the wider war that the British Empire and its allies were fighting to defeat the German Empire in Europe. Another has written that the only benefit to Australia was that, for another year, it kept the men of the AIF away from the Western Front, where they would undoubtedly have suffered even heavier losses. Of the possibility that the capture of the Gallipoli peninsula, and the arrival of a British fleet at Constantinople, would have knocked Turkey out of the war, Robin Prior, the most recent historian of Gallipoli, concludes:
... there is no evidence that Turkey would have been out of the war even if Constantinople had fallen. In all likelihood Turkey would have continued to fight ... Despite the bravery of the Allied troops ... the campaign was fought in vain.
For Australia, Gallipoli has never just been about such hard-headed analysis, however accurate. In defeat, and it certainly was a defeat, what mattered was the quality of those who endured those long months of struggle, danger, ill-health and loss. Then, as now, what enabled men to cope with the hell around them were the attributes of courage, endurance and humour. One who seemed to embody such stoic qualities was an Anzac wounded at the landing on 25 April, who in September 1915 came reluctantly to see to a doctor to help him with a 'little trouble':
The medical officer found he had a compound fracture of the arm, two bullets through his thigh, another through his diaphragm, liver and side; and that there were adhesions to the liver and pleura.
An Australian officer wrote of how a trench was 'no place for a selfish natured man where almost everything is common property, just for the asking'. Many would say that this was the real legacy of the experience of Gallipoli for Australia.
Perhaps the meaning of Anzac has always been most closely guarded by the families of those who fought and died there. In early 1918, Thomas Edward Drane of Forbes, New South Wales, a veteran of the landing, wrote to the Attorney-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. Drane, aware of legislation preventing misuse of the word 'Anzac' for commercial or other unsuitable purposes, asked if he could give his first child 'Anzac' as a middle name. Was it legal for an 'original Anzac' to do this?
I myself left Australia ... in Oct 1914, and was wounded on Gallipoli which cost me a leg, also I was the first to volunteer from this town, and my child is the first to be born here with an Anzac for his father.
Drane's brother-in-law had also 'laid down his life at Gallipoli'. Such were the reasons he gave for wanting to use the name. While the Gallipoli campaign might have been fought in vain, for Thomas Drane and his family it was a place they would forever honour with their memory.
pp. 24 - 25
Archibald A Barwick, Diary, 22 August 1914–11 September 1915, ML MSS 1493, Item 1, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Volume 1, The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1921
Charles Bean, The Story of Anzac, Volume II, The Official History of Australia in the War of 1914–1918, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1924
Joseph Beeston, Five Months at Anzac, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1916
James Cowen, The Maoris in the Great War, Whitcombe & Tombs, Auckland, 1926
Roy Denning, My dear mother: a letter from a soldier at Gallipoli, Jana Nauta (ed), Yass and District Historical Society, Yass, 1998
Thomas Drane to Attorney-General, Commonwealth of Australia, letter, 2 January 1918, A432/86, 1929/3484, Pt.19, National Archives of Australia
Sir Ronald East (ed), The Gallipoli Diary of Sergeant Lawrence, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1981
Albert Facey, A Fortunate Life, Ringwood, Melbourne, 1984
Bill Gammage, The Broken Years, Australian Soldiers in the Great War, Penguin Australia, Ringwood, 1990
Patrick Kinross, Atatürk, The Rebirth of a Nation, Remizi Kitabevi, Istanbul, 2004
Private Alexander Macbeth, 24th Battalion, AIF, Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Enquiry Bureau file, 1 DRL/0428, Australian war
Private John Marrott, 13th Battalion, diary extracts, by kind permission of the Marrott family. Private Marrott landed at Gallipoli in April 1915 and served on the peninsula until invalided off in June. His brother Robert served at Gallipoli, and was later awarded a Military Medal for bravery at Polygon Wood in Belgium. Their younger brother William also served and was wounded on the Western Front.
Robert K Massie, Castles of Steel, Britain, Germany and the Winning of the Great War at Sea, Pimlico, London, 2003
Wes Olson, Gallipoli, The Western Australian Story, University of Western Australia Press, Crawley, 2006
Robin Prior, Gallipoli, The End of the Myth, University of NSW Press, Sydney, 2009
Chris Pugsley, Gallipoli, The New Zealand Story, London, 1984
Richard Reid, A duty clear before us: North Beach and the Sari Bair Range, Gallipoli Peninsula, 25 April – 20 December 1915, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Canberra, 2000
Richard Reid, The Anzac Walk: Gallipoli in a Day, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Canberra, 2009
Signaller Ellis Silas, ‘The Diary of an Anzac’, unpublished typescript, ML MSS 1840, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
Stephen Snelling, VCs of the First World War: Gallipoli, Alan Sutton Publishing, Stroud, 1995
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