Growing up as an Aussie kid the National Holiday that falls on 25 April, known as ANZAC Day was part of the Nation’s social consciousness. A day of remembrance, to honour the heroism and spoils of war that saw the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC) land on the shores of Gallipoli on 25 April, 1915 in the early morning. To join other Allied Forces who were part of the Gallipoli Campaign by the British Commonwealth and the French to remove Turkey form World War One.
Prior to visiting Gallipoli, a friend and I had been in Istanbul. During our stay, we made arrangements through a local travel provider to organise transportation and accommodation in other locations in Turkey that were places of interest that we were keen to visit.
We left behind the hustle and bustle of modern day Istanbul, and took a five hour bus ride to the port town of Eceabat in the Turkish province of Çanakkale located on the Dardanelles Strait to meet with our private tour guide.
It was approx. a 45 min drive from Eceabat to the battle fields of Gallipoli and ANZAC Gove.
The monument at ANZAC Cove reads: “According to the article 2 of the Law on Administration of Provinces No 5442 the Turkish Government has decided to name the coast that is located between the longitude 26 16 39 and the latitude 40 14 13 of the Gallipoli peninsula as “THE ANZAC COVE” to the memory of those soldiers belonging to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who landed here on 25 April 1915 during the campaign of Dardanelles which constitutes one of the most glorious wars on our history and whic(h) also has an important place in world history.” April, 17 th, 1985.
ANZAC Cove is a short 600 metre length of coastline that saw 16,000 men known as ANZAC’s who made the last stage of the night landing journey in rowing boats, that had been towed toward the shore. As they rowed towards the shore under enemy fire some had drowned in the deep water, with their rifles and heavy kits weighing them down before reaching the shore. Whilst others still under enemy fire were killed or injured scrambling up the steep cliff like coastline. More than 2000 men had lost their lives before dawn broke.
Our guide stops to give us time to read the Gallipoli Peninsular Peace Park plaques that provide an account of events, from the British soldiers arrival on 19 February 1915, the ANZAC landing 25 April 1915, various enemy attacks, suffering by the sick and wounded, the evacuation and early graves during the eight month campaign. This information site also provides an appreciation of the steep wooden hillside.
Continuing our tour, we then went to see the battle trenches, whilst our guide shared stories about ceasefire days that allowed both sides to bury their dead and where ANZAC and Turkish soldiers exchanged tales, food, photos and cigarettes during a 24 hour period.
Our guide then took us to visit a number of memorial sites and cemeteries honouring the fallen soldiers.
The Ari Burnu Memorial Cemetery, given the name from the Cape located close to ANZAC Cove, was first used during the Gallipoli campaign in 1915. The memorial site lies between the sea and the Plugges Plateau. The inscription reads:
“Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours… You, the Mothers, who sent their sons from far away counties wipe away your tears: your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well.”
The tranquil and well maintained Ari Burnu Cemetery located close to the shoreline of the Aegean Sea.
The cemetery of Lone Pine marks the site where the battle of Lone Pine took place. The ANZAC soldiers named the plateau, Lonesome Pine in 1915 after the last standing Aleppo pine tree that wasn’t cut down by the Turkish soldiers who used the tree trucks and foliage to cover their trenches. Later, the name was shortened to Lone Pine.
The Lone Pine cemetery is the largest of the ANZAC memorial cemeteries in Gallipoli.
A short distance away stands the Memorial to the Missing, dedicated to the ANZAC soldiers who died a sea and those who died on the battlefields and have no known graves.
We stop to see and hear the meaning behind the Mehmetçik Monument. The monument represents an actual event where a Turkish soldier waved a white flag, then carried a wounded Australian solider back to the ANZAC trenches.
Continuing on our guide then takes us to the Chunuk Bair, New Zealand memorial and cemetery that marks the highest point of advance into the Turkish occupied area and is located high above ANZAC Cove. Here the Kiwi (New Zealand) soldiers held their position for two days, before being fiercely killed and pushed back by the Turkish soldiers.
The Chunuk Bair memorial commemorates the names of 850 New Zealand soldiers who were killed and have no known grave.
The trenches at Chunk Bair, show just how far from the initial landing at ANZAC Cove the Kiwi’s had advanced.
The recapture of the Chunuk Bair site however, effectively ended any hopes by the Allied forces to secure the Gallipoli Peninsular.
Our guided tour is coming to an end, however, not before visiting the Turkish memorial and cemetery sites, including Akbas cemetery.
And, Piyade Alayı Sehitligi cemetery, that provide an alternative perspective in acknowledging an estimated loss of 250,000 Turkish and Arab soldiers who paid the heavy price of life for their victory in defending the Gallipoli Peninsular.
During the Gallipoli campaign, ANZAC Cove continued to be the main location for the Australian and New Zealand soldiers.
However, with heavy loss of life and acknowledging a failing campaign, the Allied forces began evacuating from ANZAC Cove and Suvla Bay on 15 December, 1915. In contrast to the heavy losses on the battlefields, 36,000 soldiers successful withdrew and were transported out by boat over four nights to safety.
The following year on 25 April, 1916 Aussies and Kiwis gathered for a dawn service to commemorate Gallipoli. The day was marked with various ceremonies and services across Australia and New Zealand. While a march was also held in London and a sports day was held by Australian soldiers in camps in Egypt.
More than a century has passed since the ANZAC soldiers landed at ANZAC Cove under the devised plan by Winston Churchill; a younger man with the title of First Lord of the Admiralty.
Today, ANZAC Cove and the surrounding area provide a moving experience and a reflective location for visitors to honour those who fought with valour and courage.
Since that day, ANZAC day has become a public holiday for all Aussies and Kiwis to honour the soldiers who paid the high price of their life for their country.
The ANZAC Commemorative site in Gallipoli has become the location where thousands of Aussies and Kiwis go each year on 25 April, to attend the annual Dawn Service ceremony. Whilst many more Australians at home attend Dawn Services across the country.
Note: during the two years of the global pandemic, many Aussies stood on the footpaths in front of their homes to uphold the Dawn Service commemoration.
Leaving Gallipoli, we returned to Eceabat; it’s mid afternoon and we decided to book somewhere to rest and have a sleep, before catching a midnight bus to Kusadasi.
This blog is the second in a series of posts sharing my travels in Turkey and one of many that I have written in sharing the personal journeys that have enriched my life and broadened my knowledge and understanding of the richness and diversity of our shared world. Experiencing the gifts of a new outer landscape in a new country that evokes ones senses in many and varied ways, and provides offerings of reflection that is awakening the inner landscape.
Embracing the lessons and learning’s that a new outer landscape gives is one of life’s inspirational mysteries. Yet our personal horoscope offers valuable insights that guide each of us with acknowledging the lessons and integrating the learning’s through the practice of Astrocartography, Where Location Matters.
Below you’ll find a personal account of how and why Astrocartography is a valuable guide to support the awakening of our inner landscape. See how together with your personal horoscope and Astrocartography you can incorporate the outer and inner landscapes.
Thank you for taking the time to read and I hope that I bring some inspiration (if needed) to visit this amazing and magical part of the world. Leave a comment and let me know, and visit A Soul Awakening to subscribe and receive new blog posts as they become available.
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