April 1915 - 25th April 2013
25th April 1915 the Australian
and New Zealand
landed on ANZAC Cove at Gallipoli Turkey at 4.29 a.m. This
landing has been commemorated ever since in Australia, New Zealand and
Day of Remembrance consecrated in Australia, New Zealand & Turkey in
memory of those brave soldiers who lost their lives in Word War I at the
Dardanelles in Gallipoli Turkey.
Day, 25th of April, is the most important date in Australia's and New
Zealand's calendar. Across the length and breadth of Australia and New
Zealand people turn out to salute, honour and pay their respects to the
fallen and to the surviving servicemen who willingly offered their lives
to the service of their country.
The (acronym) name ANZAC became famous with the landing of the Australian
& New Zealand Army Corps on the Gallipoli Peninsula at the
Dardanelles, Turkey, on 25th of April 1915. It has since become synonymous
with the determination and spirit of our armed forces. The significance of
the day, and the acronym, in Australia's heritage is probably best stated
by Dr. C. W. Bean in the following excerpt from his official Australian
history of World War One:
"It was not merely that 7600 Australians and nearly 2500 New
Zealanders had been killed or mortally wounded there, and 24,000 more
(19,000 Australians and 5,000 New Zealanders) had been wounded, while
fewer than 100 were prisoners. But the standards set by the first
companies at the first call - by the stretcher-bearers, the medical
officers, the staff, the company leaders, the privates, the defaulters on
the water barges, the Light Horse at The Nek - this was already part of
the tradition not only of ANZAC but of the Australian and New Zealand
peoples. By dawn on 20 December, ANZAC had faded into a dim blue line lost
amid other hills on the horizon as the ships took their human freight to
Imbros, Lemnos and Egypt. But ANZAC stood, and still stands, for reckless
valour in a good cause, for enterprise, resourcefulness, fidelity,
comradeship and endurance that will never own defeat".
Very early on the morning of 25th of April 1915, long before sunrise, the
ANZAC s were getting ready to go into battle. They had sailed from Egypt,
and now lay off the coast of Turkey in the darkness. They quietly climbed
down rope ladders and stepped into small row boats. These were then towed
as close as possible to the beach before the men rowed the last part to
the shore. They had practised this many times. But they were still very
nervous. They didn't know if the Turkish soldiers would be awake, or how
many there were. All they knew was that once ashore, they had to go
inland, as far from the beach as possible, and make room for more men to
land behind them. That was the plan.
Suddenly, a bright flare went up into the sky, turning night into day. The
ANZAC s were still making their way to the shore. Then the machine-guns
and rifles opened up.
The ANZAC s who jumped out of the boats that day were met with terrible
gun fire. Turkish bullets were whizzing through the air like hail, and
many men were killed or wounded in those first few hours. Some men didn't
even get out of the boats before they were shot. Others, who jumped out as
they ran aground, found the water was up to their shoulders. Some men
drowned because their packs were so heavy, or because they had never been
taught to swim. Once ashore, the ANZAC s became confused. They had
expected a flat beach but instead they were at the base of some cliffs.
They had landed in the wrong place!
They were scared but excited. Clawing their way up the cliffs, they called
for their mates to follow. They dodged the bullets and ran from sand dune
to sand dune, always heading inland, always into terrible rifle fire. At
the end of the first day, 2000 ANZAC s lay dead. Against all odds,
however, they had held their ground. click
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the official Webmaster of the Royal Australian Navy
that shed their blood
and lost their lives...
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore, rest in peace.
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 countries...
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.
M. KEMAL ATATURK, 1934
(The founder of Turkish Republic)