By Chris Elliott
Last year, 2012, we went on a trip with The Royal British Legion Kyrenia Branch to visit Çanakkale, Gallipoli and the site of the ancient city of Troy. This as it turned out was a wonderful opportunity to learn more of those names of places we had read about in our youth.
Today 25th April is Anzac Day, a day that has remained in the hearts of many nations since the start of the military conflict on the Gallipoli peninsula and the following Wikipedia summary gives a hint of what occurred there, 98 years ago.
The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Gallipoli or the Battle of Çanakkale took place on the Gallipoli peninsula in the Ottoman Empire (now Gelibolu in modern day Turkey) between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, during the First World War. A joint British and French operation was mounted to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (Istanbul) and secure a sea route to Russia. The attempt failed, with heavy casualties on both sides.
The Gallipoli campaign resonated profoundly among all nations involved. In Turkey, the battle is perceived as a defining moment in the history of the Turkish people—a final surge in the defence of the motherland as the ageing Ottoman Empire was crumbling. The struggle laid the grounds for the Turkish War of Independence and the foundation of the Republic of Turkey eight years later under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, himself a commander at Gallipoli.
The campaign was the first major battle undertaken in the war by Australia and New Zealand, and is often considered to mark the birth of national consciousness in both of these countries. Anzac Day, 25 April, remains the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans in Australia and New Zealand, surpassing Armistice Day/Remembrance Day.
To read more click here
No matter what you read it is difficult to comprehend what had happened until you stand on the spot where many men died trying to fight their way off the beaches and when you visit the memorial to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who was shot but survived and all you can think is, what if he had died on that day, the world would be a far different place.
Margaret and I had many moving experiences on this trip but do learn more by clicking on the following links where you will be able to read of our experiences, see pictures of the sites we saw and also some videos of incidents as they happened in those years of long ago.
We hope to go back to Gallipoli one day to spend more time just trying to understand and remember those soldiers of both sides who fought and so many died.
RBL Kyrenia Branch – Çanakkale – Day 1 – click here
RBL Kyrenia Branch – Çanakkale – Day 2 – click here
RBL Kyrenia Branch – Çanakkale – Day 3 – click here
RBL Kyrenia Branch – Çanakkale – Day 4 – click here
RBL Kyrenia Branch – Çanakkale – Day 5 – click here