By Margaret Sheard….
Remembering Gallipoli – I am looking at this from 2 different aspects. The first is that on 25th April it will be the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign with the unnecessary loss of the lives of so many young men from UK, France, Australia, New Zealand and Turkey. Not being an historian I will leave it to others who will no doubt recall the strategies used in this seemingly meaningless war. See article by a fellow-writer, Ismail Veli, by clicking here.
The second aspect I would like to write about is a personal visit to Gallipoli in 2012 with a group organised by the Royal British Legion Kyrenia Branch. We stayed in Çanakkale and had various excursions to places such as Troy, but the most memorable and emotional for me was the day we boarded a ferry and went across to the Gallipoli Peninsular where we visited many of the scenes of battle.
My most poignant memory of that day in Gallipoli was the visit to Anzac Cove, quite a small area of beach and at one point I stood there and looked around me trying to imagine what it must have been like for those Australian and New Zealand troops coming ashore under fire, some not even making it that far but being struck down in the water. There was no-one else on the beach as I stood there and it was so emotional, very still and quiet with just a murmur of voices in the distance from the other members of our party, no birds twittering, just total silence. Very eerie and yet very emotional.
Of course this terrible war was way before my time but these dreadful occurrences should not be forgotten and I wish I could be there for the 100th anniversary.
I have a friend in the UK, Bob Scott, who has written poems about the First World War and I mentioned Gallipoli to him and he decided to write a poem about this war which he has sent to a friend to be included in the website www.ww1cemeteries.com and they have enhanced the poem with a picture format. Both Bob Scott and the ww1cemeteries website have kindly given me permission to use the poem and format in this article, but please note both are copyright.