Despatches: Published in Australian Geographic

Posted by John Basarin on April 24, 2014


It was a whisper quiet night when an allied armada slipped from Moudros Harbour into the Aegean Sea. During those early hours, over 20,000 Australians, New Zealanders and other servicemen went from Lemnos Island to face an uncertain destiny at Gallipoli. It was a fateful voyage that has transcended into legend.

Carved into a hill at Gallipoli are the words of Turkish poet Necmettin Halil Onan*. A contemporary translation is:

To you, passerby
know that this land once witnessed
the end of a generation.

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to see for yourself.

In this issue:

Cruise News – Fulfil the ultimate Anzac goal
The Scoop – Published in Australian Geographic
Trench Talk – The Gallipoli Landing
On the Radar – Get in before it’s too late
Last Post – Direct from Brighton Beach


Fulfil the ultimate Anzac goal


Istanbul, city of empires

In 1915, the strategic aim of two failed campaigns was the same. The Dardanelles naval campaign and the Gallipoli land operation shared one objective: to capture the Dardanelles Strait and ultimately the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (now Istanbul). Hope of securing a sea route between allied nations and the Russian Empire drove this thinking.

The Anzacs battled bravely at Gallipoli. However, in the end, little was gained and a December withdrawal confirmed the struggle as lost. There would be no marching into Constantinople.

In a poignant Anzac tribute, both the Gallipoli 2015 cruise and Premium Bus Tour itineraries include Istanbul as the final port of call. 100 years later, you will fulfil the Anzac goal.

See the Gallipoli-2015 website to view the full Gallipoli Cruise and Premium Tour itineraries. Or call 1300 766 595 to learn more from a friendly team member.


Published in Australian Geographic

Anzac Day flag bearers

Watch out for a special article titled Mission of Remembrance in the current edition of Australian Geographic. It’s an interesting read about the society endorsed cruise to Gallipoli in 2015.

Australian Geographic Society captures the spirit of adventure by embracing interests from science and nature to photography, destinations and discovery. Gallipoli-2015 was selected as its Anzac Centenary travel partner because the tour company captures this essence.

BOOK NOW at Gallipoli-2015 to join our Anzac Cruise or Premium Tour. Or phone 1800 766 595.


The Gallipoli Landing

A lifeboat carries men of the 1st Divisional Signal Company as they are towed towards Anzac Cove at 6am on the day of the landing.

Many riddles surrounding the ANZAC landing will never be answered. Originally destined for Gaba Tepe, the men actually made land just to the north. To this day, historians speculate why. Similar uncertainty surrounds the time of the landing. Did the first shots ring out at 4:10am, an intervening time or, as Charles Bean logged, at 4:53am right on the dawn.

What is known, without conjecture, is that 1,500 ANZACs seized the element of surprise in the early hours of 25th April 1915. Which begs the question, where was the rest of the landing party? Actually, most of the colossal force found themselves on the decks of destroyers as the sun rose that day. The vessels having moved stealthily towards the beach, each man in his turn waited on the call to a landing craft.

Ottoman defenders detected the landing fleet around 2:00am and began preparations to repel any landing from strongholds along the peninsula. With the first few men ashore, any remaining chance to catch the Turks unawares was lost. So a barrage of fire was unleashed as many a lifeboat, laden with fresh-faced young men, drew nearby land.

Half the Australian 1st Division was towed to the beach between 5:30 and 7:30am. The 7th Battalion made a northerly landing to be met by a withering defensive onslaught. In the end, just 40 men made it ashore.

BOOK NOW to be there and honour those cut down in the chill Aegean shallows before ever reaching the beach. Valiant young lives lost before ever a hill was climbed or trench dug in that unfamiliar landscape.


Get in before it’s too late


With the Ballot behind us and Anzac Day just ahead, 2015 travel bookings are at an all time high. Thousands of Australians and New Zealanders are planning to visit Turkey over the Anzac Centenary. Now, successful ballot ticket holders are also contesting limited travel options too. Anyone hoping to visit Turkey at this time is urged to book now.

Australian travellers need to act fast to secure 2015 travel. Few places remain and we expect our cruise and tour could sell out within days. Most people don’t realise the limited accommodation on Gallipoli peninsula has been booked out years ahead. That’s why our cruise and tour are attracting interest. Plus, Gallipoli-2015 is able to transfer passengers lucky enough to hold ballot tickets to and from the official commemoration.

Visit Gallipoli-2015 to BOOK NOW online. Or phone 1800 766 595.


Direct from Brighton Beach

Lots of our Facebook fans enjoyed the photos from Gallipoli taken this month, especially this one:

Brighton Beach

10 Apr 2014: Earlier today at Brighton Beach.

*The full text of Necmettin Halil Onan’s poem reads:

Stop wayfarer! Unbeknownst to you this ground
You come and tread on, is where an epoch lies;
Bend down and lend your ear, for this silent mound
Is the place where the heart of a nation sighs.

To the left of this deserted shadeless lane
The Anatolian slope now observe you well;
For liberty and honor, it is, in pain,
Where wounded Mehmet laid down his life and fell

This very mound, when violently shook the land,
When the last bit of earth passed from hand to hand,
And when Mehmet drowned the enemy in flood,
Is the spot where he added his own pure blood.

Think, the consecrated blood and flesh and bone
That make up this mould, is where is where a whole nation,
After a harsh and pitiless war; alone
Tasted the joy of freedom with elation.

This is the latest copy of Despatches, but you can find past editions at the Gallipoli-2015 website. Don’t forget to share your copy around and visit our Facebook page too.