Posts Tagged ‘anzac cove’

Onboard Dawn Service Just as Authentic

Posted by Anne Macindoe on January 10th, 2014

4 Battalion Anzac Beach Landing 8am 25 April 1915

4 Battalion 8:00am Land at Anzac Beach on 25th April 1915 after spending the dawn aboard a destroyer off shore.

The Gallipoli 2015 ballot means, in simple terms, that not everyone who may like to will be standing on the beach at Gallipoli on 25th April 2015.  Most Epic Cruise passengers will mark the 100th anniversary aboard Azamara Journey.  But that experience is at least equal in authenticity.  After all, such is how most ANZACs saw the sun rise on 25th April 1915 too.

Around midnight on 24th April 1915, the landing fleet sailed from Lemnos to Gallipoli.  Originally destined for Gaba Tepe, the ships instead arrived some distance north.  Why is not clear.  What is known is the first shots were heard to ring out sometime between 4:10am and 4:53am.  An initial party of 1,500 had made land.

The bulk of the force, a remaining 2,500 men, watched and waited in the stillness of pre-dawn.  The seven destroyers they remained aboard had approached as close as possible to the shore.  Without the element of surprise, the second wave came under constant fire.  Amid a withering Ottoman barrage, transports continued to land men over the course of the morning.  Many of whom never made it to the beach.

That is the tragic story of many an ANZAC.  To stand in the dawn light aboard a destroyer, waiting for the call to a transport and the chance to make land.  Only to never tread the hallowed sand of Anzac Beach.

Together with their first wave counterparts, these men are also to be remembered at daybreak on Anzac Day 2015.  What better way to honour them than aboard a vessel moored off Anzac Cove?  Spending the dawn just as they did on that cool, still morning 100 years ago.

Centenary Dawn Service has more solutions than an Anzac Ballot

Posted by Dr John Basarin on December 12th, 2012

On 23 September 2012, the Australian Minister for Veterans’ Affairs announced a ceiling on Gallipoli ceremony attendees in 2015.  Furthermore, admission would be decided by ballot.  Apparently, the Anzac Ceremonial Site at North Beach can hold only 10,500 people.  Excluding VIPs of 500, there remains just 10,000 places (8,000 for Australians and 2,000 for New Zealanders).  It is also assumed all these people will then make the 3.4 km walk to Lone Pine for the Australian national ceremony.  Alternatively, attendees may choose to hike even further to Chunuk Bair site for the New Zealand national ceremony.

The reasons given for a limitation on numbers and ticketing by ballot were security, safety, amenity and comfort of those attending.  There is also the need to ensure ceremonies are appropriate for the occasion. At the time, Minister Snowdon claimed the Governments of New Zealand and Turkey were in agreement with this announcement. The Governments in Australia and New Zealand then began a public consultation process to decide on the principles governing balloting process. The consultation also extended to some tour operators in Australia, New Zealand, UK [London] and Turkey [Istanbul]. Meetings were attended in various numbers; in Melbourne I observed about 50 participants took part and in Canberra around 10.

ANZAC descendants appeared to be well represented in these meetings and vocal in wishing their claim to be recognised. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs [DVA] staff who conducted these public consultation processes were at pains trying to explain that there were up to one million descendants, 580 children of ANZACs landing at Gallipoli and 204 widows of veterans of the Great War. Hence it was a difficult process to determine how they could all be accommodated. Another comment made was to have representations from the relevant groups, including the descendants, such as: young people; other military conflicts in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan; organisations that assisted or spawned from ANZACs – Red Cross, Legacy, Salvation Army, etc; serving men & women, and a plethora of other interest groups.

No doubt the balloting process will be complex and difficult to administer. The potential issues include scalping, no-show, illness, group travel, accommodation on Gallipoli Peninsula [there are only 5,000 beds at present within 100 km radius], weather, traffic arrangements and others. Also there is the possibility of a large group of back-packers who will want to travel at the last minute from Europe or particularly UK where there are around one million expatriates. At present there are reputedly around 5,000 Australians who have booked or expressed interest with the travel agents.

There are also three cruise ships planned to go to Gallipoli, with a total capacity of nearly 8,000 passengers which may be able to anchor off Anzac Cove and be part of the ceremonies via live link from the Peninsula.

The weather in the spring of Turkey at Gallipoli can be variable. However in the past 25 years, it has not rained on Anzac Day and if this happened it could be a show-stopper. In particular the walk up the artillery track could turn into a small muddy creek making it impossible to walk to Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair. At present, anybody who is not able to make this walk is provided with a transport; although even such a small number of people have great difficulty in accessing this service. If there is a heavy downpour either before or during Anzac Day, it will be a logistical nightmare to transport the 10,000 people up to Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair.

There are several other options developed since the Ministerial announcement made and these were possibly the topic of discussion when the Turkish Governor of Canakkale [Gallipoli] Mr Tuna came to Australia recently. The closer look at these options, reveal an interesting potential solution as shown below. The options so far include;

  • Option 1: The option presented by the Minister
    i.e. 10,000 at the Anzac Commemorative Site at North Beach, who will then walk up to Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair, after the dawn ceremony is concluded.
  • Option 2: The de-linked option
    where all the ceremonial sites are occupied by people to capacity and there is no movement between the sites, except the 500 VIPs. The participants observe all the ceremonies via live link on large screens from their own site if the ceremony is not held at that site.   The capacity of attendance can be increased to 20,000 with this option.
  • Option 3: Dawn and dusk option
    where Option 1 is replicated for a dawn ceremony and repeated for a dusk ceremony, thereby doubling the capacity of attendance. The capacity of attendance can be increased to 20,000 with this option.
  • Option 4: A combination of Options 3 and 4
    where dawn and dusk ceremonies are held at de-linked mode, thereby increasing the capacity of attendance to 40,000. Anticipated maximum attendance would be close to this number and hence all requests to take part at the Anzac Day ceremonies at Gallipoli in 2015 would be fulfilled.

The following table provides the summary of the above discussion [not including the VIPs and using more conservative figures than provided by the DVA].

Ceremonial area Option 1 Option 2 Option 3 Option 4
Anzac Commemorative area at North Beach  10,000 10,000 20,000 20,000
Lone Pine included in above  8,000  included in above  16,000
Chunuk Bair included in above  2,000 included in above  4,000
Total Capacity 10,000 20,000  20,000  40,000

For all these options, a ballot can be held.  This would ensure likely attendees are provided with their choice of service and authorities can allocate a place to each person. It is suggested that the above articulated Option 4 provides the best and optimum solution for the following reasons;

  1. There is unlikely to be capacity issue, hence all Australians and New Zealanders wishing to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime event can do so;
  2. The security, safety and the comfort of the participants are not compromised. In fact, the security is enhanced where only the VIPs will be allowed to move from one location to the other;
  3. The traffic management would be enhanced where the buses can be dispersed to the three locations and issues are minimised;
  4. Any adverse weather issue, such as heavy rain, will not be show-stopper;
  5. The facilities and amenities will be utilised twice thus making it cost effective;
  6. The systems set-up for the event can be utilised without much alteration, making it easy to administer the process;
  7. The need to wait in the cold overnight can be minimised by allocating places to people as well as some only experiencing the daytime event;
  8. The Option 4 will be much friendlier to invalids, elderly, unfit and the disabled.

To think that the massive landing at Anzac Cove [i.e. invasion of Turkey] was planned in 36 days defies the complexity and many years of planning we have concocted for the Centenary.

This submission to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs was made by Dr V John Basarin, Research Fellow, Deakin Graduate School of Business & Project Manager, Gallipoli-2015.

Did you know these ANZAC fascinating facts?

Posted by Anne Macindoe on September 19th, 2012

The Gallipoli campaign has certainly been a rich source of both myth and legend.  Why the ANZAC forces landed when and where they did.  How the whole tragedy that was Gallipoli unfolded.  Every week, we add a ‘Did you know’ Facebook status with an interesting historical fact.  Because these are among our more popular posts, we thought we’d share some with you here too.

By evening on 25th April, 557 wounded were aboard the Gascon. Over the Gallipoli campaign, the ship ferried over 8,000 sick and wounded soldiers to Lemnos and other hospitals.
The Kingdom of Bulgaria entered the war as German allies on 6 Sep 1915. This made is possible for Turkey to reinforce its Gallipoli troops along the Berlin to Constantinople railway.
From 29 Aug to 14 Sep 1915, two 1st Field Ambulance stretcher-bearers treated 199 dental cases. Records show 22 extractions, 29 amalgam fillings, 6 dressings, 30 minor operations, 2 partial upper dentures, 2 partial lower dentures and 19 repairs were performed.
ANZAC forces were involved in two of the war’s most ferocious battles … on the same day. Lone Pine raged on 8 Aug 1915 and at Amiens, Australian pushed the Germans back 8km on 8 Aug 1918.
8th of the 8th – a day of significance.
lone pine fred leist The Battle of Lone Pine took place between 6-10 August 1915. The battlefield took its name from a solitary pine, the last tree remaining of a group used by Turkish soldiers to build and cover their trenches. It was destroyed during the fighting.
anzac day rosemary remembrance Rosemary has been used as a symbol of remembrance since ancient days. It has particular significance for Australians because it grows wild at Gallipoli.
30% of Anzac forces’ World War I casualties occurred at Gallipoli.
anzac stamp 1935 The first Anzac commemorative stamp was issued in 1935. The 20th anniversary stamps came in red or black with 2d and 1/- values. Pictured? The London Cenotaph.
anzac cove gallipoli turkey Of the 31 war cemeteries sited on the Gallipoli Peninsula, 21 are located within the Anzac area.
patsy adam smith book the anzacs Patsy Adam Smith’s book ‘The Anzacs’ (published in 1978) is credited with popularising the Anzac legend. It won The Age Book of the Year Award and was made into a 13 part TV series.
A scarcity of fresh water at Gallipoli meant ANZACs were rationed to just over 2 litres daily. Mostly they brewed this into tea … then used the leftovers for shaving.
Australian Lighthorsemen of the 8th Regiment sailed for Egypt in February 1914. Originally deemed unsuitable for the conditions at Gallipoli, they were later deployed without horses.
for the fallen anzac day poem ‘For the Fallen’ was written by British Museum worker Laurence Binyon. First published in 1914, the last verse is read at Anzac Day commemorations everywhere.
The Hobart Mercury was the first Australian newspaper to report the ANZAC landing on 8 May 2015.
Alec Campbell was the longest living Anzac. He enlisted aged 16 and, when he died in 2002, he was also the last surviving Gallipoli veteran.
australian army recruitment norman lindsay The Australian army began recruiting days after the 1914 declaration of war. Men enlisting were called “six bob a day tourists” because people thought their pay was high and the war would be over quickly.
‘The Unknown Soldier’ was interred at the Australian War Memorialon Remembrance Day 1993 to mark 75 years since the end of World War I.
lone pine gallipoli anzac turkey As many as 15,000 people make the pilgrimage to Gallipoli for Anzac Day each year.
ae2 australia submarine gallipoli anzac Australia’s AE2 submarine slipped through the narrows to the Sea of Marmara on 25 April 1915. ‘The Silent Anzac’ surrendered 5 days later with a faulty main ballast tank and was scuttled by its captain, Henry Stoker. The wreck was discovered in 1998.
In Turkish, Gallipoli is Gelibolu. The original place called Gelibolu is a little fishing village, by the strait of Dardanelles.
gallipolic cruise 2015 anzac tours The meal served after a Dawn Service on Anzac Day is referred to as Gunfire Breakfast.

Anzac Day attendance at Gallipoli has come a long way since 1961

Posted by Marcus Falay on September 12th, 2012

Gallipoli, Turkey 1961.  Betty Roland, an Australian who had travelled all the way from western Victoria, stood at Anzac Cove.  The date was 25th April … Anzac Day.  But there she stood, all by herself and feeling the strong emotion of sadness overcome her loneliness.  Such was a pilgrimage to the Gallipoli battlefields in 1961.

In the 50 years that followed, the situation has changed significantly.  In 2005, an estimated 20,000 people gathered at Anzac Cove on Anzac Day for the 90th anniversary.  An outcry followed that major event regarding the inadequacy of facilities, piling of rubbish, waiting many hours for buses, etc.  In response, over the last few years authorities have considerably improved the situation at Anzac Cove.

Although numbers have not came close to the 20,000 attendees in 2005, Anzac Day attendences climb steadily each year. Estimation of attendance numbers has also improved, as the authorities now issue each entrant to the area with a coloured wristband.  The figure below shows the estimated attendance over a 20 year period with the anticipated attendance in 2015.

Anzac Day at Gallipoli, Turkey attendance numbers and 2015 prediction

Source: Dr V John Basarin, unpublished PhD thesis, Deakin University, 2011

In the 1990s, Anzac Day commemorations were held near Anzac Cove at Beach Cemetery.  But due to increasing numbers, in 2002 the ceremonial ground was shifted to a purpose-built location at North Beach.  This facility has a capacity of 15,000.  Looking at the numbers, it is rather obvious that, for the 2015 Anzac centenary, it is unlikely that the North Beach location will be able to handle expected arrivals.

Therein lies the attendance dilemma.  The Gallipoli Peninsula can, of course, accommodate many more than 50,000 on different locations if they were made available.  However, the current public debate only surrounds the issue of capacity of the existing ceremonial ground. By the end of this year, a decision will be made about management of the participants at that location.  One of the possibilities under consideration is a Gallipoli 2015 ballot.  Whether this occurs or not remains to be seen, which is why the Gallipoli cruise itinerary makes allowance for a number of possible scenarios.