100 years ago on 25th April, a dramatic World War One battle impacted Australia and New Zealand when soldiers from both countries supported the British attempt to take control of the northern bank of the Dardanelles as part of the campaign to capture Constantinople (now) Istanbul in Turkey. 100,000 men perished in eight months over this failed attempt.
The date of the landing, is known as “Anzac Day” (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp) and is commemorated by hundreds of thousands across both countries and Turkey, every April 25th. Yesterday, I attended a dawn commemoration with 120 000 people to pay tribute to my Grandfather (pictured in uniform below left).
He missed Gallipoli because he was not immediately accepted into the military. When he was shipped to Europe from Australia, he ended up in France at a major battle at Bullecourt, France, on 3 and 4 May, 1917.
He was in the eighth wave of men to go across the line through hundreds of yards of barbed wire to the German side. “We were totally wiped out” All six of his mates in that wave were killed. Four were machine gunned. His other mate was blown to pieces by a German shell. The shell injured grandfather and he “lay there all day and all night”. He sang a hymn over and over again to take his mind off the pain and remind himself that God was with him.