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Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

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Aussie pride overcomes
all fears at Anzac Cove

Range News journalist Kate Johns reports
from Anzac Cove.   She travelled there, with
her brother, for Anzac Day

After much deliberation and many voices of concern from family and friends my brother and I made the pilgrimage to Lone Pine.  There were two reasons for concern.  One was due to us picking up a $600 Volvo from Brighton in the UK and driving it 3000 kilometres to Anzac Cove in three days.   The second reason was more serious - the official warning released from the Australian government advising all travellers not to go to Gallipoli, because of the threat of terrorism.
We did go and we did survive, as did our Volvo.  That was despite a few mishaps along the way - a flat battery an hour from the Turkish border and a faulty fan belt which was fixed with a pair of stockings


It was all worth it once we arrived at Anzac Cove.   We got there at 7pm on April 24 and proceeded to the memorial site along with fellow Anzac supporters.  We bunked down in sleeping bags for the night, enduring the near freezing temperatures, and eagerly awaiting the dawn service. After a lot of broken sleep the dawn service finally began.

Words can't explain how moving the experience was, with the Royal Australian Navy Band commencing the service at 4.45am.  There was not a dry eye among the crowd after Colonel Malcolm Rerden, CSC, the Australian Defence Attaché to Turkey recited;

"Ataturk" ...
Those heroes that shed their blood
And lost their lives ...
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly
country
Therefore rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by
side
Here in this country of ours ...
You the mothers
Who sent their sons from far away countries
Wipe away your tears,
Your sons are now lying in our bosom
And are in peace
After having lost their lives on this land
They have become our sons as well.  

"Once the dawn service finished the crowd then made its way to Lone Pine for the order of service at 10.30am.   His Excellency Mr John Philp, the Australian Ambassador to Turkey, summed it up perfectly ... "Gday!"

The crowd roared its approval with clapping and cheers. "We told you not to come but I am glad some of you made it," Mr Philp said.    That "some" of us was 12,000 people and ten kilometres of buses, that made the pilgrimage for Anzac Day, the National Day of commemoration in both Australia and New Zealand when we remember all those who died fighting for their country.


The losses at Gallipoli and later on the Western Front during World War 1 were so great that they impacted heavily on our relatively small populations.   The Anzac landings were the first occasion where the soldiers of two fledgling nations fought together. Mutual respect also developed between the Anzacs and the Turkish soldiers at Gallipoli.  Although under British command, the Anzacs acted independently and with great bravery - displaying a famed reckless courage. In the process, a legend was created and a proud spirit that survives to this day.

Kate, TOP, with her mates at Lone Pine.

12,000 Anzac supporters made the trip
despite the warnings regarding terrorism.

The Royal Australian Navy Band began the
service at 4.45am.  (ABOVE)

(right)  12,000 Anzac supporters made the trip
despite the warnings regarding terrorism.

In Australia's case soldiers of State battalions arrived at Gallipoli and, at least for those who survived, left as Australians.  In much the same way, the Battle of Canakkale in 1915 is central to the creation of modern Turkey.   Each year, large numbers visit the Gallipoli Peninsula to remember those who died during this and other conflicts which involved Australia and New Zealand.   I take my hat off to the Turkish people, as the Gallipoli site is well tended.   All grave sites are respectfully cared for on a regular basis.  The security was extremely comforting with all visitors being scanned before they could enter Lone Pine.  The pilgrimage from London to Anzac Cove was a once in a lifetime experience that I will remember for ever.

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.