Posts Tagged ‘Gallipoli’


The sun came out on this frosty day as I peddled alone on the wind-swept peninsula. Outside, I only heard the tranquil sound of the wind and the waves, but inside I felt the earth shudder, the chatter of rifles, and the screams of pointless death around me – almost 100 years ago. Tiny knolls in an all too common rolling-hill landscape have great significance by the death burden they carry. Today I felt that burden, and cried.

Anzac Cove

Anzac Cove

What a peaceful place. I was alone today. The roads were empty. Some farmers ploughed their fields. Some people were picking olives. Most of the time, it was me, the sun, the wind, and my thoughts. Thoughts of what happened here 100 years ago. How insignificant and mundane the famous beaches were. I stopped at Beach V – one of the Allies’ landing points at the southern tip of the Gallipoli peninsula. There was hardly a beach at all.

Beach V

Beach V

There were two areas – two little specks of land – that were held by the Allies for the extent of the Gallipoli battle. One was at the tip, and one at Anzac Cove. The Helles Memorial overlooks Beach V.

Helles Memorial

Helles Memorial

Around Anzac Cove, small knolls, undulations, crags, all have Australian names. They were too insignificant to have Turkish names. Now their significance is burned into history. I visited a cemetery near Anzac Cove. Protected from the wind, there was an eery silence. The lawn was lush and the sky was blue. A bird flapped overhead. I stood there amongst the gravestones. Men aged 22, 21 – I saw one 17. All died in 1915. Here where I stood were trenches.

Cemetery

Cemetery

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

At the going down of the sun

At the going down of the sun

In the morning

In the morning

Monument to the Fallen

Monument to the Fallen

Words of Atatürk

Words of Atatürk