Quite a day today, after am early breakfast we headed out to North Beach, the place where our nation’s leaders along with those of Turkey and New Zealand commemorate our soldiers sacrifice all those years ago. A short walk to Aribirnu cemetery, then on to the sand at ANZAC Cove. A group photo, then time to take in the conciliatory words of Atatürk writ large just beyond the graveyard. A bus ride to Beach cemetery where we paid our respects at Private Simpson’s grave marker. Then a walk up the steep track to Plugge’s Plateau where we explored abandoned trenches and walked to the knife edge.
Four tourists had only just joined us, their flight had been delayed. We split, those who had not experienced the new Gaba Tepe Museum went there, the rest of us scaled Artillery Track to Lone Pine. We stopped at Shell green to visit the grave of Private Richard Preston who had survived Wilmansrust and Onverwacht in the Boer War, only to die on 21 April 2015. On again we trudged to Lone Pine, there we examined the site of this at least nominally successful battle and thought about the fate of Lieutenant Nettleton and Sergeant Green of the 1st Light Horse, and my great uncle Lance Corporal Max Howitz of 15 Bn.
In the absence of our bus we continued on foot, past Quinns’ Post, stopping at Pope’s where we were over-awed by the 57th Regiment memorial.
The rest of our party re-joined us at the Nek, where we considered the fate of the 8th and 10th Light Horse and the futility that caused so many lives to be lost.
Thence again to Chunuk Bair for our new arrivals to take in the site, others to buy souvenirs and Ice Cream.
A late vegetarian lunch at our hotel, was followed by a swim and visit to Çanakkale for the official safety brief where our Rotarians were able to give and receive banners marking their visit. Tomorrow, our swimmers swim; good luck to them!