Saturday, April 25, 2015

ANZAC Day Honours Gallipoli Heroes

From the BBC:

Gallipoli centenary: Australia and New Zealand mark Anzac Day
25 April 2015

Australia and New Zealand have been remembering soldiers from the two countries who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War One.

A series of events on Saturday marked the centenary of the Allied attack on the Gallipoli peninsula.

A dawn service was held at the landing. The two countries later remembered their dead at battlefield services.

More than 11,400 of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac) troops were killed in the course of the campaign.

Australian PM Tony Abbott paid tribute to their selflessness, describing them as Australia's "founding heroes".

Anzac Day is arguably the most important national occasion for Australia and New Zealand.

Gallipoli holds a special place in Australian hearts. Many believe it was here Australians proved themselves the equal of any in the world, heralding the young nation's emergence onto the world stage....

Read more on international remembrance ceremonies here.
From ABC.Net (Australia):
Gallipoli 1915: The first Anzac ashoreBy Ross Kay

In the waters off Anzac Cove in the early hours of April 25, 1915, boats carrying Australian soldiers of the 9th Battalion made their way to shore. 

At the head of boat number one was Duncan Chapman, then a lieutenant, who led his men onto the beach and became known as the first Anzac to set foot on Gallipoli.

Duncan Chapman's name is one of many on the cenotaph in Maryborough, Queensland, but a new life-size statue has been unveiled in recognition of his special place in history.

But how do we know for certain he was in fact the initial Anzac ashore?

Anecdotal stories and letters have been passed down through to Chapman's grand-nephew, Grant Cook.

"I heard a lot from my uncles about Duncan Chapman," Mr Cook said.

"I've been told that [he was the first ashore] through family over all these years. It's only the letters that he sent home that reinforce that."

One of the letters from Chapman details the dawn landing and reinforces the idea that he was recognised by Army brass to have been the first ashore.

"To me was given the extreme honour of being actually the first man to put foot ashore on this peninsula, to lead a portion of the men up the hill in that now historic charge," the letter reads....

Lest we forget those who answered the call.

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