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Last Updated: Monday, 25 April, 2005, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Gallipoli dead remembered at dawn
Crosses are placed in memory of family and loved ones in a field of remembrance in Sydney, Australia
More than 100,000 men died during the Gallipoli campaign
Tens of thousands of Australians and New Zealanders have been marking the World War I Gallipoli landings 90 years ago with a ceremony beneath its cliffs.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard, his New Zealand counterpart Helen Clark and Prince Charles attended a dawn service at the Turkish site.

The prince read a psalm and more than a dozen wreaths were laid.

More than 100,000 soldiers, most of them Turkish, died in the eight-month campaign in April 1915.

It is our responsibility now to reflect on their sacrifice to make sure the world does not face the horrors that these men faced
Helen Clark
New Zealand prime minister

There were 21,000 British and Irish troops among the dead.

In Sydney, Australian veterans of other campaigns were among a record crowd of more than 20,000 people who gathered in Martin Place to mark Anzac Day and the nearly 9,000 Australians who died during the hostilities in north-western Turkey.

The last known Gallipoli veteran, an Australian, died in 2002.

'National identity'

The site of the dawn service at Gallipoli is named Anzac Cove after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who landed there on 25 April 1915.

Map showing Gallipoli peninsula
As dawn broke, a lone bugler played and the crowd observed a two-minute silence.

There were emotional scenes as some participants, draped in New Zealand and Australian flags, wept and embraced each other.

Mr Howard said the Anzacs had "changed forever the way we saw our world and ourselves, they bequeathed Australia a lasting sense of national identity, they sharpened our democratic temperament and our questioning eye towards authority".

Ms Clark said the horrors of the campaign should never be repeated.

"No joy can be found on the killing fields of Gallipoli," she said.

"It is our responsibility now to reflect on their sacrifice to make sure the world does not face the horrors that these men faced."

At the end of the ceremony the Turkish flag was raised to fly next to those of Australia and New Zealand.

At a ceremony on Sunday in honour of fallen Turkish troops, also attended by Ms Clark and Mr Howard, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan underscored how the nations that fought each other at Gallipoli had since developed "friendship and co-operation".

Many historians trace the rise of Australian nationalism to the Gallipoli landings.


The Allies - intending to occupy Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman empire - failed to throw back the Turkish defenders and a long and bloody stalemate ensued.

Over the years Gallipoli has come to be thought of by some as an Australian and New Zealand operation, says the BBC's Turkey correspondent Jonny Dymond.

But nearly 9,000 French, 21,000 British and Irish and 86,000 Turkish troops died attacking and defending the thin strip of land.

The dawn service from Gallipoli was televised throughout Turkey.

Do you have a personal story of someone who fought at Gallipoli? How do you view the battle 90 years on?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following are among the comments received:

Never in the history of the world have so many given so much for so little return. A nation of 5 million sent 300,000 of her finest lads to the other side of the world, where they fought a war which was not even theirs. Despite two referendums on the issue, Australia refused to introduce conscription during WWI, yet her young men continued to sign up in droves. The Australian ANZACs were volunteers to a man. What nobility. What courage. What heroism. God bless them all - whether Aussie or Kiwi for their incalculable sacrifice.
Dave, Acocks Green, UK (ex-Australia)

Like a large number of people recently I have been researching my family history, I know that my Grandfather served in the East Lancs Regiment number 2071. He enlisted on 5th November 1914 aged 15 years 7 months. He was either posted to 1/4th possibly 1/5th Battalion of the East Lancs, and he would have landed with his battalion on Gallipoli on 10th May 1915, where I know he was wounded and as a consequence posted to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers to recover before returning the theatre of war. So on the 10th May 2005 I will certainly be thinking of and remembering a 16-year-old grandfather who was actively involved in battle. I am also very proud of this grandfather who went on the become a chief fire officer who was awarded the OBE in 1953 for his services to fire prevention (he had campaigned for nightdress fire warnings).
Jan Burke, Luton, England

We (New Zealanders and Australians) celebrate ANZAC day to commemorate the day our respective nations became involved in WW1 and to remember the fallen. With populations of only 1 and 5 million at the time the losses at Gallipoli hit both countries hard. We do not forget the British, Irish and French that were fighting beside us, they simply choose to commemorate on a different day in honour of different, equally important battles.
Kerryn Whitehead, London, UK (Wellington, NZ)

My Grandfather's brother died in this conflict. He was recruited in Ireland - so well done for reporting the fact that British and "Irish" troops fought in the conflict - it is much appreciated.
Timothy Cleary, London

It's only in the last couple of years that I, now a septuagenarian doing a genealogical search to answer the questions my grandchildren are bound to ask, found that my granduncle, Edward Goodlet, Lance Corporal, 7th Bn., Highland Light Infantry, died at Gallipoli on Monday 12 July 1915. The impressive Debt of Honour Register article by the War Graves Commission made me very proud of him. The Helles Memorial, Turkey, stands on the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula. It takes the form of an obelisk over 30 metres high that can be seen by ships passing through the Dardanelles.
Bob McWhinnie, Bristol

My grandfather served at Gallipoli with the Royal Naval Division and then was sent to fight on the Somme then next year. We still have his diary notes of both events.
Miles Bingham, Brighton, UK

It is true that the Australian and New Zealand forces tend to be over celebrated (whereas great numbers from Britain, Ireland, France and most importantly Turkey died in that theatre). This is because it was the first concentrated battlefield upon which these nations were tested, their 'baptism of fire'. It was their Waterloo, Trafalgar or Hastings. It was the event which defined Australian and New Zealand national characters, and has grown larger through the years, especially as it receives a rightly large emphasis in the national education program.
Chris Hoskins, London

I still remember the experience I had attending the dawn service at the memorial in Christchurch, NZ whilst on a conference there in 2003. It was very moving as the sun rose during the outside service. During the silence the only noise to be heard was the morning birdsong. Through attending the service I learnt a lot about Gallipoli and the reason for the dawn service from those present, that I was not aware of before.
Caroline, Portsmouth, UK

Having attended an ANZAC service this morning, I can't help but to be overwhelmed. I hate to imagine the fear of travelling around the globe away from family and friends to fight in a war that couldn't be further removed from my home land. But they came, and that is a sacrifice I hope I never have to make.
David Evitt, Auckland, New Zealand

The reason why Gallipoli is so important to Australia and New Zealand is that it was the first time that our nations had great cause to question the rule of the British Empire over our part of the world. It signalled the birth of our national identities. The sacrifice made by two small budding nations in a war that was happening on the other side of the planet was huge. It is with solemn pride that we remember all those who died both at Gallipoli and in the countless battles ANZACs have been involved in since then on foreign soil.
Callum Clench, Kiwi in London

My grandfather lies in a grave in the #2 Outpost cemetery at Gallipoli. He left a wife and family at age 30, joined up and thereafter landed and fought with the 6th BN or the Royal Irish Rifles in the 7-8th August 1915 relief landings. He died of wounds received on the 10th of August. All credit and eternal thanks to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for the caring attention they give to keeping his and the thousands of other final resting places of those brave men safe and alive for future generations to remember their sacrifices.
John Davies, Liverpool, UK

My Grandfather flew with Samson's crowd in the Royal Naval Air Service at Gallipoli. He was too young to serve, but had lied about his age in order to join up. Although he survived, he suffered with a frozen eye and dysentery, and was so weakened by the experience that he died in the mid 1930s from TB.
Frank, Egham, UK

I would like to thank Australians, New Zealanders and British for having an earnest outcome from the Gallipoli campaign. We all have to learn a lot form you, we love you.
Ata Istar, Maryland, USA

A lot of people posting here make the comment on how it was not only an ANZAC campaign. True, but the same people should have a look at the relative populations of the ANZAC nations. New Zealand was a young country and although they did not lose as many men as other countries, it was carnage in relation to the size of the population. My great uncle was in the Waikato Mounted Rifles and fought at Gallipoli and in Palestine.
Cameron Fisher, Auckland

My grandfather (aged 29 having volunteered in 1914) was at Gallipoli with the Royal Engineers as part of the Royal Naval Division (which became the 63rd Army Division for the Somme and onwards). The division took such heavy casualties that the infantry losses had to be made up with replacements from the army rather than marines and sailors. Sadly most histories of the campaign are written by Aussies who habitually ignore the losses of the Brits, Irish and the French. As an ex-soldier and part time historian/writer I'd say that it's about time the campaign was re-appraised with a bit more objectivity. I was not able to talk to my grandfather about his experiences as he died in 1960 when I was 2, but I understand that he probably would not have chatted much anyway, he wasn't the type to chat and probably with good reason.
Ian Pittock, Wokingham, Berks

No one in Australia tries to diminish or ignore the sacrifices of other troops in this horrible battle. But we make more of the ANZACs because they defined us as a nation and a people in a way that is difficult for others to understand. The ANZACs shared values that became the core values of Australia, and which we continue to idealise to this day. Those values were not created at Gallipoli, but that battle gave them common expression for the first time under one flag. British military historian John Keegan has described Gallipoli as the only truly epic battle of the Great War, precisely because it was the only one to forge the identity of a nation.
Stephen McLain, Brisbane, Australia

My grandfather, James Green, served at Gallipoli with the Lancashire Fusiliers (Royal Engineers). He often referred to the operation as a bloody awful mess where so many good lads, on both sides, died for nothing.
Merrill Hall, Maine, USA

My grandfather William McIntosh, fought with Wiltshire regiment at Gallipoli, and was badly injured by a Turkish bullet passing through his lung and lodging in his heart, which remained there until his death in 1960. He returned to England not expecting to survive. Whilst going about London, after his demobilisation dressed in civilian clothes, a lady gave him a white feather because he was not serving in the armed forces and doing his bit for King and Country. My great uncle, who was English, was badly wounded at Gallipoli, and I find the occasional attempts to drive a wedge between the different parts of the British/imperial forces as very sad. Everyone who was at Gallipoli, be they British, Australian, New Zealander or other empire components, suffered the same privations and danger together.
Nick Troake, Tatsfield

I don't have a personal memory, though my grandfather fought at Gallipoli. He told me he thought Attaturk's speech when dedicating the war cemetery was one of the great speeches of history, comparable to the speech made by Lincoln when dedicating the war cemetery at Gettysburg.
Michael Stephen, London, UK

For anyone remotely interested in the futility of war and terror of Gallipoli I recommend the song 'And the band played Waltzing Matilda' by Eric Bogle. The version by The Pogues is excellent.
Paul, Rome

My grandfather Joseph Campbell (from Sanqhar, Dumfries) was with the KOSBs and was wounded in the leg by a bullet that fragmented. He was lucky to be alive but had a limp for the rest of his life. My great uncle Luke Hanlon was a CSM in the Royal Enniskillen Fusiliers and was killed in September 1915. As for the Western Front, this campaign is remembered for the courage, fortitude and resourcefulness of both sides and that is all that matters now. The brass-hat ineptitude is, sadly, par for the course.
Ian Campbell, London

My Grandfather fought and was wounded in Gallipoli. He was amongst many Irishmen who fought in this awful battle, in an awful war. He lived with us until he died in 1976. Like many, he never spoke about it but his bullet holes were quite visible. Sadly, we in Ireland don't properly commemorate our war heroes. It has nothing to do with Nationalism, it is very easy to look back and say they were mistaken but I am very proud of my Grandfather. He also fought in the Irish War of Independence. A great man, who sadly is forgotten by his country.
Muiris Walsh, Tipperary, Ireland

Let us not forget the 1,076 Newfoundlanders who fought there, and the 49 who died.
Adam Penney, Newfoundland, Canada

It's important that all major battles of World War I be remembered, 90, even 200 years on, because apart from the fact that WWI inevitably led to WWII, WWI is also mankind's single most absolute disregard for sanity, ever. Contrarily to generals and lawmakers who indulged in this lack of sanity, the individuals who fought the wars of WWI pushed themselves beyond the limits of horror and for that alone we should never forget them. I know of 2 of my great-grandfathers who fought in Verdun. One of them would always spontaneously burst into tears whenever someone tried to speak to him about the war, even several decades later.
Alex, Toulouse, France

I am too young to have memories of the war, so I can only offer personal thoughts. I always found it amazing how a catastrophe could bring nations together in this way. Until 3 years ago when I read it on the BBC web site, I had no idea that Gallipoli was such an important part of the national consciousness of Australians and New Zealanders. Turkey has initiated several projects that will beautify Gallipoli in the coming years; when completed Gallipoli will become a place that truly honours what happened there. In the meantime, may all who lost their lives rest in peace.
Ipek Ruacan, Ankara, Turkey

A terrible campaign of lethal incompetence by Churchill and the High Command. A complete under estimation of Turkish toughness under German command. Those that paid the price, as usual, were the infantry soldier of various nationalities. Beware! For those who think it could never happen again look at the Italian campaign, "the soft underbelly of Europe" a quarter of a century later. May they all rest in peace and may that peace banish all wars. That would be a fitting epitaph to those remembered today.
Peter Lee, Morecambe, UK

I am surprised that there is no mention of the thousands of Sikh and Gurkha troops that took part in Gallipolli. These regiments also suffered huge losses but they remain unremembered. My great grandfather took part in battles against the Turks in what is now Iraq. He and most of his regiment were killed in battles around Kut.
Deepinder Singh Sandhu, Gravesend Kent

My grandfather fought at Gallipoli, and my father in the Second World War in New Guinea, my father would often be very upset when a war picture would come on TV. Being a medic in the war, he remembers the suffering first hand, and remembered his mates that did not come home. I never knew my grandfather, but there are pictures everywhere in our home, him in uniform. Anzac day to me is mixed, sadness, yet deep respect and appreciation for what our diggers gave for us. Hope we never forget.
Sandra Maxwell, Sydney Australia

Ataturk went on to become the founder of modern Turkey as a secular state - a state which is now being considered for EU membership. Gallipoli does not only mark the birth of Australian and New Zealand statehood. It is also a landmark in the birth of modern Turkey.
Mat Hanrahan, England

My Grandfather was a New Zealand soldier at Gallipoli. He survived and was later sent to France, where he had horrific experiences on the Western Front, was wounded and sent home. His way of coping with the post-traumatic stress was by drinking, he became an alcoholic, and his drinking split the family, my father and his brother and sisters were put in a foster home where they were badly treated, and the legacy of this lives on to this day in our family. It is these untold parts of the story that interest me the most, there must be thousands of families who were similarly affected, and how many of their stories have been told?
Peter Archer, Christchurch, New Zealand

My grandfather had fallen during the Gallipoli campaign 90 years ago. Just like his ANZAC counterparts he also knew he had to follow the patriotic duty he was given. Did he want to kill or die? I do not think so. But he did. 90 years on, now those who attacked that small piece of land come back to Turkey to find the smallest bit of trace connecting them to the reason of that stupid campaign. They are not able to find it but a warm welcome from an old foe and new friend. Me? I am still looking for my grandpa's rest place.
Gurhan Kartal, Ankara, Turkey

I visited Gallipoli 2 years ago; it was a great gathering and very moving. All Aussies and Kiwi's who haven't made the trek should do so. To remember them is one thing, but to see where they died on the battlefield is another; a very emotional place. I remember staring at a very young soldier's grave and on the tombstone it showed their birth date and then day they died at Gallipoli; which was the day after, it brings a tear to your eye. We'll always remember them.
Glen Martin, London, UK

Having just returned from a dawn service I'm moved yet feel a certain unease at being a pom in Oz. Many here have little appreciation that it was not just an ANZAC operation but involved other allies (indeed the Royal Irish landed with the ANZACs on the same beach).
Dee, Perth, Western Australia

I feel that Eric Bogle's song "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" summed up the horror and shockingly pointless loss of life in this campaign perfectly.
David Horn, Leeds, UK

My Grandfather was at Gallipoli, and described the battle as horrific. I am concerned though, as are my family, why so much is made of the ANZACs role in this war, when the British and his regiment The Royal Welch Fusiliers, played such a major part, but are hardly ever mentioned.
Ann Jones, Winchester, UK

Three facts that are usually overlooked about Gallipoli: 1. More British troops died than Anzacs. 2. As a proportion of population, Australia suffered more casualties in WW1 than any other nation, including Germany and Russia. 3. If the Foreign Office hadn't insisted that the sale of a battleship to Turkey before the war be cancelled, Turkey would have probably come in on our side in 1914 and the Gallipoli landings would have been unnecessary.
Guy Hankin, Crediton, UK

Without wanting to trivialise the issue, my only references to Gallipoli are the film of the same name and the song by the Pogues "The band played Waltzing Matilda". Both of these are moving, and evocative, and remain in the memory long afterwards. For an episode in history to generate two such classic pieces, it must surely have been a significant event indeed.
Steve Byrne, London, England

21 thousands soldiers killed in battle over 8 months period; certainly worthy of memory for generations to come and subject of fine journalistic reports.
Krzysztof Grygiel, St. Charles, Missouri, USA

My mother's two elder brothers were killed at Gallipoli within seven days of each other; one was 24 the other 21. I can't imagine how my grandmother must have felt on hearing that both her sons had been killed.
Steve, London, UK

It is great and also important that so many people today remember and keep alive the memory of courage and sacrifice by the soldiers at Gallipoli, but we must also keep things in historical perspective - not just ANZAC troops fought there.
Joshua Teal, Auckland, New Zealand

This is a tragic example of the general mismanagement of World War I, standing beside the Somme and other terrible battles which cost more lives than we can comfortably comprehend. All we learn from history is that we don't learn from history. Thank God Iraq's casualty totals were fewer than Gallipoli, although numbers are meaningless to those who lose loved ones. When will the human race grow up?
Rod Behr, Kent

Before she passed away, my grandmother told me that my great grandfather Stephen Fatt had serviced at Gallipoli with the NZ Canterbury Rifles. The story I heard was that he had been nicknamed 'jumper' by his mates as they had been climbing a ravine and he suddenly jumped 3 feet into the air. Apparently a puff of dust then appeared under him. That was the second shot, the first had had in him the buttocks and he had 'spasmed' into the air. The second shot missed and he survived. He was then sent to England to recover.
Chris Butcher, London, UK (Dargaville NZ)

See clips from the Gallipoli dawn ceremony

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