Anzac Day Reflections

Nigel Astridge has travelled to ANZAC Day at Gallipoli with PP Travel and Indigo Tours for over 10 years. In this series by Nigel, he shares with us some reflective thoughts, personal observations and valuable insight on the involvement of New Zealanders (and Australians) in the tragic and failed ANZAC Gallipoli campaign of long ago that eventually defined us as the nations we are today.

'From the uttermost ends of the earth'

....And so we arrive at the place called Chunuk Bair, we have made our way on foot from the beach at Anzac Cove up Artillery Road, past Shell Green Cemetery with its perfect white headstones, up to Lone Pine and along the ridge line of the Sari Bair range some 5 kilometers uphill past, Johnsons Jolly, Courtneys & Steels Post, Quinns Post, Walkers Ridge, The Nek, The Turkish 57th Regiment Cemetery and on to Chunuk Bair.

Pine trees stand tall now and a cool breeze is refreshing on this clear blue day. The views are magnificent, looking East you can see the Dardanelles in the distance, and to the West the terrain drops down sharply into steep gullys, with the beach at the bottom where the Mediterranean is calm, deep and blue. To the north along the coast is Suvla Bay and its Salt Lake shimmering in the distance like a mirage. Around the summit here at Chunuk Bair the remains of trenches from that tragic time all those years ago, are a reminder that this place has not always been the beautiful, peaceful site that it is now. On the days of the 6th to the 10th of August 1915 this place was 'hell on earth'

As I stand on the top of a Turkish trench looking down the steep ravines to the beach below the bloke next to me says what we are all thinking, 'bloody hell, they came up there!'

To our left is Rhododendron Ridge which was the only way to reach this summit and it was from a point known as the Apex that the New Zealand troops had some shelter from Turkish sniper and machine gun fire, it was from this point that wave after wave of the Auckland Battalion were cut down only 200 metres from the summit as they were ordered on in broad daylight, it is from this point that the Wellinton Battlions commander, Leiutenant-Colonel William Malone refused a direct order (not for the first time), to send his men on to certain death, instead insisting that they wait until dark before pushing on for the summit. It is from this place that Cyrill Bassett distinguished himself and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions. But there were others, so many others.

As many of our readers know we have covered Cyril Basset in an earlier Blog and in future Blogs we will humbly attempt to give credence to those hero's that will never be forgotten.

If you would like to know more about Nigel or anything regarding any of these ANZAC Blogs you can personally meet with Nigel at ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli Peninsular, Turkey around 5.00am on the 25th April 2010.

PP Travel and Indigo Tours aim to offer the best quality possible from a tour service to Turkey for the ANZAC memorial services in 2010 and beyond. With local Turkish history guides as well as either an Aussie or Kiwi guide for each group on each coach, you can be sure our tours will be as comprehensive as possible.

Check out our website to find out more about our ANZAC Day 2010 tour options where, with tours starting from just GBP99, you will certainly find an option to suit your taste and budget.

Thanks for reading and as always LEST WE FORGET!

Posted: 25 November 2009 16:40:02 GMT by MarkBeing at Gallipoli exactly 104 years on from when our forefathers landed in Turkey, creating the Anzac legend, will be a moment cherished by a privileged few. PP Travel is a an Australian and NZ DVA recognised Anzac tour operator who will be returning to Anzac Cove in 2019 with our highly acclaimed authorised tours. Join a professional tour company in a spirit of reverence and respect with our great value tour options. Our tours are open to everyone as there is no ballot required to attend the dawn service in 2019. PP Travel is still a 100% Aussie and Kiwi Owned and has been since 1991, experience counts! Find out more about Anzac Day.

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