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The Rock-itt : May 2011
For many people ANZAC can mean a variety of things, a dawn service at a local park, a visit to the local RSL to play Two Up or just another day off work and a chance to drink a few beers. But for most who realise the importance of this day, it is a chance to remember those who went before us who paid the ultimate sacrifice...their lives. Most Australians will never get the chance to travel to ANZAC Cove in Turkey's Gallipoli province so I felt that this month we should share what ANZAC looks like today. So I have chosen to commemorate this month's article to a generation of Diggers by showing our readership photographs of the ANZAC battlefield as it is today. The first photograph is of the beach at ANZAC looking south from Ari Burnu, a little headland where on the pre dawn morning of the 25th April 1915, a Turkish Machine Gun post strafed the invading Australian and New Zealand troops as they landed in their boats. The next headland you can see in the photograph is what was known as Hellfire Spit, named so because the Turks had an artillery battery stationed at the next headland south which you can see in the middle horizon, called Gabe Tepe. The next photograph gives the reader the sense of the height of the terrain that our Diggers were expected to attack against. You can see the "Sphinx" from this cemetery at ANZAC Cove which is actually situated just north of Ari Burnu. It is at this spot that the Annual Dawn Service at ANZAC is held. The Aussie troops felt that this particular feature of the barren hills reminded them of the real Sphinx that they had been training near in Egypt before they embarked for the attack. The journey from the beach was not easy; at first the soldiers had to discard their main kit and with a pack and rifle they had to climb a large bluff at beach level and then up a series of ridges. Some were easily lost in the poor light, and few actually managed to advance and stay in touch with each other because of the difficulty of the terrain. The next picture is of Shrapnel Gully cemetery looking west from Monash Valley towards the small hill called Ari Burnu where the first Turkish contact was made. Some Turks were either killed very quickly or outnumbered, chose to flee the oncoming invading troops their keenness to demonstrate to their commanding officers. All through this terrain, the little Arbutus tree, a dwarf Oak tree with prickly leaves, tore at the soldier's clothing; you can see this scrub in the photograph. The beach at ANZAC looking south from Ari Burnu Hellfire Spit By Simon Lyon