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The Rock-itt : September 2011
to the shores and ridges of Gallipoli where he studied the battlefield from both aspects for the first tim e and tried to link up his stories with those of Turkish officers who had served there in the opposite trenches, one of whom was Major Zeki Bey who proved to be an invaluable source when cross examined by Bean. During this period he and artist George Lambert recorded for posterity the battlefield in colourful paintings and drawings and collected war relics which were to be sent back to Australia, which now can be s een in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Another vital role of the Mission was to ensure that the Diggers graves had been well tended and not robbed or destroyed after the Eavacuation in December 1915. Whilst there were rumours and some evidence of some destruction to some graves which may have been wild dogs or hogs, and some wooden crosses had been removed for firewood for the remaining Turkish forces who were statioend on the peninsula for 3 more cruel winters, Bean’s records were crucial in indentifying missing or dead soldiers and set the ground work for the Graves Registration Unit which was the forerunner of the Imperial War Graves Commission which is now known as the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. All around the world, you can find these beautifully tended cem eteries with white Lim estone headstones (except at Gallipoli where in deference to the host nation’s religion it was felt that headstones should lie flat). Anywhere where the Diggers have fought and died, they are remembered in these wonderful memorials to their ultimate sacrifice. Bean’s vision of consolidating all the relics and photographs in some Memorial-centered National Museum was the driving force behind the final construction of arguably the most magnificent War Memorial Museum in the World. Construction started in 1941 and Charles Bean was there to greet the new Queen of England in 1954 during her Australian Tour. Melbourne’s magnificent Shrine of Remembrance on the St Kilda Road is one of the most striking war m emorials around and General Sir John Monash was heavily involved in the planning of this famous monument. The ANZAC Memorial in Sydney’s Hyde Park is also a very important national monument to comm emorate the fallen of all wars and it a must see. Lone Pine’s CWGC Cemetery at ANZAC