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Remembering Gallipoli

Violi Calvert

An Australian-Filipina recalls being in Gallipoli to attend a Dawn Service on ANZAC day.

Today, ANZAC Day, brought back memories of my visit to Gallipoli four years ago, where my family attended the Dawn Service on Anzac Day held at Anzac Cove.

We had to be there a day beforehand and travelled by bus from our accommodation at the University of Çanakkale and then across the Dardanelles on a ferry.   

It was eerie to walk on the very grounds where the courageous soldiers from the Turkish, Australian and New Zealand armies had fallen.

The rugged trenches, a reminder of battlefields that witnessed war, reminded us of the difficulties and dangers the soldiers endured.

The war graves. A silent tribute.

We were not allowed out once we entered the compound at Anzac Cove where the Dawn Service was to be held. Security was tight. We slept on our seats, crouched in uncomfortable positions. The temperature kept dropping as the night wore on.

Everyone woke just before 4.30am. A complete hush fell as a soldier played the famous “Last Post” on his bugle.

At that very spine-tingling moment, I felt like we were joined by the soldiers buried in the hallowed grounds we stood on.

The writer was in Turkey in 2010 as the press relations officer of the Australian men’s handball team, which participated in the 2010 Gallipoli TriNations Tournament held in the nearby city of Çanakkale.

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