25th April 2010 will be the 95th Anniversary of the landing of Australian troops on the shores of Gallipoli.
The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, has recently announced a number of initiatives to commemorate the Anniversary including:
- Gallipoli’s Victoria Cross Medals to tour Australia;
Photo: Corporal Alexander Burton VC [AWM H06785]
Scroll down to see more details of the Tour for the Australian War Memorial’s collection of Victoria Cross medals from Gallipoli.
- The release of a new walking guide to the peninsula, The Anzac Walk – Gallipoli in a day;
Scroll down to see more details of the new walking guide to the Gallipoli peninsula, The Anzac Walk – Gallipoli in a day.
The launch of a trial of a new visitor registration service to help travellers attending Anzac Day services at Gallipoli.
GALLIPOLI’S VICTORIA CROSS MEDALS TO TOUR AUSTRALIA
The Australian War Memorial’s collection of Victoria Cross medals from Gallipoli will tour the nation for the first time to commemorate the 95th anniversary of the landing.
Announcing the tour, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Alan Griffin said it was a valuable opportunity for more Australians to see Anzacs’ Victoria Cross medals.
“Gallipoli was where the Anzac legend was born. These nine Anzacs epitomise the courage and sacrifice of those who fought there,” Mr Griffin said.
Australian War Memorial Director Steve Gower said the special touring exhibition This company of brave men; the Gallipoli VCs, is presented by the Australian War Memorial and made possible through the generous support of Mr Kerry Stokes AC and Seven Network Limited.
“The Victoria Cross is the highest form of recognition that can be bestowed on a soldier for remarkable and unselfish courage in the service of others. The entire nation draws pride and inspiration from these brave men,” Mr Gower said.
The nine Victoria Crosses will travel to Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland, from 20 March 2010.
Mr Stokes said he was always conscious of the special place the VCs have in the hearts of all Australians.
“When the Australian War Memorial presented an opportunity to tour the Gallipoli VCs for the first time, I personally sought to ensure that all Australians would be able to visit the exhibition free of charge and learn about the lives of these brave men. The VCs are such an important vital part of our lives, in many respects they are a part of our core essence as Australians.
“I am also pleased that Seven is playing such an important role in ensuring all Australians are aware of this extraordinary and touching exhibition.”
The touring exhibition will feature the medals of Corporal Alexander Burton, Corporal William Dunstan, Private John Hamilton, Lance Corporal Albert Jacka, Lance Corporal Leonard Keysor, Captain Alfred Shout, Lieutenant William Symons, Second Lieutenant Hugo Throssell, and Lieutenant Frederick Tubb.
Seven of the nine Victoria Crosses awarded at Gallipoli were for bravery during the battle of Lone Pine, on 6-7 August 1915. A total of 97 Australians have received the Victoria Cross.
Photo: Lance Corporal Leonard Keysor [AWM P02939.007]
WALKING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF OUR ANZACS
Australian visitors to Gallipoli will benefit from two initiatives launched by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, at the Australian War Memorial.
A new walking guide to the peninsula, The Anzac Walk – Gallipoli in a day, has been produced in time for Anzac Day and a new visitor registration service is being trialled this year to help travellers attending Anzac Day services at Gallipoli.
“Gallipoli marks a defining moment in our nation’s history,” Mr Griffin said.
“To be at Gallipoli, on Anzac Day or at any time, is opportunity to get a glimpse into that moment, especially as we near the 95th anniversary of the landing.
“Many Australians visit Gallipoli each year to pay tribute to the soldiers who forged the Anzac legend and the Australian Government is pleased to offer resources to ensure they get the most of out of their visit. We would like them to come prepared,” he said.
“In the past we have seen some Australian travellers arrive at Gallipoli wearing just thongs on their feet and a light jumper to keep warm. The weather at Gallipoli can be extreme – below zero and often windy overnight, hot during the day and there is always a chance of rain.
“I encourage travellers planning to attend Anzac Day services at Gallipoli to register and receive important updates in the lead-up to Anzac Day, helpful information on what to bring with them and what to expect at Gallipoli.”
Registration is via the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website, www.dva.gov.au/anzac
Mr Griffin said Australians travelling to Gallipoli at any time of the year should pack or download a copy of The Anzac Walk – Gallipoli in a day.
“Starting at North Beach the guide takes you on foot to key sites including Anzac Cove, Lone Pine, the Nek, Johnston’s Jolly and Shrapnel Valley,” said Mr Griffin.
“The guide gives first-hand accounts of what it was like for an Australian soldier at that particular stop on the Gallipoli battlefield. To understand our history, particularly those dark parts where pain and loss prevailed, is to understand the incredible resilience of our Anzacs.”
Mr Griffin also launched the 2010 Anzac Day poster today, featuring images of the Anzacs arriving at Gallipoli in 1915 and of Anzac Cove today.
“This year marks 95 years since the Anzac legend was forged on the shores of the Gallipoli peninsula. To help commemorate this anniversary my Department has produced an Anzac Day commemorative poster focused on Gallipoli and the legacy of the Anzacs. These will be mailed nationally to schools, ex-service and community organisations in the coming weeks,” he said.
* Copies of The Anzac Walk are available from the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, and Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne. Audio and text excerpts of the guide, in English and Turkish, can be downloaded from www.anzacsite.gov.au
The Families and Friends of the First AIF applauds the joint Australian–UK decision to conduct a full DNA testing program on the remains of Australian and British soldiers found in mass graves at Pheasant Wood (Fromelles), and for their continuing commitment to identify as many of the fallen as is possible. We also thank the Australian, UK and French governments for affording dignified individual reburials for these soldiers, buried by German soldiers following the Battle of Fromelles on 19/20 July 1916, in the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery.