Gallipoli and the Anzacs

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Special Features

  • The Gallipoli story in ten pictures

    The North Beach Commemorative Site feature

    The Anzac Commemorative site, 300 metres north of Ari Burnu at North Beach, has ten large panels that tell the story. View these panels and read the text in English or Turkish. The historian who designed the panels explains why he chose these particular images to tell the Gallipoli story to visitors.
    View the commemorative panels...

  • A walk around 14 battlefield sites

    Explore the 1 day Anzac walk feature

    The Anzac Walk is designed for the visitor who has little time but can devote one day to explore the main area the Anzacs held on Gallipoli. These short accounts of daily life and death at Anzac Cove, Ari Burnu, Lone Pine and other locations can also be downloaded as audio files.
    Take the Anzac Walk...

  • Gallipoli War correspondent: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett

    The War correspondent Ashmead-Bartlett feature

    Read the first-hand report of war correspondent Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett on the Australian dawn Landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, his struggles with military censorship, his letter to the British Prime Minister that helped end the Gallipoli Campaign, and extracts from his diaries.
    Read Ashmead-Bartlett’s accounts...

  • Fighting back

    The story of the Gallipoli battles between May and August 1915

    Many Australians only know of the dawn landing at Gallipoli on 25 April and the December evacuation. Explore several of the bitterly fought battles of the campaign from May to August, including the Battle of Krithia, the August Offensive, the Battle of Lone Pine and Hill 60.
    Read about the battles here...

  • Evacuation: planning, subterfuge and pure luck

    Leaving Gallipoli and Remembering Anzac feature

    The evacuation, although a retreat, is remembered as a highly successful operation that through planning, subterfuge and pure luck, many lives were saved from what could have been a slaughter. 26,000 men were withdrawn without incident over two nights on 18-19 and 19-20 December 1915. Many men record great sadness at leaving fallen friends behind.
    Read about the Gallipoli evacuation...

North Beach and the Sari Bair Range,
25 April–20 December 1915

Overview: North Beach and Anzac Cove

Recent photo: North Beach.

The southern end of North Beach, dominated by the Sphinx and Plugge’s Plateau, where Australian soldiers landed on the morning of 25 April 1915. [Photo courtesy Tom Curran] ... Enlarge photo

The complete text of the book: A Duty Clear Before Us, researched and written by Dr Richard Reid.

For Australians and New Zealanders, the landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915 is forever associated with a short stretch of beach known as Anzac Cove. The cove was part of the small portion of the Gallipoli peninsula captured that day by the men of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps–the ‘Anzacs’–and held until the evacuation in December 1915. Australia’s official war historian, Charles Bean, would later describe this small area as ‘Old Anzac’. The sites of ‘Old Anzac’ have ever been sacred to Australians and New Zealanders for their associations with events such as the Landing, the Battle of Lone Pine and the charge at The Nek. But, as the term ‘Old Anzac’ suggests, there was more to the whole ‘Anzac’ position on Gallipoli than the few square kilometres of Turkey seized on 25 April.

Approaching Anzac Cove from the sea, an arresting sight is the amphitheatre of coastline and escarpment immediately to the north. Beyond Ari Burnu point, at the northern end of the cove, North Beach and then Ocean Beach sweep away in a great semi-circle towards the lowlands of Suvla Bay. Bordering this coastline, precipitous and sparsely vegetated spurs run down to the sea from a range of high hills which terminates at Kocacimentepe–the hill of the great pasture. At North Beach, the eye is drawn to a spectacular natural feature. This is the ‘Sphinx’, a worn and weathered pinnacle from which the ground falls steeply away into narrow gullies. To the Turks, the Sphinx was Yuksek Tepe, ‘High Hill’, and its steep slopes Sari Bair, ‘Yellow Slope’. In Australian, New Zealand and British accounts of the Gallipoli campaign, the high hills leading to Kocacimentepe were known as the Sari Bair Range and Kocacimentepe as Hill 971.

Recent photo: North Beach from the sea with Sphinx in the background

The approach to North Beach by sea.
[Photo courtesy Tom Curran] ... Enlarge photo

On 25 April 1915, some of the first waves of Australians landed at North Beach beneath the Sphinx. Thus, North Beach was part of ‘Old Anzac’. However, in early August 1915, thousands of Australian, New Zealand, British and Indian troops marched from North Beach up the coast and into the hills in an attempt to seize the heights of the Sari Bair range. This great assault, together with the Australian attack on the Turkish positions at Lone Pine, was the start of the so-called ‘August offensive’. This resulted in a significant enlargement of the Anzac area, so that it now embraced a region along the coast and up the valleys of the Sari Bair Range to trench lines just short of the peaks.

What happened in 1915 in the rugged landscape leading to Kocacimentepe is as much part of the Gallipoli campaign as what happened at ‘Old Anzac’. This booklet tells that story.