Gallipoli and the Anzacs

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Special Features

  • The drawings of Major Hore

    An artist at Gallipoli feature

    Lying unseen in the historic NSW Mitchell Library since 1919, Major LFS Hore’s small drawings in ink, pencil, and water-colour reveal a personal view of the beauty, drama and tragedy of the Gallipoli campaign. View 25 of them, with explanatory notes for each.
    Explore Major Hore’s drawings...

  • Drawing Gallipoli: artist Ellis Silas

    The Artist at the Landing feature: Ellis Silas

    Artist Signaller Ellis Silas of 16th battalion kept a diary and a sketchbook from the landing at Gallipoli until he was wounded and evacuated on 17 May. He published his drawings and writings in a book Crusading at Anzac, A.D. 1915 providing a dramatic insight into the dangers, hardships and loss that was Gallipoli.
    View Silas’ drawings...

  • Anzac – an Australian icon

    Using the name ‘Anzac’ feature

    The National Archives of Australia holds applications to use the word ‘Anzac’ or to copyright material associated with Gallipoli and the remembrance of the campaign. View applications Australians have made, from requests to name their children and homes ‘Anzac’ to using the word in songs, cards, designs and product names.
    View ‘Anzac’ images...

  • Bravery awards at Gallipoli

    11 Victoria Cross recipients and their stories of courage

    The Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery in battle in the old British Empire and Dominions, was awarded to eleven soldiers in the Anzac area of Gallipoli between April and December 1915. Discover how these men earned the Victoria Cross for their extraordinary acts of courage.
    Read about the VC winners...

  • The First to Fall

    The story of the 11th Battalion at the Landing

    More than 620 Australians died on the first day of the Gallipoli Campaign. The dawn Landing was carried out by four infantry battalions of the 3rd Brigade. View the details of the 11th Battalion men from Western Australia, who came ashore not at Anzac Cove, but on North Beach and who died that day.
    View the 11th Battalion ‘first to fall’...

  • 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...

  • Cemeteries at Anzac

    Explore each of the 25 Anzac grave sites

    On the Gallipoli Peninsula today are many war cemeteries and memorials to the missing, such as the Lone Pine Memorial. Some, such as Beach Cemetery and Ari Burnu, are visited by many, others such as 4th Battalion Parade Ground, Baby 700, and No. 2 Outpost are off the beaten track. View them here.
    Visit 25 war cemeteries...

  • Cemeteries at Helles

    Explore each of the 9 Helles grave sites

    The Helles Memorial is both the memorial to men who fell in that campaign and whose graves are unknown or who were lost or buried at sea in Gallipoli waters. Nearby are Twelve Tree Copse and N.Z. Memorial, French Cemetery, Lancashire Landing, Pink Farm, V Beach, Wylie Grove, Redoubt and Skew Bridge.
    Visit 9 southern war cemeteries...

  • Exploring the Gallipoli landscape

    The Joint Historical and Archaeological Survey J H A S feature

    The Joint Historical Archaeological Survey (JHAS) including experts from Australia, New Zealand and Turkey has explored and mapped the current state of trenches and ridges, gullies and ravines in the landscape at Gallipoli for several years. Some of their interesting findings are outlined here.
    Read more about Gallipoli archaeology...

  • Turkish memorials

    The Turkish memorials feature

    The Battle of Çanakkale, the Turkish struggle to retain control of the Gallipoli peninsula and the Dardanelles, was a defining moment in their history. Take a tour of the Turkish memorials at Gallipoli including those at Kilitbahir and Çanakkale, the Kanlisirt and Atatürk Memorials, Seddülbahir Fort and Atatürk’s house at Bigali.
    Tour the Turkish Memorials...

  • 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...

  • Albert Jacka VC – AIF legend

    Feature of Victoria Cross recipient Albert Jacka

    Albert Jacka, the first Australian to win a Victoria Cross at Gallipoli, became an instant living legend in the AIF. While insubordinate and outspoken, and even bloody-minded, he was a born battlefield leader, with the 14th Battalion proud to be called ‘Jacka’s Mob. Later, in France, he was twice awarded a Military Cross.
    Read about Jacka at Gallipoli...

Nurses at Gallipoli

Overview: The 3rd AGH (Australian General Hospital) Lemnos Island, Greece, 1915

The 3rd Australian General Hospital, AIF, was set up in response to a request from the British War Office by Thomas Henry Fiaschi, a well-known Italian surgeon. Fiaschi had had a distinguished career as a military surgeon serving with Australian forces during the Boer War where he was awarded the DSO (Distinguished Service Order) and he was appointed the commanding officer of 3AGH. On 15 May 1915, the new unit sailed from Circular Quay, Sydney, on the Mooltan just one month after its formation had been requested. On board were a number of AANS (Australian Army Nursing Service) nurses. As recalled by Sister Anne Donnell, their uniforms were heavy and the weather on the voyage warm:

We had another full dress parade this a.m. and sweltered in our heavy serge dresses, and wrung the perspiration out of them afterwards. Words fail me while this heat lasts - honestly we haven't ceased sweating since the third day out from Australia. A Sergeant-Major died suddenly in the small hours this morning – owing to the heat.

[Anne Donnell, Letters of an Australian Army Sister,
Sydney, 1920, pp.9–10]

A large group of 27 uniformed nursing sisters photographed on fours rows on the ship’s deck

Australian sisters on board S.S Mooltan, 1915 [AW Savage, photo album, PXE 698, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales] ... Enlarge photo

The Mooltan arrived in Plymouth, England, on 27 June and the unit travelled to London. There, preparations were made for their service in France at Etaples. However, on 1 July, 3 AGH received orders to proceed to Mudros on the island of Lemnos in the Aegean Sea near Gallipoli. They were advised that a site had been selected for the tent hospital and that it would be provided with huts about six weeks after their arrival in Mudros.

The days before embarkation were spent in organisation. Both the Australian Red Cross and benefactors in Australia had assisted with equipment and donations for the hospital. All of these, as well as further purchases made in London, including a small laundry plant, had to be loaded on the supply ship, Ascot. On 12 July, Colonel Fiaschi and most of the male personnel embarked on the transport, Simla at Devonport. The men arrived at Mudros on 27-28 July, before the arrival of the Ascot.

The nurses, who had remained in London, embarked in two groups, six days after the men. Sailing on the Themistocles and the Huntsgren, they disembarked at Alexandria on 30 July-1 August. Those who arrived first were distributed between other Australian hospitals pending their embarkation for Lemnos.

At 5 pm on 2 August 1915, the nurses sailed for Mudros on the hospital ship, Dunluce Castle. They reached Mudros on 5 August to find that the Ascot still hadn't arrived:

The officers and men are bivouacking amongst the rocks and stones and thistles of the camp site - there are no tents: no store-ship.

[Lieutenant Colonel J A Dick, '3rd Australian General Hospital', manuscript, MSS 407, Australian War Memorial 224]

Arrival of first detachment of Sisters on Lemnos Island, marching in line to the hospital headed by a piper.

Arrival of first detachment of Sisters. [AW Savage, photo album, PXE 698, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales] ... Enlarge photo

With no accommodation ashore, the nurses were transferred from the Dunluce to the Simla, anchored in the harbour. Six of the nurses left for 10 days temporary duty on board the hospital ship, Formosa.

By 7 August, after lots of hard work, the hospital site was pegged out and some marquees that had been found in a small ordnance store were erected. At about 7 p.m. on 8 August, forty of the nurses were landed and, accompanied by a piper, were marched into their new tents. The remainder landed at North Pier the next day, the day the hospital opened. [Lieutenant Colonel J A Dick, 3rd Australian General Hospital, manuscript, MSS 407, Australian War Memorial 224]

Before breakfast on 9 August, more than 200 wounded and sick had been admitted to the new hospital. Four days later, there were more than 800 patients:

The officers' mess and all utensils were given up today for wounded as was the orderly office marquee. Still no store ship and making do … AGH personnel still bivouacking … Sick and wounded on ground on mackintosh sheets and blankets or palliasses on floor of tents

[Lieutenant Colonel J A Dick, 3rd Australian General Hospital, manuscript, MSS 407, Australian War Memorial 224]

A large burial party stand beside a long row of open graves as an Honour guard fires a rifle salute

The firing after a burial, Lemnos Island [AW Savage, photo album, PXE 698, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales] ... Enlarge photo

The entries in 'The Register of Deaths' of 3AGH showed the different causes of death during the Gallipoli campaign. For example, the four soldiers who died on 9 August – the day the hospital opened - all did so from gunshot wounds. Indeed, between 9 August and 22 August, 32 men died of wounds and only one of disease. These days marked the height of the 'August Offensive' on Anzac and thousands of wounded were being brought to all the hospitals on Lemnos. Although it was an Australian unit and the policy was, where possible, to treat Australians in Australian hospitals, the 3AGH admitted large numbers of wounded from all the allied armies. Of the 32 who died of wounds at 3AGH during the 'August Offensive' only seven were Australian soldiers. After the end of August 1915, most of the deaths at 3AGH were from disease.

The first entry in the 'Register' is for Private Eric Bloom, 2nd Battalion, AIF, who died from a severe gunshot wound. He was actually 'admitted dead'. It is likely, although not certain, that he received his wound during his battalion's participation in the Lone Pine battle of 6 to 9 August. Over those three days, 172 men of the 2nd Battalion were either killed or wounded.

Nurses rugged up in greatcoats, balaclavas or woolen caps brave the cold

Winter time [AW Savage, photo album, PXE 698, Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales] ... Enlarge photo

The Ascot, carrying all the 3AGH's main stores, finally arrived at Mudros on 20 August. However, in late October, when Staff Nurse Anne Donnell arrived at Mudros, she wrote that although huts were being prepared for them, the Australian nurses were still in tents, unlike their Canadian and English colleagues who were already living comfortably in huts on the island. The 3rd AGH was not the only hospital on Lemnos. There was also the 2nd Australian Stationary Hospital, the 1st and 3rd Canadian Hospitals, convalescent camps and various English hospitals situated at Mudros and East Mudros. Sister Donnell recalled the miserable autumn at Mudros:

The weather is terrible, bitterly cold, with a high wind and rain. We are nearly frozen, even in our balaclavas, mufflers, mittens, cardigans, raincoats and Wellingtons. It's a mercy we have ample warm clothing else we should perish. Last night five tents blew down, one ward tent and four Sister's tents.

[Anne Donnell, Letters of an Australian Army Sister, Sydney, 1920, p.58]

She also lamented their diet: no fruit or vegetables and butter and eggs only once a month.

On 4 November, Colonel Fiaschi, who was seriously ill, was evacuated to London and Lieutenant Colonel Constantine De Crespigny took over as Commanding Officer until the 3rd AGH left Lemnos for Egypt in January 1916. When the 1040 bed hospital closed in Egypt in January 1916, it had treated 7400 patients of whom only 143 had died. The hospital later went from Egypt to Brighton, England, and then to Abbeville, France where it was based until 1919.


  • Lieutenant Colonel J A Dick, '3rd Australian General Hospital: Formation of at Sydney, NSW, April 15th 1915, voyage to England and to Lemnos 1915, establishing at Mudros West, Lemnos', manuscript, MSS 407, Australian War Memorial 224.
  • Anne Donnell, Letters of an Australian Army Sister, Sydney, 1920.
  • 'Register of Deaths', 3rd Australian General Hospital, Mss 408, Australian War Memorial 224.
  • 3rd Australian General Hospital war diary, Unit War Diaries 1914-18 War, items 26/18/19, Australian War Memorial 4.
  • For more information on Thomas Henry Fiaschi see the Hawkesbury District Health Service website.