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Australia's ANZAC Capital

The ANZAC'S  Centenary program will take place over a number of months with special events planned for the traditional ANZAC day and Remembrance Day from 2013 through to 2018.

IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER 

November 2013  -   Ataturk Commemorations

1 November 2014 - Departure of the Convoys Re-enactment

25 April 2015 -        Centenary of ANZAC

April 2016 -             Padre White Commemorative Dawn Service

November 2017 -    Cultural Salute to the ANZAC's

Albany Region's special place in the ANZAC History is recognised at many sites in and around the region.

The Desert Mountain Corps

memorial situated at the top of Mount Clarence, features a statue of an Australian mounted soldier assisting a New Zealand soldier whose horse had been wounded.  The wall bears the words 'Lest We Forget'.  This is the ANZAC Light Horse Memorial to the Gallipoli warriors. Originally erected in Cairo in 1923 it was wrecked in 1956 during the conflict over ownership of the Suez Canal. Parts of the metal casting were recovered and shipped to Australia where this replica was made. In a reciprocal agreement in 1985 the channel leading into Princess Harbour was officially named Ataturk Channel whilst the Turkish Govt. offically named the beach at Gallipoli where the Australian and New Zealand troops landed "Anzac Cove". In 2002 a statue of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk was erected overlooking the Channel.

The view from the top of Mount Clarence are awesome.  currently a work in progress is the Padre White Lookout.

Princess Royal Fortress

is on a very impressive site on Mount Adelaide. Here you can find Military Heritage Centre, Ellam-Innes Collection, Naval Display, Australian Light Horse Museum, former HMAS Perth Interpretive Centre and the First Dawn Display. 

The Ataturk Channel

Albany has commemorated our Anzac links by naming the channel, between King George Sound and Princess Royal Harbour, Ataturk Channel. There is also a large statue of Ataturk looking out over the channel.

A bronze statue of Mustafa Kemal Pasha 'Ataturk', the founder of the Turkish Republic and its first President standing atop a limestone dome representing a globe. Dressed in a suit (European attire), he clutches in his right hand the poignant speech he delivered to the first Australians, New Zealanders and British to visit the Gallipoli battlefields in 1934. Written across the dome is his motto "Peace at Home, Peace in the World"

PEACE AT HOME PEACE IN THE WORLD
At a dawn service in 1934 in Gallipoli referring to the ANZAC troops
He said :
" Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives ...
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the
Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side ....
You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away
countries. Wipe away your tears, your sons are now lying in
our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives
they are now our sons as well."

Thank you Julie Miscamble - entry in Albany Region Photo Compeitition

Connection between Albany and Ataturk : Some people, upon stumbling across the Ataturk statue in Albany, would question why a grand  memorial would be erected in honor of a man who fought against Australian troops during the Battle of Gallipoli.

Well, things changed for both the ANZACS and the Turks on a day in May. Prior to this both sides had been fighting faceless enemies.  However, on the 19th of May, 1915, things changed when 40,000 Turks decided to attack 13,000 ANZACS in a counter attack. 10,000 bodies of mainly Turkish soldiers lay strewn across the battlefield. It wasn't long before the stench of rotting corpses became unbearable and both sides agreed on a several day truce so they could bury the dead. During this time the enemies mingled and a bond was formed. Surprisingly the Australian and New Zealand soldiers discovered their enemies, the Turks, had similar traits and attitudes as themselves including a good sense of humour, mateship and bravery (the ANZAC Spirit). As a result, despite the continuation of the war, the ANZACS now treated their enemy more like sporting rivals.

Through shared misery and mutual respect for each other it has been rumored the ANZACs and Turks each took a daily coffee and smoke break during fighting. Allowing the soldiers to climb out of their respective bunkers to stretch their legs and take a breather without fear of being shot at. However, when the smoko was over the shooting resumed. Another story retold how the Turkish solders would throw boxes of hand rolled cigarettes to their enemies and in return the ANZAC soldiers would throw back tins of food.

By the end the Battle of Gallipoli over 130,000 soldiers (from both sides) would lose their lives.

In 1930,  15 years after the Battle of Gallipoli, President Ataturk received a letter from the mothers of the fallen ANZAC soldiers requesting permission to visit the graves of their sons. In response he sat down and wrote this poignant letter to the women. Ataturk later used these same words in a speech to the first Australians, New Zealanders and British to visit the Gallipoli battlefields.

"Heroes who shed their blood and lost their lives! You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well."

Following this reply an unbroken kinship between the two countries was forged.

Today the definition of the "Anzac spirit"  includes the Turks.

Albany was the last port of call for soldiers heading off to fight during World War I. It was also the location of the First Dawn Service on the 25th April 1930, conducted by Chaplain Arthur White on top of Mt Clarence. Today the city has become a popular  place to celebrate and pay homage to the ANZACS.

Taken from Public Art Around the World