Short stories, Travel and Health Information
On this ANZAC day in 2021, I reflected on my own visit to Gallipoli in 2015. Then while serving as a Major in the Australian Army, I was privileged to be deployed as the medical officer accompanying the Australian Defence Force Contingent participating in the centenary commemoration of the Battle of Lone Pine. Here is the article I wrote at the time – with mention of the Sri Lankan (Ceylonese) soldiers who served at Gallipoli.
Sanjiva Wijesinha -writer and physician
I am seated by the large window in my 5th floor hotel room in the Turkish city of Canakkale, looking out over the picturesque Dardanelles Waterway at the hills of the Gallipoli peninsula across the water.
Gallipoli lies on the European side of the Dardanelles – close to where three thousand years ago the ships of the Achaean Greeks arrived to cross the strait and begin the Trojan War. The ruins of Troy (called Truva by the Turkish) lie in Canakkale province on the Asian side of Turkey, some 30 km southwest of where I now am.
It was in these now tranquil waters that during the First World War, on March 18th 1915, a fleet of British and French battleships with powerful names like Irrestible, Inflexible, Queen Elizabeth and Charlemagne tried to force their way through the strait towards Constantinople. Bombarded from the Turkish shore batteries on either…
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