Dardanelles

Observations of ANZAC Day at Gallipoli

Now I am back in Dubai after sitting for hours on buses and spending a day touring Istanbul I thought ‘d write a post about general observations of Turkey, Gallipoli and ANZAC day.

It must have been difficult managing the transit of more than 20,000 people plus all the support crews to ensure people were safe and secure for the centenary. Of course there are issues, but moving that many people down a single road more than 400kms from Istanbul would be a nightmare.

Fortunately it as all handled really well, except for the timings which became frustrating. But we all got there, and all got back so it worked. Why things became frustrating was basically due to wrong or lack of proper information.

For example in all literature it states that travel to and from Istanbul is about 5 and half hours. This is so wrong it became a standing joke. It would be that time in a car with no traffic or security check points.

On the 24th we were picked up at 0600 from the hotel and delivered to Taksim Square to the big bus…we waited there 1 hour. The first of many waits. As we drove to the Blue Mosque we actually drove past our hotel again…so the 1 hour wait was unnecessary and also the early rise.

At the Blue Mosque there were over 300 coaches and we waited there for two hours before moving off. So far we had spent more time waiting than driving. Everything was starting to have a classic army “hurry up and wait” look and feel.

We proceeded out of Istanbul and down the freeways on the peninsula, by this time the bus was rambunctious…with Kiwis and Aussie liberally sledging each other ?with light hearted banter. We had a good bunch of people on our bus apart from one bag…but you always have one in every group.

The five and half hours was long since past. ?? Read more »

Taking these back to where they were won

Harry Crozier's medals from Gallipoli campaign

Harry Crozier’s medals from Gallipoli campaign

This evening I am leaving with my father to go to Gallipoli. Mum and Dad were going to go and were booked to go more than two years ago.?Mum of course contracted cancer and passed away, unable to ever go to Gallipoli. This will be an incredibly emotional trip for the both of us.

This has always been on my bucket list and to go for the centenary is an honour and a privilege.

We are stopping off in Dubai to visit my brother who lives there and then on to Istanbul and then to Gallipoli for the 100 year commemorations.

Yesterday I managed to pick up my great grandfather’s medal from that campaign. I spent some time with Harry’s son going over a lot of the memorabilia that he still has. It has been 30 years since I last saw him and I enjoyed my time yesterday afternoon with him. To have the medals sitting on the?passenger seat on the drive home was special.

They are a little worse for wear and when we get back I will look at preserving them in a more appropriate manner. I will be looking for some ideas for presentation, but I think his service needs to be properly recognised and displayed rather than kept in a drawer. I am proud of the service record of our family. It should be displayed. It is the only real way to keep the memory alive. ? Read more »

Gallipoli 2015 – Is anyone going?

Harry Crozier, learned to carve convalescing at Rotorua

 

My Dad and I have won tickets from the ballot…finally a dream come true to travel to Gallipoli and for the centenary as well.

There are only around 2,000 Kiwis able to attend commemorations, so I feel incredibly privileged,

Do any other readers have tickets and are attending? Perhaps we could catch up in Istanbul?

Information on travelling from Istanbul to Gallipoli is hard to come by. ? Read more »

Gallipoli ballot research throws up some interesting researching

Crozier-casualty Form

Fairfax reports on people looking into war records to support their application to attend the Gallipoli centenary in 2015. I would love to go, but haven’t entered the ballot, even though my great-grandfather served and was wounded at Gallipoli.

Hundreds of New Zealanders have had applications for the Gallipoli ballot rejected – with some finding Grandad wasn’t the war hero they thought.

More than 260 disappointed applicants have had entries to the centenary celebrations in Turkey on April 25, 2015 invalidated by the Defence Force, with the military double-checking all personnel files with Archives New Zealand.

Entries were also rejected for being late, filled out by non-New Zealand citizens, and not containing enough information. Some desperate to get a spot at Anzac Cove tried to sneak in multiple entries.? Read more »