Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lest We Forget & my grandad at Gallipoli

Today in Australia, we remember the ANZACs who went to war and the many soldiers throughout our military history who sacrificed their lives so we can live in peace.

anzac cove gallipoli

"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 the 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.
Having lost their lives on this land they have 
become our sons as well"

Ataturk - 1934, ANZAC Memorial at Gallipoli, Turkey

anzac cove gallipoli ataturk poem

I love this poem by Ataturk. What a great leader he was.

In 2002 Phil and I travelled extensively through Turkey; and like most Australians who go there, we made sure we spent some time at Gallipoli. It was very special trip for me as not only am I very proud to have been Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force; but more importantly my maternal grandfather, Harold Louat, spent time at Gallipoli in WWI as a young ambulance man, working alongside the famous Simpson and his donkey.  He was too young to fight and actually too young to join as an ambulance man but his family was French and his parents let him lie about his age so he could go and fight in France.  Grandad did his training on the battlefields of Gallipoli and then was sent to the battlefields of Ypres in Belgium.  He came home injured from a bomb shell in his thigh which resulted in a limp.  My other grandfather, Frank, was a POW in Changi in WWII so today I thank them and remember them as well as all the people who fight bravely in terrible wars.

anzac cove gallipoli


I'm sure Anzac Cove is much more crowded today for the dawn service, but when we were there in July 2002, it was very peaceful. We swam in the warm clear blue cove and found rusty old bullet shells amongst the sunken boats. It is very confronting being there and seeing the harsh impossible conditions our soldiers faced. What were the British thinking? It was an impossible wasteful initiative. So very sad.


lilyfield life

This photo is of my grandad, Harold, from WW1. He was so young.

Have you been to Turkey? To Gallipoli? It's an absolute honour to be there and to be greeted so warmly by the beautiful Turkish people.

Lest we forget.


4 comments:

  1. your post portrays a very proud grand daughter...so loveley of you to share!
    Bec x

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  2. What a lovely post. I visited Gallipoli in July of 2009, and was struck that such horrors could occur in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I love Turkey and the Turkish people. That they let their enemy come every year and commemorate, that Ataturk was so wise, that there was respect between then Turkish and Anzac soldiers even when they were battling each other.
    Lest we forget.

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  3. Lovely post Fiona - thank you for sharing :)

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  4. Such a beautiful post Fiona. Those words from Ataturk show such compassion for all involved.

    Ness your comment could almost have been written by my daughter who was in Turkey and Gallipoli last year for Anzac Day. She went to the Dawn Service and did a reading later that morning at the Lone Pine Service. That trip was without a doubt one of the most amazing trips of her lifetime. I know she hopes to travel back to Turkey again, such was her love of the Country and the Turkish people. I recall she loved how she was told how beautiful she was daily by the salesman etc, even though they were trying to sell her stuff, it was good for her ego ;) Ang

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