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So you think you know about Gallipoli? The Second International Gallipoli Symposium will teach you more

By johnboy 3 April 2009 47

Here’s a fun announcement out of ANU in the lead-up to Anzac Day.

The Second International Gallipoli Symposium is taking place at ANU’s Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies from 15 to 16 April 2009.

    “For many people, Gallipoli exists in a kind of time bubble that popped into being in 1915, a chamber of national memories which we open up once a year on Anzac Day,” argues historian Dr Peter Londey from the School of Humanities at ANU. “We want to show that rather than being a ‘silent wilderness’ on which a brief WWI campaign was fought, the peninsula has been a site of numerous settlements, population movements and wars for thousands of years.”…

    The research team will dig deep into the Bronze Age, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and contemporary periods, looking at the history of human settlement, the military history of the region, and the layering of memories as the many visitors to the peninsula have reacted to the landscape and its stories.

    “In ancient Greek times, for example, there were several expeditions from Athens and Sparta to help defend the Greek settlements on the Gallipoli peninsula from Thracian incursions,” Dr Londey said. “The Greeks even built a major defensive wall across the top of the peninsula – the remains of which we’ll be looking for.”

Because when Anzac Day rolls around who can know too much about Gallipoli?

UPDATED: Not to be outdone the War Memorial has announced they’re having lectures this Sunday 5 April:

    This Sunday, three historians from the Australian War Memorial will present fascinating talks on the ANZAC experience at Gallipoli.

    As ANZAC Day approaches, accounts of Gallipoli will focus on courage, endurance, humour in adversity and, above all, mateship.

    Yet, Gallipoli has a dark side. As well as being poorly led, the Australians soldiers were poorly trained and suffered needless casualties as a result. Improvement at all levels was slow in coming. When the last great attempt to win the campaign was made in August, many of the earlier problems arose again.

    This presentation will bring a sense of perspective and objectivity to a subject that has become cloaked in popular myths and misconceptions. It promises to be stimulating, thought-provoking and controversial.

2pm-4pm in the BAE Systems Theatre. Admission Free.

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47 Responses to
So you think you know about Gallipoli? The Second International Gallipoli Symposium will teach you more
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Whatsup 10:46 am 04 Apr 09

My family members didn’t serve in WWI or WW2. Both my grandfathers had jobs that required them to “support the war effort” here in Australia.

That said I have attended many Anzac Day Marches and the sound of the Last Post brings all the hair on my neck to a stand and a shiver runs down my spine. The story of the Anzac will touch people in different ways and prompt various responses, you don’t need a blood relative to feel it.

Deadmandrinking 10:44 am 04 Apr 09

Cannon Fodder day.

We should remember Gallipoli for the sake of remembering what a terrible thing war is. Too many young men died for no reason that day. I hardly see how it could inspire patriotism. I think it should inspire people to put diplomacy well before military action.

BerraBoy68 10:37 am 04 Apr 09

Sorry JB, (the last 2 para’s of my post are, I believe are on topic).

Does anybody know of any turkish accounts of the Gallipoli campaign that have been translated and published?

From all accounts many Turks respected Australian soldiers and on one occassion called out pleading to the Australians not to attack any more. They recognised the futility of the charges.

I think Ataturk’s speech about the Campaign (and inscribed on the Turkish memorial on ANZAC Parade) is one of the finest speeches I’ve come across.

Thumper 10:24 am 04 Apr 09

Nah, JB, I wasn’t. i was just pointing out that my experience and involvement in ANZAC Day is anything but bogan nationalistic misguided patriotism.

johnboy 10:13 am 04 Apr 09

Let’s not get into willy waving on familial military service.

I assure you mine’s just as big as yours.

BerraBoy68 10:08 am 04 Apr 09

Thumper said :

I’m ex RAInf and current RAAFAR. My dad is a Vietnam Vet. A lot of my mates and my dad’s mates have active service in many conflicts. My partner’s grandfather was a Changi POW.

As such I certainly don’t live ANZAC Day vicariously through some sort of tenuous link to the day.

Just my small story..

Good on you Thumper! As we’ve previously discussed I’m ex-RAN and my Father in Law did 27yrs in RAInf, including a tour in Vietnam (1RAR 1965-66). Gillson and Parker whose bodies were recently recovered in Vietnam were his mates and leaving them there left its mark on him (the change in him when they were found and brought home was visible). On top of that my older brother died while serving in the British Army, so I can relate to the loss of family to military service. ANZAC Day also means a lot to us.

As I said earlier, not all allied soldiers were the saints we often make them out to be. I recall a conversation with an old WWII soldier back in the 1980’s and he told me “don’t ever think only the enemy were guilty of war crimes… it only seems that way as the the winning side gets to prosecute the losers”.

For a different perspective on Gallipoli, and an explanation on why the Australian’s were told to “Dig, Dig, Dig until they are safe” I recommend reading ‘Stokers Submarine’. If the AE2 hadn’t broke through the turkish maritime defences and reported it was ‘running amok’ there is every chance the Australians would have been told to withdraw early on day 1.

Postalgeek 9:49 am 04 Apr 09

I should clarify a point – I’m not saying that everyone who observes ANZAC day is living vicariously through it. my comments are aimed at those, whether ‘bogans’ or the media, who appropriate ‘Gallipoli’ to promote a modern jingoism.

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