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PLAQUE NO.
2 ... Anzac Cove          

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Plaque Text
This beach, 600 metres long by 20 metres wide, was the lifeline to the allied soldiers within the Anzac perimeter. Because of Turkish shellfire, supplies could only be landed at night and carried by men and mules along tortuous and dangerous tracks to the front line. Casualties were evacuated the same way. The Australian and New Zealand headquarters were located 100 metres from the beach and within 1000 metres of the front line. On the hillsides above the beach thousands of men lived in small dugouts during the 240 days of the campaign.

Text from Gallipoli Plaques Book*
This plaque stands directly above ANZAC Cove, which has changed since 1915. At low tide it was then approximately 600 metres from north to south and about 20 metres from the water to the vegetation line. The beach was the main point of supply for the Allied forces in the ANZAC sector throughout the campaign. To your left is Hell Spit, nicknamed Queensland Point after the Queenslanders who first landed there. At the end of the dirt truck to your left is Beach Cemetery. This cemetery was used from the first day until the evacuation in December 1915. Among many graves is that of 22-years old Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick (Grave No. I.F. 1). He served as John Simpson and became the legendary 'Man with the Donkey' now immortalised by the statues of him at the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne and the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

The beach area was shielded from direct Turkish observation by two headlands, Hell Spit to the left and Ari Burnu to the right.

Unfortunately for the Allies, any ships moving into the area by day were shelled, as the approaches to ANZAC Cove were under observation from Turkish positions high on the hills or to the flanks at Gaba Tepe and Suvla Bay. The total area held by the Allies at ANZAC for the first three months was only 160 hectares, within a perimeter of almost 2 kilometres.

ANZAC Cove beach was a place of continual activity by day and night. men carried stores and water to be placed in reserve areas for later transport to the front line. Boxes of food, ammunition and stores were massed on the beach. Rows of mules were tethered in areas protected from direct shellfire; their job was to carry the heavy supplies up the steep hills to the front. Corps Headquarters, from where emanated all orders for the Australian and New Zealand forces, were located 100 metres from the shoreline in two of the small gullies that run down to the beach. Those gullies are behind you, to your right.

One of the few pleasures enjoyed by the men of ANZAC was to slip down to the beach for a swim in the cool Aegean Sea. This was always at some risk to the swimmer because shrapnel and high explosive shells often whipped the waters in the area. on the hillside above you, thousands of men lived for many months protected from artillery fire by the steep seaward slopes of the first ridge. The terraces on which they lived are only just discernible -on the hillside, and the dugouts have long since been eroded by rain and wind.

In 1985, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign, the Turkish Government officially named this beach ANZAC Cove in recognition of the courage and fortitude of both armies. Concurrently, the Australian Government named a section of the north shore of Lake Burley Griffin, Canberra, Gallipoli Reach and gave Ataturk's name to the entrance of King George Sound, Albany, Western Australia. It was from Albany that the ANZACs left on their voyage to Egypt and, ultimately, Gallipoli. The New Zealand Government erected a memorial to Ataturk at Tarakki Bay and renamed a prominent area of land at Wellington Harbour.

To reach Shrapnel Valley, continue south for about 200 metres and on your left take the path signposted to Shrapnel Valley Cemetery. It is a very short walk.

* - - This text is taken from "Gallipoli Plaques, A Guide to the Anzac Battlefield", by R.J.Bastiaan. 2nd Edition Published by ANRAB Pty. Ltd. 1991.
 

 



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