Over many years I had done considerable reading in regard to the Gallipoli Campaign - an additional motivation being the fact that my Great-Uncle (age 20) went missing-in-action in an assault by the 18th Battalion AIF on a strategic point named Hill 60 on the 22nd August, 1915. Gallipoli was a "must do" for me in my time in Turkey.
We were staying in Canakkale, took a ferry to Eceabat where we were met by Hasan, from RSL Tours. Hasan was superb in both his knowledge and ability to convey the conditions under which both sides fought. His intention to "de-bunk" a few of the myths surrounding the Campaign was well-received by those on the tour.
The visit was just what I wanted. We were taken to many sites, giving us plenty of time to reflect on the history of what occurred at each site we visited. Every Memorial and cemetery reflected the enormous respect that will always be evident between the Turkish nation and the ANZACS.
The visit to Lone Pine Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing afforded me the opportunity to see my Great-Uncle's name engraved on Panel 62, among the 4,000+ Australians with no-known grave or who were buried at sea, as well as the names of over 700 New Zealand soldiers who suffered the same fate.
The whole experience, on this day, is one that both my wife and I will never forget. If the opportunity allows, it is a place that must be visited. It holds so much history for us.