Near the start of the walk is The Farm Cemetery. We stopped there for another of our soldier profiles, and for a short talk to remember the nurses and other medical staff who played such a big part in the war. I also accidentally left my Anzac Day book there (I'd had it out to show the picture of my Great Great Aunt Louie - Louisa Bird - one of the first WW1 NZ nurses.)
|Last sighting of Anzac Day book at The Farm Cemetery!|
After we'd finished the walk and Baris had welcomed us into the Rhododendron Club, we went on to the Hill 60 Cemetery. This site is on the edge of the Suvla plain, north of the main Anzac area. There are 788 men buried here but nearly all of them are unidentified. It also contains one of four memorials to New Zealand troops with no known graves, the Hill 60 (New Zealand) Memorial, with more than 180 names. The other NZ memorials are at Chunuk Bair, Lone Pine and Twelve Tree Copse.(The hills were often given names corresponding to their contour height, so there is also Hill 600, Hill 700 etc. - and Hill 60 was therefore not a very tall hill.)
|Poppies by the roadside on the way to Hill 60|
|Our wonderful team leaders and guide!|
|Jane's travelling bear - seeing the world with the Red Coats!|
|Best mates: Bob's view of the coastline, from at sea!|
Today is also a special national holiday in Turkey for national Children's Day, so there were lots of Turkish tour buses on the road. We got back to the hotel to find a giant flag on display - to the dismay of those people who had put their washing out to dry this morning, and now found their verandahs shrouded from any sunshine! Our restaurant is at the very top where the open windows are.
Some of us went downstairs when we heard the Ottoman Military Band marching through town this evening (they came up to our rooftop restaurant to play for us after dinner.) This was their idea - they asked if any of the tourists wanted their photos taken with them!
We are supposed to be getting an early night, but the music and dancing are continuing!Tomorrow morning we have a late breakfast and will be setting off about 10.30am for the Anzac site. After that it will be all on - all through the night - until after the Chunuk Bair service at about 11am on the 25th. Everything seems as well prepared as possible; the only thing that can't be organised in advance is the weather, and we're crossing our fingers that it won't rain.
Best wishes for all the Anzac Day services in New Zealand (and Australia.) We are all ready to go; the 30 of us have melded into a great team and everyone is excited (and maybe just a bit apprehensive!) about what lies ahead.