The Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fell at Gallipoli (and subsequent conflicts) are commemorated each year on 25 April with Anzac Day, held on the anniversary of the first landing at Gallipoli.
The Dardanelles campaign aimed to quickly and decisively capture Constantinople, and knock Turkey, an ally of Germany, out of the war. But the troops came ashore at Gallipoli that day faced unexpectedly fierce resistance from the Turks and the situation rapidly turned into a stalemate. Before surviving troops were evacuated at the end of 1915, over 21,000 British troops, an estimated 10,000 French, 8,709 Australians and 2,721 had either been killed or had died from disease in what had been a disastrous campaign.
The immense sacrifice of the ANZACs (an acronym for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) made a profound impact back at home in Australia and New Zealand, and almost a century on, the Anzac Day of Remembrance remains Australia's biggest national annual event. The first Anzac day was held in Australia and London the following year. The Illustrated London News reported on the memorial service at St. Paul's Cathedral attended by 2,300 Australian and 700 New Zealand troops who had been either wounded or contracted an illness and had been sent back to Britain on sick leave. In his message to the Governor-General of Australia and the Governor of New Zealand, King George V said; "Tell my people of Australia and New Zealand that to-day I am joining with them in their solemn tribute to the memory of their heroes who died in Gallipoli. They gave their lives for a supreme cause in gallant comradeship with the rest of my sailors and soldiers who fought and died with them. Their valour and fortitude have shed fresh lustre on the British arms."
The Turkish troops at Gallipoli also suffered heavy casualties and both sides respectfully acknowledged the sacrifices made. In 1934, the Turkish President Kemal Ataturk, who had been in command during the campaign, gave a moving tribute in a speech to British, Australian and New Zealand soldiers visiting the battlefields of Gallipoli for the first time.
"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
After having lost their lives on this land they have
Become our sons as well."
These postcards from around 1920 show a group of Australian sailors visiting the old sites at Gallipoli, posing with a 6" gun used for shelling Imros, and around the Turkish monument at Lone Pine, though it is unclear whether this was in an official military capacity, or a trip in memory of comrades who had fallen. Since another image shows the group supervising the digging for bodies, it seems likely they were there to find and re-inter bodies of Anzacs who were killed in action in the nearby Allied Christian cemetery. Either way, it would have undoubtedly been a poignant and memorable experience.