Gallipoli Report – 1
THE UNKNOWN ANZACS
by Dr Jacqualine Hollingworth
Today I visited the Haydarpasci cemetery outside Istanbul, where a number of Anzacs from Gallipoli are buried. Thee Anzacs were wounded, and were prisoners of the Turks, dying in captivity. The burial sites are situated in an immaculate cemetery maintained by the Turkish Government. The graves are on the Kadikoy Peninsula, beneath the original site of the Scutari hospital, where Florence Nightingale cared for the wounded of the Crimean War 1854–1856. The cemetery holds the graves of hundreds of allied prisoners of the Great War and faces the beautiful sea of Mamara.
I could find only nine of the twelve or so gravestones belong to these Anzacs. I can only presume that they were captured on 25 April 1915 or on the following few days, when in the confusion and the fighting "…small units of men completely disappeared or… were decimated…" If these men survived the rough 300-mile journey by road from Gallipoli to Istanbul they were buried by the Turks and their details were recorded. We can only hope that the Anzacs treated their wounded Turkish prisoners with such care. The Anzacs were looked after by the Turks, but it must have been a lonely and sad death, isolated amongst people of different language and culture. On my return to Australia, I hope to be able to obtain a full list of all those buried at Haydarpasci cemetery.
The majority of the Anzacs listed were from the 15th Battalion Australian Infantry. This was a Queensland battalion raised in the Cloncurry district. "… bush whackers and copper gougers… the finest of all soldiers, fearing nothing and as full of dash and endurance as man ever was…" as were members of the 9th Battalion. Some of the gravestones in the cemetery have no details but read: An unknown soldier of the Great War, or An unknown Indian solider of the Great War. At least the Anzacs listed below will be unknown no longer, and will be remembered on Anzac Day, 85 years later:
Private D T Francis, 15th Btn, Aust Infantry, died 8 August
1915, aged 20
May they rest in peace.