You are standing at the southern end of Anzac Cove. On the 25th of April 1915, this is where the Australians and then the New Zealanders landed.
The first landings were at the northern headland at Ari Burnu, and you can see the cemetery marker at the far end of the beach.
On the day the New Zealanders landed the actual fighting was taking place inland from here, beyond the heights above you. But this is the spot where all the wounded came down and where all the reinforcements gathered, so it was jam-packed with men. And if you can imagine on this beach, only 20 metres wide, 400 wounded at this end, 200 wounded at the far end, all being dealt with as best they can by overworked medical staff.
There were wounded men lying all over the place, being put anywhere they could. Men tried not to moan or complain but when they were moved onto the boats, often without stretchers, they were in agony.
Instead of a nice, tidy evacuation out to the hospital ships and the mass of transport ships out at sea, the wounded were put into every boat that came in to unload soldiers. They found themselves in all sorts of craft and instead of ending up on hospital ships, they were taken to Egypt on horse boats and ordinary troop ships with no medical staff, on a five-day voyage. Those who died were buried at sea. It was chaos.
From that beginning, all the stores, supplies, reinforcements, water – everything that made holding on here at Anzac Cove possible – came to this beach. After the first night ashore, bivouacs were starting to appear all over these slopes.
Supply dumps appeared all along the beach and so all the infrastructure to support over 20,000 men, and keeping them able to fight, came to this tiny cove. And if you look along it today you can see the two concrete water channels built into the side of the cove. They mark the two gullies that are below Plugge’s Plateau. Now, in those two gullies were all the headquarters and supplies. Just to the right of the road, that’s where General Birdwood had his ANZAC headquarters.
The 25th of April 1915 was a battle that took place inland. The Australians landed first and pushed inland, and the New Zealanders followed them up. The Anzac troops grabbed some ground though not nearly as much as they hoped, and that became the front line for the next nine months.