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Hell Spit

Hell Spit https://ngatapuwae.govt.nz/hell-spit Under constant Turkish fire, this stretch of shore would become every Anzac's nightmare. Ngā Tapuwae Trails https://ngatapuwae.govt.nz/sites/default/files/stop/media/01%20anazc%20cove%402x.jpg

Under constant Turkish fire, this stretch of shore would become every Anzac's nightmare.

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Hell Spit

You are at Beach Cemetery on Hell Spit. Hell Spit was so named because it was the most exposed part of the area held by Anzac troops. The Ottoman artillery on the headland of Gaba Tepe, which you can see to the south, bombarded Hell Spit during the day, as did the artillery to the north.

This was one of the first graveyards established during the Anzac campaign, and most of the dead had to be reburied a number of times because their bodies kept being blown out of their graves.

It’s an important site because just inland from here is Shrapnel Valley, which connects the Anzac frontline to the beach. Shrapnel Valley was a lifeline: all the stores went up it and all the wounded were evacuated back down it. 

One of the key figures in the Shrapnel Valley story is John Simpson Kirkpatrick. He was an English stoker who jumped ship in Australia, and became a member of the Australian Field Ambulance. He borrowed one of the donkeys that were brought in from the Greek islands and used it to bring wounded men down Shrapnel Valley from the front line. Everyone took bets as to how long Simpson would survive. It was three weeks before he was killed by a Turkish sniper. 

A famous photo was taken and everyone thought it was Simpson. In fact it was a New Zealander – Dick Henderson. The image of Henderson and his donkey became famous throughout the world. Henderson and his donkey, like Simpson and his donkey, represented a whole range of stretcher-bearers and medical staff who carried the wounded men that 1,500 metres from the front line down to where you now stand. The field hospitals on the beach would tend to them before they were evacuated out to the hospital ships offshore.

How to get here

Getting there

From the south of Anzac Cove continue south along the coast for 200 metres, then turn right onto the stabilized track signposted for Beach Cemetary. Walk down to the cemetary.

Stand by the memorial cross, facing the sea, and walk down the steps on the right. You will come to the grave of John Simpson Kirkpatrick, grave reference I.F.1.

Where to stand

Stand at the grave of John Simpson Kirkpatrick ('Simpson').

GPS
40°13'58"N
26°16'34"E
Decimal GPS
40.23301
26.27637
  • Pte Richard ‘Dickie’ Henderson, NZ Medical Corps, attending to wounded with a donkey.
    Pte Richard ‘Dickie’ Henderson, NZ Medical Corps, attending to wounded with a donkey. Credits

    Australian War Memorial P03136.001 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P03136.001

  • Group with Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick (second from left) and his donkey "Murphy".
    Group with Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick (second from left) and his donkey "Murphy". Credits

    Group with Simpson and his donkey "Murphy", Gallipoli. Queen Elizabeth II Army Memorial Museum:Photographs of NZ forces in Egypt, Palestine and Gallipoli, World War I. Ref: 1/2-168106-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.http://natlib.govt.nz/records/23134113

  • Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick (centre) with his donkey "Duffy" carrying a soldier wounded in the leg during the Battle of Gallipoli.
    Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick (centre) with his donkey "Duffy" carrying a soldier wounded in the leg during the Battle of Gallipoli.Credits

    Australian War Memorial J06392 http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/J06392/

  • A barrier of sandbags in Shrapnel Gully.
    A barrier of sandbags in Shrapnel Gully.Credits

    A barrier of sandbags in Shrapnel Gully, Gallipoli, Turkey. Powles family :Photographs. Ref: PA1-o-811-14-5. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22880764

  • Soldiers walking in Shrapnel Gully.
    Soldiers walking in Shrapnel Gully. Credits

    Soldiers in Shrapnel Gully, Gallipoli, Turkey. Hutchison, James D :NZEF at Auckland, en route to Middle East, and at Gallipoli. Ref: PA1-o-573-37-4. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22520579

Stories & Insights

Wallingford was a rarity – a man in his element wherever bloody battle raged.

The New Zealand Field Ambulance Commander worked tirelessly as the wounded and dying poured in.

A sniper team - one soldier holds a rifle and the other a periscope

The terrain was rough, and the Ottoman soldiers frighteningly close.

Otago troops marching with Union Jacks flying in the crowd

Young – and hungry for travel and adventure – they had no idea what lay ahead.

New Zealand and Australian soldiers landing at Anzac Cove on 25 April, 1915

At Gallipoli, rivalry between New Zealanders and Australians turned to respect.

Engineers pump water ashore from a water barge. Ari Burnu is visible in the background.

Try as they might, the Anzacs could never source enough water.

Within days of landing, Bayne was dead.  His diaries reveal his last tough days.

Take the next trail

The next Ngā Tapuwae trail is Holding the Line. Proceed to Lone Pine.
Link to the first stop

Decimal GPS:
64.64624688065952
-83.47657796875001
Sequence:
1
Decimal GPS:
64.18951313588443
-60.05313640625002
Sequence:
2
Decimal GPS:
62.64955646958989
-53.13280968749996
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3
Decimal GPS:
68.41482226488074
-66.13956218750002
Sequence:
4
Decimal GPS:
68.4467764645027
-68.95206218750002
Sequence:
5

Stop Images

Sequence:
1
Decimal GPS Real Location:
40.23923
26.27684
Sequence:
2
Decimal GPS Real Location:
40.2347
26.27743
Sequence:
3
Decimal GPS Real Location:
40.23301
26.27637
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4
Decimal GPS Real Location:
40.2379
26.282
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Decimal GPS Real Location:
40.23816
26.28206