Captain’s Corner | Vice Captain, William Cook

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.

The Anzac legacy is one that is especially close to my heart after I had the privilege of visiting Gallipoli in 2015 as a part of the Terrace/All Hallows’ Gallipoli choir. This experience solidified in me the importance of commemorating our fallen heroes and further highlighted the Anzac values of courage, mateship and sacrifice.

As we toured through the rugged landscape of Gallipoli I soon realised the impossible courage it would have taken to fight in those conditions. Standing atop the Sphinx, the bold cliff that dominates Anzac cove, it was amazing to see the large sharp cliffs juxtaposed with the small beach. To think that young Australians fought up those cliffs from height to height as machine gun fire rained down on them astounded me, for I have never had to show such courage. To not only charge up the impossible cliffs, but to sit in trenches for months on end with an enemy not 100 metres away would’ve been incredibly testing. But they did it, our Anzacs showed such great courage and for that reason I am proud to be Australian.

Standing in the peaceful cemetery of Shrapnel Valley, a place of such death and destruction, now a place of beauty, I had a moment of sheer gratitude. Gratitude that I haven’t had to experience war (and hopefully never will), thanks to the sacrifice of my predecessors. But in this cemetery I also saw all the headstones of men just 17 years old, a shocking and horrifying fact of this campaign. It was a chilling thought to envisage myself and my brothers fighting and dying, but that’s the hard reality so many boys faced.

One of the cornerstones of the Anzac legacy is the mateship that bonded every soldier so strongly. But one thing that surprised me was the mateship that bonds Australia, New Zealand and Turkey. The close connection that allows each country to commemorate such a bloody campaign together in solidarity. The genuine interactions I had with Turkish people in my time over there really showed me the value of this close relationship. This close relationship is best encapsulated by a quote from Mustafar Kemal Ataturk (the founder of modern Turkey).

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives ... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.... You, the mothers who sent their sons from faraway 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.

This year we celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the Sinai-Palestinian and the Flanders' offensive, in which brave Australian soldiers died for the liberation of these lands.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.

Lest we Forget