The Anzac Commemorative Site is filled with people sleeping overnight for the Gallipoli dawn service.
The Anzac Commemorative Site is filled with people sleeping overnight for the Gallipoli dawn service. Stuart Cumming

Road to Gallipoli Day 5: people await the dawn service

AUSTRALIAN Regional Media photojournalist Stuart Cumming has spent the week filing stories from Turkey, in the lead up to Anzac Day centenary commemorations.

Stuart will file an online blog from each of his days in Gallipoli, and will also reflect back on the diaries 100 years ago of Australian solder Vivian Henry Noble.

Day 5, April 24: THE 7am ferry, which got going at 7.45am, was busy today with a lot of Turkish support staff coming over for their various roles keeping events running.

Ferry rides have been entertaining insights into cultural differences. My experience of home is if someone is tooting their car horn at you, you are doing something pretty wrong. But here it is used much more freely. The queue of vehicles erupts into chorus as they are getting on the ferry, quieten for the trip and then crescendo to a blaring finale for the unloading process at the other side.

FOLLOW STUART'S JOURNEY TO GALLIPOLI

Unfortunately the ferry arrived at Eceabat five minutes after the designated media shuttle had left for Anzac Cove, but it wasn't long before I talked my way into another ride. I was set up pretty early at the media centre and after giving up on the intermittent internet connection went for a nap in the car hired by my Kiwi friends. I think I slept, but the ear-dominating voices of arriving Turkish media ensured that didn't last long.

Crowds walk from Mimosa Park to Anzac Cove to get an overnight spot for the dawn service.
Crowds walk from Mimosa Park to Anzac Cove to get an overnight spot for the dawn service. Stuart Cumming

I started the 3.8km walk from Anzac Cove to Mimosa Park just as the first guests were starting to arrive. I was heading against the grain, with the flow of people having just stepped off buses at Mimosa Park and walking up to the commemorative site.

Queues to get through the security checkpoints were long but people were jovial and friendly. I took a few pics and then caught a ride back to Anzac Cove where I was lucky to meet a few story contacts. People cocooned in sleeping bags filled the grassed areas. I've headed back to the media centre to put together what I've got.

Queues were long at security checkpoints leading into the Anzac Commemorative Site.
Queues were long at security checkpoints leading into the Anzac Commemorative Site. Stuart Cumming

FROM NOBLE'S DIARY

Saturday 24th: It appears that there were some grounds for the rumours for we left Lemnos about 6.30 in the morning and passed a whole fleet of warships went within a few yards of the "Queen Elizabeth" she was a magnificent ship. Real bustle and excitement. Steamed around the island and anchored early in the afternoon at the top end of the island, ready to step across to Turkey in the morning. Everything right. Early to bed.

 



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