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Gallipoli remembered in Enfield

Published Monday, 27 April 2015

To mark the 100th Anniversary of the start of the Gallipoli Campaign of the First World War, Enfield Council held a moving ceremony in the Memorial Garden in Broomfield Park in Palmers Green on Sunday 26 April from 3pm.

Local councillors, Royal British Legion representative Brendan Farrell and Deputy Lieutenant Ann Cable, MBE, led the ceremony and planted an almond tree. They were joined by members of the public..

Enfield Council Leader, Cllr Doug Taylor, said, “Gallipoli is a stark reminder of the horrors of war. Over 100,000 people lost their lives in the savage fighting at Gallipoli which started on the 25 April in 1915 and continued until January in 1916.

“It was not only a military failure – but it was also a huge price paid by the families whose loved ones died or were injured. Remembrance is important but it is my hope that in remembering we also learn.”

Mayor, Cllr Ali Bakir, welcomed special guests, Consul Murat Nalcalci from the Turkish Consulate; Garry Manley, from the New Zealand High Commission and Captain Ken Semmens from the Australian High Commission.

About Gallipoli:
The small headland of Gallipoli, which juts out from Turkey’s western coast, witnessed some of the most extraordinary combat of the First World War.

Between April 1915 and January 1916, troops from the British Empire and France battled Ottoman soldiers on their home soil, resulting in nine months of fighting turning the slender stretch of turf by the Aegean Sea into a graveyard for many thousands of young men.

The plan, hatched by the British First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, aimed to capture the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople, (modern day Istanbul).

It also aimed to open a supply route through the Black Sea to France and Great Britain’s ally Russia and draw Greece and Bulgaria into the war on the allied side against the Ottoman Empire, which was allied with Germany.

To do so, British warships required access to the Dardanelles, a strait through which the Royal Navy could gain passage to the historic city. Gallipoli is the half-a-mile peninsula through which the Dardanelles flows connecting the Aegean and the Marmara seas.

After an allied naval attempt to force the straits failed, British and French troops were dispatched to occupy the head of the peninsula, while the middle was tasked to Australian and New Zealander troops.

More than 100,000 are thought to have died in the battle, including an estimated 10,000 Anzacs. Ultimately the Allies lost, with Gallipoli heralded as the greatest Ottoman victory of the First World War. The two sides suffered more than 500,000 casualties killed or wounded in the campaign.

Such was the impact of Gallipoli in the Seventies the government in Ankara turned the battleground into a national park, with archaeologists currently excavating the site to commemorate the centenary of the conflict.

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