Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial

Follow Lieutenant (later Major) Duncan Chapman footsteps, the first ANZAC to touch Gallipoli’s sand

ANZAC Day Memorials are a vital part of every city, town, village in Australia and Maryborough in Queensland is no different. But there is a difference here, one that can only happen to one place and one person.
That person was a Maryborough man Lieutenant (later Major) Duncan Chapman, the first ANZAC to set foot on Gallipoli. The way this has been captured at the Memorial is amazing. He is shown to be walking, in full uniform, gun in hand, as if he was ‘strolling’ somewhere. He would have had no real idea of the hell he, and all others there, were about to face. Behind him are partial large row boats, filled with plants. They look gorgeous and provide an evocative background for this lonely statue of the first ANZAC to set foot on Gallipoli.

Gallipoli Interpreted
The hills of Gallipoli are depicted by huge pillars, going up to 8m in height. Along these are panels that tell the story of Gallipoli, why the soldiers were sent there and what they had to endure.
The Turkish Forces were led by Mustafa Ataturk. The fighting was brutal, there’s no two ways about it. However, when war ended Mustafa Ataturk made sure that the Anzacs and others who died there were respected and considered to be as one with their own dead.

Charles Bean’s Typewriter
As the path winds its way from one point to another, there are comments in the path. The story is told carefully but truthfully. There are statues along the way, such as the old ‘sit up and beg’ typewriter. Something many of us will remember from our youth. This is a link to Charles Bean through his typewriter. He was an Historian, War Correspondent and a main mover and shaker in establishing the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Wounded ANZAC
I think the statue that evokes the most emotion is the one of the wounded ANZAC. He’s dressed for battle, limping from a wound, gas mask in one hand to deal with mustard gas, and rifle in the other. But when you look at his face, in particular his eyes, that’s where the real pain is.
Major Duncan later died at Pozieres on the Western Front in 1916, aged 28.
The Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial is in Queens Park, a beautiful park on the banks of the Mary River. The founders of the Memorial used letters home from the front as the basis for the information. It’s a very personal story, while being nationally important at the same time.

Words and photos Alison Huth