Soldier honoured to represent Australia at Gallipoli
By Flight Lieutenant Chloe Stevenson
An Australian Army soldier is in Turkey to honour the memory of her Anzac forebears who fell during the Gallipoli campaign in 1915.
Private Hannah Bailey, from Paradise Point, Queensland, is a preventative medicine technician posted to Australia’s Federation Guard.
Private Bailey said the opportunity to represent her country was a great honour.
Private Hannah Bailey stands at the Lone Pine memorial, which contains the graves of 1,167 Commonwealth servicemen who died during the Gallipoli Campaign. Photo: Petty Officer Andrew Dakin
“It is very special being here; I am very honoured to be able to represent the Australian Defence Force at a place that is so sacred to so many,” Private Bailey said.
“Growing up on the Gold Coast, I would attend the dawn services at Runaway Bay with my mother. Being able to come to Turkey for something so important is hard to put into words. I am very grateful.”
She will play several pivotal roles during the Anzac Day commemorations held along the Gallipoli Peninsula at Anzac Cove and Lone Pine.
As well as being part of the catafalque party and a wreath layer, Private Bailey will read a diary entry from an Anzac, Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Carter.
“With the reading, it is good to be able to share somebody’s story who experienced Gallipoli first-hand,” she said.
“It helps you gain a better understanding of what they went through and makes it a little more personal as you are reading it in their exact words.”
She said being in Turkey and visiting the battlefields had been an eye-opening experience.
“We did a battlefield tour of the Gallipoli Peninsula and it was really interesting to actually be in the places you hear so much about growing up and in school; such as Anzac Cove and the location of the Battle of the Nek,” she said.
“One thing I didn’t expect was just how steep Anzac Cove was; the photos truly don’t do justice to what they must have fought through. I know how hard pack marching can be just on flat ground, let alone such a steep incline.
“It is hard to imagine what they went through, all those years ago.”
An Australian Defence Force contingent, comprised primarily of members from Australia’s Federation Guard and the Royal Australian Air Force Band, will conduct the commemorative ceremonies on April 24 and 25 across the Gallipoli Peninsula.