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Gallipoli, A Poem Of WW1

Let's have at Johnny Turk
Winston Churchill  said
We'll secure the Dardanelles,
And keep our Russian trade fed.
His words so casually uttered
May have had to be eaten
Johnny Turk was well Generalled
And not so easily beaten.

The naval campaign to start
Was, at a price, repelled,
The following land invasion
Was resisted and held.
After eight cruel months
Our forces were withdrawn
Half a million dead and wounded
Left for both sides to mourn.

They came from India, New Zealand
Australia, Canada, Europe as well
Only to leave their bones
In Gallipoli's hell
And so it ended,
A campaign of disaster
With massive repercussion
Felt for so long after.

Constantinople never taken
The Ottoman Empire in shreds
Turkey arose from the ashes which
Gallipoli General Attaturk led.
Words attributed to him
On a plaque overlooking the Bay
Honouring the dead of all nations
Still stands there to this very day

Eighty-one cemeteries and memorials
Now overlook that battle's scene
The only mute and grim reminder
That disastrous campaign had been.
And so we parade every year to
Respect and honour the memory
Of those that survived and those
Resting in a foreign Cemetery

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