Landing At Gallipoli - A Soldiers Perspective

The shoreline creeped closer with every second that passed. My pack felt as though it was filled to the brim with bricks, and it was all I had apart from my rifle, and it was little enough to live with for a few months.

I had no clue what we were in for, and I had yet to find out what would happen.

The boats continued forwards towards the black line of the mountains.

Our little procession continued to approach the shoreline. There was no light to be seen ahead of us. I squinted a little, trying to see through the black to what lay ahead. My instincts were warring with my sense of self-preservation, and yet I couldn’t tell what was going on.

The hair on the back of my neck stood on end as the shelling began.

I threw myself to the side, landing face-first in the water. The heavy pack weighed me down, and I felt myself sinking.

No, I did not come here to drown. This is NOT how I am going to die was my only thought.

Clinging to that one thought like a lifeline, I propelled myself to the surface, breathing fresh air when my head emerged.

I saw what looked like fire heading my way, and I quickly exhaled again, letting myself sink. The bomb broke the water behind me, and the force from it’s explosion was gentle, but enough to push me towards the shoreline.

I rose again, my instincts screaming for me to run, and continued forwards. I reached the shore and pulled myself up onto the rocky strip of beach that was the only surface we had. My head was whipping from side to side about fifty times a minute, reducing the world around me to a red and black blur.

Yells and bangs filled my ears, but it was not enough to drown out my heartbeat, accelerated in fear and exertion. My vision was red, but it was not enough to prevent me from seeing my friends and comrades collapsing, blood streaming from open wounds and gashes. Adrenaline rushed through me, and I could almost feel it fizzing and mixing with my blood. Combined with anger and lust for revenge, I was lethal.

Maybe even ready for a fight, but I didn’t know if I could handle it. Or if I was allowed.

Then I realised; I didn’t care if I lived or died, or whether I was allowed to. I had no family, no one left to mourn for me if I left this earth forever.

I charged up the mountain, into the waiting arms of Johnny Turk.

This is what I had to endure for the course of what felt like eternity. Maybe I was too reckless. Maybe I didn't care about myself enough. Maybe I wanted out.

I still don't know. But even as I sit here on my porch remembering what I have done, I will never regret charging up that mountain, into the waiting arms and battalions of Johnny Turk, and the mountainous shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula.

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