Lone Pine Cemetery

In 1915 the Allies launched the Gallipoli Campaign to seize the Dardanelle Straits and knock Turkey out of World War I. Fighting was fierce and both sides suffered terrible casualties.

We visited the battlefield site, now transformed into 30 square kilometres of pine covered hills overlooking the Aegean, beautifully kept as a permanent resting place for the dead soldiers. Cemeteries had been created in clearings amongst the pine trees each dedicated to a nation. The winding road took us in a circular route around the site. We chose to visit the ANZAC cemetery at Lone Pine because Tony’s forefathers had emigrated from Bethesda, South Wales to Ballarat, Australia in the 1800s so there could have been a Morgan antecedent commemorated there.

The lone pine tree in the cemetery was grown from a seed from an original tree at the spot where the Allies captured the Turkish trenches. The magnificent Lone Pine Memorial, designed by Sir John Burnet, recorded the names of 4,223 Australians and 709 New Zealand soldiers who were buried there or whose graves were unknown.

It was a beautiful spot, peaceful in the morning sunshine, with neat rows of memorial stones set in the parched earth, looked after by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. We were alone in that sombre but intensely beautiful place. We stayed over an hour wandering amongst the neat rows of headstones. We eventually found three Morgans – any one could have been a family member. We said a silent prayer for all the souls who had been killed in those dreadful times.