Anzacs and WWI: part 4, Gallipoli, the Road to Jerusalem

This week I received a DVD related to my recent study of WWI.

Gallipoli the Road to Jerusalem is a documentary made by Kelvin Crombie, based on his book of the same name. Last night I watched the first part which was a condensed history starting with God’s covenant with Abraham through to the Gallipoli campaign of 1915.

gallipoliI suspect some people would wonder what kind of historical account could be relevant to those two seemingly unconnected events.
Most simply it could be described as a history of Israel’s relationship to the Promised Land.
The book of Genesis reveals that the land was promised to Abraham and his descendants as an everlasting possession, but how does the Gallipoli campaign fit into that story?

Crombie sees Gallipoli as part of an ongoing preparation for the re-establishment of Israel as a nation in the land promised to them by God.

Gallipoli was the first major involvement of Anzac forces in battle. One of the worst battles they faced was a failed attack at a site called the Nek. Waves of soldiers were ordered to climb from their trenches to charge the Turkish trenches. They were mown down almost immediately. The event is portrayed in the Peter Weir film Gallipoli.

05_theNekLThose involved were from Light Horse brigades, separated from their horses, they’d been sent to Gallipoli to serve as infantrymen, to make up the numbers, replacing the thousands killed and wounded in the first few months of the campaign. Despite the high casualties suffered at the Nek, some survived, were reunited with their horses and were later involved in battles that ended centuries of Islamic rule, in Palestine.

Some of the survivors from the Nek were with General Allenby as he walked into Jerusalem to take control of the city in December 1917.

Also involved at Gallipoli were the Zion Mule Corps, who have been described as “the first regular Jewish fighting force – with a distinctively Jewish emblem and flag – to take active part in a war since the defeat of the Bar Kochba Revolt 2000 years ago.” 1





Illustration of medal depicting the Battle of the Nek from here:

3 thoughts on “Anzacs and WWI: part 4, Gallipoli, the Road to Jerusalem

  1. That was very interesting to read (including at the link). Thank you. I recently visited a WWI Museum and Monument. It was interesting too, but in a more general way. I just now found something more specific to share that is there, though:

    At this other page, there are a couple of old videos.

    There was, there is, that is, an extensive Bible quote on a base wall.
    I couldn’t find a full quoting of it, nor a readable picture of it.

    Something like a week after I happened to go there,
    two heroes were awarded Medals of Honor.
    One hadn’t even been recognized with
    something less, like a Purple Heart.

  2. Interesting about the belated awards of the Medal of Honor (I guess that would be the US equivalent to the Victoria Cross).

    Aboriginal soldiers involved in WWI also didn’t get all the recognition they deserved. At first they weren’t even allowed to enlist, but as casualties mounted and enthusiasm for recruitment fell, the race restrictions were relaxed. However when they returned after service, they didn’t get the same recognition and benefits offered to “white” soldiers.

    These days the Anzac Dawn service in Canberra features an Aboriginal Didgeridoo player.

  3. These things boggle the mind. Somehow that all seemed normal.

    I hope that if (when) they do the national memorial they keep this old spot cared for too.

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