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Gallipoli: New battle looms.

May 31, 2017

Back in 1915 it was the Anzacs versus the Turks for ownership of the heights above the Dardanelle coast.

Today that conflict is being revisited, in less antagonistic terms, on the flat greenery of Adelaide’s South Parklands. And  this time it’s not over the occupation  of ANZAC Cove, but who owns the right to decide just where that magnificent First World War defeat should be commemorated.

On the side of right (if, like Grumpy, you are a passionate crusader for historical accuracy!), are those who insist that any physical recognition of the most famous page in our country’s military history should at least remain where it is — on South Terrace, a hundred metres or so away from West Terrace.

The Dardanelle Memorial, as it is known, was originally sited a few hundred metres away, amid a grove of native trees on Sir Lewis Cohen Avenue, in 1915 , some months BEFORE the historic retreat of the Allied Forces from Anzac Cove. Which makes it a contender for the honour of being the very first WW1 monument! It was moved to  it’s present site (inappropriately and very probably illegally) in 1940, a transfer which opponents claim undermined it’s importance as a tribute to the combined forces of the 27th Unley Battalion and 10th Adelaide Battalion.

Enter the opposing forces, (the State Government and State Heritage Branch) who have plans to snaffle the Cross and transfer it to the Anzac Memorial Walk on Adelaide’s Kintore Avenue.

All of which has sparked a war of words that ended up in Adelaide City Council Chamber this week, when Members discussed a motion  by Councillor Sandy Wilkinson to revoke the  2015 Council decision  to support the Kintore Avenue transfer.\

SADLY FOR SENTIMENT AND COMMON SENSE, COUNCIL VOTED 6 TO 4 AGAINST THE MOVE. Which allows the proposed heritage vandalism to proceed.

Despite that set-back, protectors of the existing situation are examining other legal avenues to thwart the transfer to Kintore Avenue.

And Grumpy is exploring the idea of  involving his fellow Unley Councillors in the situation,, with the initial step being a motion on notice for this month’s Council meeting. This would  express deep concern at the idea of moving the unique memorial to the City, and urging the return of the unique part of our history to its original site on Lewis Cohen Avenue in recognition of the close battle ties between the Adelaide and Unley battalions.





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