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Learning About Gallipoli

5265617 and Chistopher Pyne would like our kids to spend more time learning about Gallipoli and Western (ie British) culture. With that in mind I'd like to suggest the Diary of Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett, a British war correspondent at Gallipoli.

Ashmead-Bartlett recorded numerous accounts of soldiers being pointlessly sacrificed due to the incompetence of senior British officers. Reports and letters were heavily censored but Ashmead-Bartlett kept a detailed account in his diaries. Eventually he wrote a letter to the British Prime minister describing the conditions at Gallipoli and the incompetence of the General staff. The letter was smuggled out by an Australian journalist, Keith Murdoch (father of Rupert). After receiving the letter the British government immediately cancelled the Gallipoli campaign.

Below is an account from Ashmead-Bartlett's diary where he talks about Sir Ian Hamilton, the General in charge of the Gallipoli campaign, who's refusal to accept ceasefire offers from the Turks resulted in thousands of wounded dying unnecessarily. I'd be happy for them to put this in school textbooks.

"I think Aubrey Herbert's charge against him is the most serious of all namely the wickedness of always leaving thousands of our wounded to perish in front of the lines after these attacks have failed instead of arranging for an armistice for their burial. The Turks have always proved themselves perfectly willing to have armistices and have actually asked for one at Helles which was refused by our General Staff.

Surely every other consideration should be sacrificed to trying to save the unfortunate wounded who must otherwise perish miserably between the lines. But the Generals are never there to see these things. They live comfortably at Imbros and have their dinners and their baths and apparently it never interferes with their night's rest the knowledge that hundreds of their fellow men are lying mutilated and unattended only a few yards away from our front lines crying for water suffering the agonies of the damned and knowing that their fate is a long low lingering death from suppurating wounds or from thirst and starvation. Their fate is awful to contemplate. Men are butchered to make a G.C.B. or a K.C.M.G. These cursed letters after their names are apparently all our leaders think about. It is appalling that the destinies of Empires should be entrusted to such small and petty and inhuman minds."

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