Aussies Arrive in Gallipoli for Anzac Day; Prince Charles, William and Kate Join too
By Athena Yenko | April 23, 2014 5:17 PM EST
Australians are starting to arrive in Gallipoli for the coming Anzac Day commemoration.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that pilgrims are estimated to reach 5,000 - 6,000.
Michael Molkentin, battlefield tour guide, hoped that the arriving Australians remember what the history of Gallipoli was all about.
Molkentin, a military historian from Wollongong, said that as much as the National Archives had digitised 400,000 WWI soldier records, many people remain lost on history's bigger picture.
He said that many Australians did not know that Anzac Day started as British and Naval campaign attacking Dardanelles. It had been a little known fact too that more French soldiers died than Australian soldiers. And as always, many are surprised to know that there were Indian troops who fought with the Allied forces.
"The details have become hazier and hazier. Things become more symbolic. (John) Simpson is a great example of that. He's probably the only soldier your average Australian could name who was at Gallipoli. But when people do come here, they get a better understanding of the story. We push the legend aside a little bit," Molkentin told SMH.
Too much ahead of the schedule, there are reports that Prime Minister Tony Abbott will be joined by Prince Charles for Anzac Day 2015.
"I also understand that if approached the royal family would like to send a very senior member of the royal family, so you can draw your own conclusions. Prince Charles would be a very welcome nominee, but the decision is for the palace," Gallipoli services directors Tim Evans told a press conference on Tuesday.
"In 2005, for the 90th (anniversary), it was the Prince of Wales (who attended)," an official from the Department of Veteran's Affair added.
Australia always has a special connection to Prince Charles as he was once a student at Geelong Grammar.
New Zealand's prime ministers and delegates from Canada and Ireland will also be joining the commemoration in 2015, News.com.au reports.
William and Kate will be joining the Anzac Day on Friday as the culmination of their three-week long tour of Australia.
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