By JOL Admin | 9 December 2015
In November - December 1915, approximately 36,000 Anzac troops were evacuated from the Gallipoli Peninsula, bringing to an end a long and futile campaign. After the failure of the August offensive at Suvla and Anzac, Allied forces had little choice but to dig in and face a difficult winter. In October 1915 the British Government began to consider the need for evacuation, although debate around the issue delayed a decision for several weeks. Finally, Anzac and Suvla were relinquished on 19 December, followed by Helles on 9 January 1916.
Ironically, the evacuations at Anzac, Suvla and Helles were arguably the most successful aspect of the campaign, demonstrating considerable planning and ingenuity, and as a result, troops were effectively removed with negligible casualties. By the time of evacuation, around 46,000 allied troops had been killed from a total of 250,000 casualties. Turkish forces suffered even greater losses.
In Queensland, newspapers speculated for weeks leading up to the evacuation, and reported its success almost immediately:
Gallipoli evacuation, The Evening Telegraph (Charters Towers), 22 December 1915 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article213075689
Images of the evacuation were published later, in 1916, in The Queenslander Pictorial Supplement of The Queenslander newspaper, a weekly summary and literary edition of the Brisbane Courier (now the Courier Mail). To read more about the evacuation of Gallipoli, go to the Department of Veterans' Affairs website, and the Queensland Anzac Centenary website.
Robyn Hamilton - QANZAC100 Content Curator, State Library of Queensland
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