Reporter Stuart Cumming celebrates his luggage arriving with him at Canakkale after four consecutive flights on four different planes.
Reporter Stuart Cumming celebrates his luggage arriving with him at Canakkale after four consecutive flights on four different planes.

Road to Gallipoli: Biggest battle so far was the luggage

Australian Regional Media photojournalist Stuart Cumming has arrived on the Gallipoli Peninsula and will spend the next week filing stories from Turkey, as we lead up to the Anzac Day centenary commemorations.

Stuart will file an online blog from each of his days in Gallipoli, and will also reflect back on the diaries 100 years ago of Australian solder Vivian Henry Noble.

Day 1, April 20:

After four flights and more than 36 hours in transit I was glad to find my hotel and check in at Canakkale.

The Australian and New Zealand travellers making their way to various points in Turkey were noticeable, but I thought there might have been more.

MORE FROM STUART:

A Turkish man short in stature but big on comfort chose to use my shoulder as a pillow for most the 11-hour Singapore to Istanbul leg.

I gently shrugged him off once or twice but, by the third time he fell asleep on me, I figured he needed the rest.

We really have come a long way in 100 years.

The small luggage conveyor at Canakkale Airport made for some spirited bag collecting.
The small luggage conveyor at Canakkale Airport made for some spirited bag collecting.

I was lucky to coincidentally be seated beside journalist Kurt Bayer from the New Zealand arm of our company on the Istanbul to Ankara leg of the journey.

I hadn't previously met Kurt or his colleagues, journalist Anna Beask and photographer/videographer Alan Gibson, but it was a pleasure to do so now.

Thankfully Turkish Airlines made that part easy. 

READ OUR FEATURE COVERAGE ON THE CENTENARY OF ANZAC

Canakkale has so far proved to be a vibrant and beautiful city.

However, a larger luggage conveyor at the airport wouldn't be a bad idea.

Tired travellers made their intentions clear with reckless jostling manoeuvres to get themselves to the front of the queue.

A walk along the waterfront in the evening twilight proved to be a great wind-down after the travelling chaos.

As I walked, I wondered what was happening here 100 years ago.

Australian First World War digger Corporal Vivian Henry Noble gives us an idea.

Cpl Noble landed on Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, as a member of the 3rd Australian Infantry Battalion, and later served on the Western Front. He was one of the lucky ones who came home.

His words give an insight into what an original Anzac was thinking 100 years ago. They might be brief now, but bear with him - he was, after all, about to go to war and his entries grow more detailed with time. 

 

FROM NOBLE'S DIARY:

Tuesday April 20, 1915: Just loafed around, ordinary parades, nothing exciting.

Still have an appetite for my biscuit and bully beef.
 


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