By Russell Luckock A LIMITED edition print of a photograph that recorded a momentous time in Australia’s war history has been presented to the Buninyong RSL by Serhan Demirceviren. This print is number 1951 of 5000 and the photo was taken at Cheops(Khufu)Pyramid in January 1915. The extraordinarily clear photo is of members of the 11th Battalion which was raised in Western Australia and sailed from Fremantle to Egypt before being sent on for the Gallipoli campaign which many of them would not survive. The caption records that the photo was meant to be of the officers only but the larrikin in the Australian soldiers came to the fore when they decided to occupy the slope of Cheops Pyramid immediately behind their officers. Again the caption states that the troops decided that even though one of their number had died a few days before he was still part of their Battalion so they “dressed him accordingly and placed him on the Pyramid”.
The horror and loss of the Gallipoli campaign is evidenced by a further note in the caption that states that the four soldiers with linked arms are a father and his three sons, all of whom “were killed on the first day of battle”. However, the Western Australian Genealogical Society questions some of the myths that have grown around this famous photo and is also attempting to identify the soldiers in the image.
True or not, there would have been a multitude of stories of adventure initially that soon turned to hardship, horror and loss. Loss of mates, loss for families back home and loss for their country.