Road to Gallipoli: Looking back while homeward bound

Australian Regional Media photojournalist Stuart Cumming has returned from a week filing stories from Turkey, as a part of coverage of 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.


Diary Day 9/10, April 28/29:

My time in transit is nearly complete. Just finishing my last diary entry on the train from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast.

The travel was pretty easy on the way home.

My New Zealand friends were on the same flight from Istanbul to Singapore so we sat down for a meal at Changi International Airport.

I was asked what my highlights of the trip were. I said as far as history went, visiting The Nek at Gallipoli probably had the biggest effect on me.

As far as work went, being in the media centre at Fisherman's Hut with some of the country's best news crews was fascinating.

The Yerebatan cistern is an incredible structure below the streets of Istanbul.
The Yerebatan cistern is an incredible structure below the streets of Istanbul. Stuart Cumming

From a tourist's perspective - I really rated the Yerebatan cistern in Istanbul.

It wasn't until we had gone to our separate flight gates that I remembered the real stand out.

The scooter ride down Artillery Rd on Anzac Day, offered by a Turkish guy who could see I was struggling with my gear and fatigue.


There were a lot of outstanding moments, including the dawn and Australian services, but that dicey downhill double was the pick of them.

Mainly because, as previously mentioned, it occurred 100 years to the day the Anzacs were charging up that same path on their way to Lone Pine, killing and being killed as they went.

It has been an honour to meet the people who made the journey to Turkey to mark the occasion, particularly those who had family connections to the Gallipoli peninsula.

Scooter rider and Good Samaritan Ardam makes a quick stop at the bottom of Artillery Rd.
Scooter rider and Good Samaritan Ardam makes a quick stop at the bottom of Artillery Rd. Stuart Cumming

I am very grateful for the opportunity afforded by APN Australian Regional Media. In was a big commitment to an historic event.

I recommend visiting the Australian War Memorial website if you can't get to Canberra to see their displays in person.

The documents available online give great insight into Australia's military involvement in the First World War and the effects felt at home.



Wednesday April 28, 1915: Still moving towards Alex. Sea calm and the weather perfect. Everything right and everybody as happy as Larry. I don't feel the wound at all.

Thursday April 29, 1915: Nothing exciting. Arrived at Alex. about 2 o'clock, and were taken to the No. 15 Gen. Hospital (Eng.) Sam M and I are in a room with another chap from our comp.

There are three beds here with sheets and quilts and I think they expect us to get into them- we can't do it. And then they took us along to get a hospital kit each.

This consists of:- sky-blue uniform lined with white flannel, big and comfortable- undershirt, tennis shirt, pair of socks, handkerchief and red tie and slippers and to add to this they took us along and gave us a hot bath (I'll have a relapse I guess) and then dressed our wounds and then tucked us in between the nice clean sheets- can you get the picture?

I guess I know what paradise is like now.

To continue reading visit and search Diary of Vivian Henry Noble.