Gallipoli signallers provide battle links
As soon as the ANZACs landed at Gallipoli in Turkey on April the 25th 1915 the signallers, well-trained and proficient in Morse code signalling on flag, lamp and heliograph (pictured right), as well as in map reading, immediately began laying telephone lines. The Australian and New Zealand Army Corp (ANZAC) did battle with Ottoman Empire soldiers at Gallipoli during WWI. The ANZACs went on to fight on the western front.
Jim Linton - VK3PC
Around the world radio amateurs are now marking the 100 years that have passed since Gallipoli and WWI. Writing in the FIST Down Under newsletter for April, Alan Gibbs VK6PG said the signallers, identified by a right arm patch, by midnight that day were at headquarters with working telephones and message-forms. They were in contact with troop brigades. However, at times movement was so quick that the phone network lines could not keep up.
Alan VK6PG said many signallers were killed or injured when repairing lines, and forced to show themselves as they relayed messages manually. He said where it was not possible to lay landlines, visual signalling was used, sometimes flags or sunlight by day, and Lucas Lamps at night. It was always extremely dangerous to transmit towards the front of the battlefield, as this would attract enemy rifle fire. The article reports that in many cases, both Turkish and ANZAC phone wires were in the same trench, along with many dead and wounded soldiers from both sides. Amidst the enormous chaos of warfare, the signallers did a massive job in keeping communications operational both in the field and with supporting war ships nearby.
As radio amateurs begin to commemorate the heavy losses suffered during the war 100 years ago, the Wireless Institute of Australia (WIA) has details of its activity campaign online at www.wia.org.au The website has commemorative stations throughout Australia, Belgium, New Zealand, Turkey, and elsewhere. This includes ANZAC-suffixed callsigns in VK and ZL, AX-prefixed callsigns in Australia, Belgium OP0PPYis at Polygon Wood, while Turkey has nine TC100-prefixed commemorative stations.
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