Blast From the Past: An ANZAC Story

This was a story that I wrote back in school for an ANZAC Day contest. In case you didn’t know, ANZAC Day (April 25th, 1915) was the day that the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZACs) attacked Gallipoli during WW1. It is now celebrated every year among Australian and New Zealand Citizens.

I didn’t win anything in that competition. I feel robbed. 😦

But what do YOU think? Tell me about it!

***
ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli
April 25
th, 1915 (0415 hours)

It was almost time. The boats had been released at 3.30. Landing would be at 4.30.

As the man checked his rifle again, he noticed that his hands were trembling slightly. He quickly stuffed them into his pockets, hoping nobody noticed his fear.

But then, he reasoned, there was good cause to be.

He was First Lieutenant Stephen Cole, leader of the 9th Battalion in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. A young man, he had a lean physique and sandy blond hair. But as of right now, he was slightly apprehensive at the sight ahead.

Squinting through the early morning fog, Cole could just barely make out the outline of land. Gallipoli. Ground Zero.

Their orders were clear. Land, kill the enemy, and then establish a defensive perimeter until reinforcements arrived. Simple…….except for the thousands of Turks waiting to massacre them. And that very thought chilled him to the marrow.

Cole glanced at the soldiers around him. They were all young men, fresh from Australia and eager for battle. Right now, though, they all had varying degrees of fear on their faces, not knowing what lay ahead.

Cole knew what they were all thinking. Would they ever come out of this alive? All had families, loved ones, friends back in Australia and New Zealand. Would anyone of them ever see them again?

“Five minutes, sir. Five minutes till landing.” came the whispered voice of Captain Joseph Stratford, his best friend and second-in-command. Cole smiled, thinking back to the days where they grew up together, played together, and now, were about to attack Gallipoli together. If anything, he hoped that Stratford would survive this.

Five minutes, Stratford had said. Very well. There was one more thing to do.

Cole reached into his back pocket, pulling out, and gazing at a piece of torn cardboard containing a face that he knew very well. Janet O’Hara. His fiancée. Hardly a moment went by without him thinking of her, of her sweet, soft smile and those beautiful brown eyes. They were going to get married after this mission was over. If he survived, that is.

The ship moved into shallower water. It was almost time. Cole put the picture back in his pocket. This was it.

As the familiar pang of fear hit him, he glanced at his team. All were waiting for him to lead them. And he couldn’t let them down. They were his mates.

Cole drew in a deep breath.

The bugle sounded, a single blast. And Cole made a fateful decision that day.

He leapt out of the boat, followed by Stratford, gun in hand. The rest followed.

Minutes later, gunfire broke the silence of the early morning. The battle for Gallipoli had begun.

Captain Joseph Stratford was the first ANZAC to be killed at Gallipoli. He is now buried at Lone Pine, having been shot to death by machine-gun fire.

First Lieutenant Stephen Cole died from single gunshot wounds to the head and chest. He was found clutching the photograph of his fiancée, Janet O’Hara.

Other than slight injuries, no other casualties were suffered in that first incursion.

***END***

Remember to leave a comment!

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  1. it was okay. not amazing, not spectacular…not a winning composition…but not a bad read.

    will add you to my blogroll a little later.

  2. OMG, first replier! Thanks Jiaren – I knew I could count on you to give the encouragement I need…….. -.-
    At least you posted your comment before Aaron.

    Thanks mate!

    • aaaaa
    • February 18th, 2010

    Jiaren Lau :
    it was okay. not amazing, not spectacular…not a winning composition…but not a bad read.
    will add you to my blogroll a little later.

    hear hear

  3. NIce story. 🙂

    Two points: I noticed you use many adverbs — I’m pretty sure you could cut every LY-word in there. Because you’ve chosen strong verbs, they don’t need modifiers.

    I also noticed a gerund problem:

    “Cole reached into his back pocket, pulling out, and gazing at a piece of torn cardboard containing a face that he knew very well.”

    Technically, a gerund (-ing verb) means that each event happens at the same time. So this would mean that Cole reaches into his pocket WHILE pulling something out and WHILE gazing at cardboard. Does that make sense?

    Overall, though, it’s good tale. I like war stories. 🙂 Keep it up and happy writing!

    -S.

  4. sdennard :

    NIce story. :)

    Two points: I noticed you use many adverbs — I’m pretty sure you could cut every LY-word in there. Because you’ve chosen strong verbs, they don’t need modifiers.

    I also noticed a gerund problem:

    “Cole reached into his back pocket, pulling out, and gazing at a piece of torn cardboard containing a face that he knew very well.”

    Technically, a gerund (-ing verb) means that each event happens at the same time. So this would mean that Cole reaches into his pocket WHILE pulling something out and WHILE gazing at cardboard. Does that make sense?

    Overall, though, it’s good tale. I like war stories. :) Keep it up and happy writing!

    -S.

    Wow…never seen that before. Thanks for the advice. I’ll remember that for my next story.
    Thanks again!

  5. lolz…no prob…I know how annoying it is that people visit but dont comment…

  6. Hah I’m literally the only comment to this amazing article?

    • Must be… 🙂 Thank you for your comment and your kind words. Please continue to check out the rest of the site, and spread the word! Thanks!

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