Canterbury Cemetery ANZAC

This article is about Canterbury Cemetery ANZAC and is one of a number of articles I have written about Gallipoli. I have also written guides to help you research soldiers who served in the British Army during the First World War:

Canterbury Cemetery ANZACCanterbury Cemetery Gallipoli

The Canterbury Cemetery ANZAC, Gallipoli is one of the smallest cemeteries on the peninsula. Created after the war it contains the graves of twenty-seven men, five of whom are unidentified. Located less than a kilometre from Anzac Cove, you’ll pass Ari Burnu Cemetery on the road which leads to Suvla Bay. New Zealand No.2 Outpost Cemetery and Embarkation Pier Cemetery can be found if you continue your journey towards Suvla. The Canterbury Cemetery ANZAC is named after the men from the Canterbury Mounted Rifles who were buried there. The twenty-two identified soldiers died between 2 May and 22 August 1915. As you walk through the cemetery you’ll notice that none of the graves have any epitaphs. The New Zealand government did not allow epitaphs on the graves of its soldiers as it objected to the cost of 3 1/2 pence per letter engraved. Despite this objection, there are a handful of New Zealander graves on the Western Front with epitaphs. This is the only cemetery on Gallipoli with no epitaphs.

Below is the headstone of Cecil Frank Twidle who was serving with the Canterbury Regiment when he was killed in action on 19 June 1915. Cecil enlisted on 15 August 1914 at Nelson, fifty miles west of Havelock where he was working as a Farmer. When he enlisted, Cecil was 23 years and eight months old, was 5 feet 7 inches (1.70 meters) in height and weighed 11 stone 7 pounds (73 kgs). He was of medium complexion and had brown eyes and hair. All this information was recorded in Cecil’s service record which can be viewed online for free.

Twidle Canterbury Cemetery Gallipoli

Trooper Gibson Low’s headstone is shown below who was serving with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles when he was killed in action on Walker’s Ridge. Gibson’s service record can also be viewed online. Gibson, who was also a Farmer, enlisted at Christchurch on 21 August 1914. The Canterbury Mounted Rifles was part of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade along with the Auckland Mounted Rifles and Wellington Mounted Rifles. Trooper Low Canterbury Cemetery GallipoliIn the photograph below you can see the prominent landmark known as the Sphinx jutting out of the Sari Bair range.Canterbury Cemetery GallipoliThe Canterbury Cemetery, ANZAC is just opposite the shipwreck of the paddle steamer Marsden which was used as a tug during the Gallipoli Campaign. The ship was sunk by Turkish artillery fire and you can see photographs of it under attack here: Sydney Mail Marsden Photographs. To find the ship, cross the road opposite the cemetery and walk over the sand dunes and you should be able to see it. Depending on the tide, you may only be able to see a few pieces of iron poking out the waves. During my first trip to Gallipoli, this is all I saw, however, I was more fortunate on my most recent visit as can be seen below!Shipwreck Marsden Gallipoli