Uncover the ANZAC tradition with Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours

Uncover the ANZAC tradition with Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours

ANZAC Day tours in Gallipoli are getting underway in preparation for the 109th celebration of Australian and New Zealand soldiers.

Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours offer the chance to uncover the battlefields where the ANZAC legend was forged. 

Offering tours across a range of historical battlefronts, including Gallipoli, Vietnam and the Western Front, attendees often share their stories of serving family members. 

“Each year we lead thousands of Australians to follow in the footsteps of the Anzacs, our expert historians bring the stories of service and sacrifice to life helping travellers to uncover their own personal Anzac relatives’ stories, including visiting final resting places of the fallen,” founder, Mat McLachlan Battlefield Tours, Mat McLachlan, said. 

“For many of our travellers, this is a pilgrimage and trip of a lifetime, but we also have many people return to tour the battlefields time and again, as although the sounds of gun fire on the Western Front and at Gallipoli ended over 100 years ago, there is always something new to discover on these great battlefields.”

Gallipoli Beach Cemetery. (Supplied)

For Ben Ivers, this trip has been a long time coming, alongside his uncle Vincent Kelly, he will follow in the footsteps of Corporal William Kelly (his great-grandfather). 

Penning his great-grandfather’s eulogy, Ben Iver’s wrote:

“Corporal William Kelly of the 26th Battalion, was of humble origins, growing up in the Australian country town of Chillagoe, and it can be assumed, that just like me he was used to the heat! A labourer, William answered the call for war at the age of 23 years, embarking on the HMAT ‘Star of Victoria’, sailing away to what would become some of the most tumultuous years of his life, tragically leaving behind the woman he was engaged to, Josephine Smith.

William would soldier on through the Western Front with the rest of the 26th, fighting in many battles, including the now infamous Battle of the Somme. Fighting bravely, William and the 26th fought on into 1918, but on the 21st of March, tragedy would strike, while fighting in the villages of Lagnicourt. During the fighting William was injured by shrapnel. The wound would ultimately be non-fatal and William was promptly sent home, and was awarded the War medal and Victory medal for his service.

Relieved to be home, William would marry Josephine Smith on Christmas Day. William Kelly like most soldiers, and indeed most Australians had an excellent sense of humour, and always knew how to cheer up the 26th. I never met my Great Grandfather, but he lived his life to the fullest and had a good go at it! I would like to proudly honour my Great Grandfathers service, and I hope this eulogy has honoured his life achievements. He will never be forgotten.

Lest We Forget.” 




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