Battle of Gallipoli

Diving for Anzac relics

Mark Spencer

By Matt Deans - The Advocate

The underwater photographer who captured the resting place of an Australian World War I submarine, sunk during the Battle of Gallipoli, will return to where the Diggers landed.

Coffs Harbour’s Mark Spencer will join a team of divers and archaeologists at Anzac Cove in May aiming to uncover pieces of Australian war history lost beneath the waves for 95 years.

“We are hoping to locate, map and archive anything from soldiers’ helmets, bayonets, rifles, even the cigarette lighters carried by the fallen Anzacs,” Mr Spencer said.

“To our advantage, the ocean is forever uncovering relics off Anzac Cove and Turkish divers have reported seeing magazines full of bullets near the landing sites.”

Respected journalist Mike Munro and a Channel Seven film crew plan to accompany the team to Gallipoli, filming a documentary on their discoveries, which could air nationally.

The expedition will be Mark’s first visit to Gallipoli since the history-making dive in 1998, where he sighted the sunken Australian submarine HMAS AE2 at the bottom of the Dardanelles Straits.

“On my first descent over the wreck, I allowed myself a few minutes to appreciate the significance of the moment,” he said.

“Surprisingly, I felt closer to the Anzacs 72 metres under the sea than I did standing in the trenches at Gallipoli.”