Suvla Bay

Search for lost Gallipoli relics


By Matt Deans - The Coffs Coast Advocate

An expedition to uncover lost war relics beneath the waves at Gallipoli will set off for Turkey next month after being saved by a grant from the State Government.

The archaeological survey, known as ‘0’ will map the forgotten underwater battlefields of Anzac Cove, North Beach and Suvla Bay.

Coffs Harbour diver and photographer Mark Spencer is set to rejoin the team that in 1998 surveyed the famous World War I wreck of the Australian submarine the AE2 – lost in the Dardanelles Strait on April 30, 1915.

The team hopes to map the remains of sunken landing craft, stores and ammunition along with the famous jetties, Watsons and Williams piers.

“The most conspicuous remnants of the beach landings from 1915 are the footings of the old jetties the troops built during the eight months of occupation,” Dr Spencer told The Coffs Coast Advocate yesterday.

“We expect, however, to find other - and hopefully more personal – artefacts on the sea floor with our diving searches, from dog tags to cigarette lighters, bullet shells, bayonets and magazines.

“This is a landmark project. It adds another dimension to our understanding of the Gallipoli landings and also helps to make this historical event more tangible for the average Australian, as this event slides further back into history.”