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REF NO.: 28

SUBJECT: Gallipoli from Newfoundland and Turkish perspectives

DATE: Oct. 30

Memorial University is hosting a symposium with Turkish partners that will explore the significance of the Gallipoli campaign during the First World War. The one-day symposium will examine the conditions experienced by Newfoundland and Turkish troops on that strategically important peninsula 100 years ago.

“Although our two lands are separated by more than 6,000 kilometres, language and culture, we share a historical connection that is unique in North America,” said Dr. Luke Ashworth, chair of the university’s WW100 steering committee and convenor of the symposium. “Today, we come together as friends to explore the shared experience of those five months in the Dardanelles.”

The symposium, titled Before Beaumont Hamel, There Was Gallipoli, will feature a keynote address, two panel discussions and a number of other presentations. The panels include: Why Did the Allies Go to Gallipoli? A Global and Regional Context; and Personal Stories of the Soldiers at Gallipoli. The first panel will include a contribution from Dr. Mehmet Efe Çaman, Türk-Alman Üniversitesi, Republic of Turkey.

CBC meteorologist Ryan Snodden will speak about the severe winter storm of Nov. 27-28, 1915. In the words of Lt. Owen Steele of the Newfoundland Regiment serving in Gallipoli, “…when the frost came, it tried us all to the limit and all suffered severely ... We have sent about 150 men to hospital, most of them being for frost burnt feet. We have heard that the 86th Brigade lost 200 men by drowning and exposure and nearly 2,000 were sent to hospital."

The keynote address, Imagining the Gallipoli Campaign: Evolution from Landscape to Mythscape, is being given by Dr. Kahraman ?akul, Istanbul ?ehir University, Republic of Turkey.

David Mercer of Memorial’s Queen Elizabeth II Library will present on the digital humanities project titled The Lasting Remembrance Project. This project showcases the university libraries’ physical, digital and web-based collections in areas related to the First World War, with the intention to increase accessibility and encourage new and collaborative research. The project was partially funded through Memorial’s WW100 Living Memorial Commemoration Fund and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

More information on the symposium is available at  

The sessions run from 10 a.m.-4:15 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, in the Bruneau Centre, IIC-2001. There is no cost to attend the symposium, which is open to the public, but registration is required. Email to register.

Free parking will be available in area 1A in the new lot adjacent to the soccer field off Elizabeth Avenue.

This symposium was made possible through the support of the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa, the Government of Canada and the Newfoundland and Labrador Historical Society.


About Memorial University

Memorial University College was established in 1925 as a living memorial to those who lost their lives on active service during the First World War. Through its WW100 commemoration program, the university is undertaking a wide range of initiatives and activities that recognize its origin as a living memorial and contribute to a greater understanding of the 1914-19 period.

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For more information, please contact Dave Sorensen, acting associate director (communications), Marketing and Communications, at 709-864-2143 or



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