Emotions run high at centenary commemorations in Gallipoli
Bronwyn Madge works in the Defence Support and Reform Group managing ministerial support and training coordination. She attended the Dawn Service at Gallipoli in this centenary year along with her husband after being successful in the ballot for places at the ceremony.
Bronwyn is a direct descendant of a World War I veteran; her great-grandfather was 18 years old when he landed at Gallipoli in May 1915 as part of the 1st Light Horse Brigade. He survived and went on to re-enlist in World War II.
‘The dawn service was very emotional; to be part of the experience was very special’, Bronwyn said.
‘Even limited sleep and cool temperatures didn’t dampen the experience. Being part of the wider Defence and public service family, I was also able to appreciate the behind-the-scenes work that went into this event.’
Travelling with her whole family, Bronwyn was thrilled to be able to return to Gallipoli the next day so her mother could see, for the first time, where her grandfather was posted. Bronwyn’s young children were also able to connect to the area.
‘Even my six-year-old knows the story of Simpson and his donkey. To be able to show them his grave and walk along Anzac Cove provided our three children with a special opportunity to get a real feel for the origins of Anzac Day.’