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from Manchester Evening New Tuesday 25 April 2000

Heroes who won six VCs before breakfast time
BY SARAH LESTER

Dawn memorial serviceTODAY is the 85th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings in which Lancashire Fusiliers fought so bravely they were awarded "six Victoria Crosses before breakfast."

They were joined on different beaches by soldiers from New Zealand and Australia who remember their dead today, Anzac Day.

More than 600,000 Turkish and British Commonwealth soldiers died during the First World War campaign in 1915.

Under heavy fire from the Turks, more than 850 men from the Lancashire Fusiliers’ First Battalion battled their way off the beaches. There were more than 500 Lancashire casualties on the first day alone.

Tony Sprayson, custodian of the fusiliers regimental museum said: "The beach was very small — 300 yds wide with steep cliffs. The Turks were dug in to the side of the cliffs and the Fusiliers came under heavy fire.

"Six Victoria Crosses were awarded because of their bravery."

The Lancashire Fusillers will remember the landings with a service at St Mary’s Church and a parade through Bury town centre on Sunday.

Picture: In memoriam. . . Australian and New Zealand soldiers pay tribute at a dawn service at Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, today

 

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