“I am the daughter of Australia’s last ANZAC”

The daughter of Alec Campbell, Australia’s last Anzac, is en route to Gallipoli where she will meet a descendant of the last Turkish veteran.

Felicity Tangney will be among the thousands of Australians making the pilgrimage to Turkey to attend the centenary commemorations of the landing at Gallipoli.

I’m really looking forward to seeing where dad was 100 years ago; it’s amazing he was actually there 100 years ago.

Alec's youngest daughter Felicity.

Mr Campbell was 69 years of age when his youngest child Felicity was born.

"It'll be amazing, an emotional experience I guess. I don't really know what to expect it's going to be like," she said as she prepared to leave.

The youngest of nine children, Anzac Day was always an important one to Ms Tangney and the Campbell household.

"Dad always used to go and march and carry his flag and we'd go and watch him and it was always a big day," she said.


This year will be particularly special for Ms Tangney.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing where dad was 100 years ago; it's amazing he was actually there 100 years ago."

Alec Campbell.


It will be Ms Tangney's first time on the Turkish peninsula.

"I want to see it all, I want to see the trenches, I want to see the beach where they landed, just the landscape, the people, everything," she said.

Alec Campbell's death in 2002 broke the last living link with the Gallipoli landing.

Born in Launceston in 1899, Mr Campbell enlisted straight from school by claiming to be two years older than he actually was.

He was just 16 when he landed on the beaches of Gallipoli.

He fought with the 15th Battalion until forces evacuated. After falling ill, he returned to Australia and was discharged in 1916.

He died in 2002 at the age of 103 and was honoured with a state funeral in Hobart.

Fiona is taking her father's tartan scarf with her.


His death broke Australia's last living link with what was a defining battle on the Turkish peninsula.

"As an Australian, [the visit is] one of those sorts of things you want to do and for us especially because of dad," Ms Tangney said.

In 1990, Mr Campbell made the trip back for the 75th anniversary of the landing.

"A marvellous trip. Gallipoli was wonderful, some places were a bit upsetting; I think we all enjoyed it tremendously," he reflected after the visit.

Ms Tangney recalled how he found his trench and accidentally dropped his camera in it.

In Ms Tangney's kit bag will be some precious memorabilia.

"I'll take a replica of his medals, I'll take his Campbell tartan scarf and will wear that to the dawn service, his flag that he used to march with, probably just a photo," she said.

On a cruise from Greece to Turkey Ms Tangney will meet a descendant of the last Turkish veteran from the Gallipoli campaign.

"It'll be interesting to meet him and hear his stories.

I think that's going to be a landmark meeting...suddenly meeting up as friends in a significant event of remembrance of all that died at Gallipoli.

"I guess I'll ask about his ancestors and the people who were on Gallipoli, how he felt about it."

Ms Tangey plans to give him a special medallion featuring her father, which was made to commemorate the Anzac centenary.

Tasmanian RSL president Robert Dick commemorated last Anzac Day on the Western front where two of his uncles fought and died.

"I think it's going to be a very emotional time for her; I hope not too emotional but I'm sure she will appreciate the atmosphere and everything around her," he said.

"I think that's going to be a landmark meeting when you think what were, at one stage, foes in battle to suddenly be meeting up as friends in a significant event of remembrance of all [who] died at Gallipoli."

It is bound to be a remembrance trip to remember.

This post originally appearred on the ABC and has been 

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