There’s no military escapade more deeply ingrained in the Australian and Kiwi psyche than the failed Dardanelles Campaign, culminating in landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula, an Ottoman territory, on 25 April 1915. Now commemorated as ANZAC day, 2015 is obviously the centenary of the event and commemorative coins are a given.

Designed to force the Ottoman Empire to sue for peace and open up the Dardenelles Strait to free passage between the Russian Empire and the Allies, the assault started with a huge naval bombardment and attempt to force the strait by sea. It failed. Landings at Gallipoli were launched on 25 April, but were soon bogged down with casualties mounting. By the time the campaign finished with a mass evacuation of Allied forces on 9 January 1916, over 100,000 men lay dead including almost 60,000 Turks, and 43,000 British Empire troops, amongst them 8,709 Australians and 2,721 New Zealanders.

The Royal Australian Mints new coin depicts the famous pine tree from the Lone Pine Memorial above Anzac Cove in Turkey. The Battle of Lone Pine (06-10 August 1915) was part of a diversionary attack by Australian forces designed to draw the attention of Ottoman forces away from the main assaults  against Sari Bair, Chunuk Bair and Hill 971, which became known as the August Offensive.

Managing to capture the Ottoman trenches in just a few hours, the Australian troops had to withstand multiple counter-assaults over the next three days before the Ottomans ceased efforts on the 9 August, and ended all offensive operations the following day. Despite this victory, failures elsewhere led to the positions being evacuated during December 1915.

There are two versions of the coin up for purchase, both carrying the same design in the same way as two other recent Royal Australian Mint releases depicting First World War subjects. It’s a fine design, although geared strongly to the Australian rather than the world market where the Lone Pine that gave its name to the battle is not widely known. A nice change from the usual range of designs that have debuted recently, including two from the same mint, ‘100th Anniversary of the AIF Convoy‘, and ‘C’ Mintmark Coin – ANZAC Centenary’.


GOLD: Australian troops spent eight months fighting on Gallipoli after the first landing on 25 April 1915. Of the 26,000 casualties the Australians sustained, 8000 died. Australian troops fought costly actions at The Nek, Lone Pine and in the foothills of Hill 971, with very little gain. However, they thwarted a Turkish counterattack in May and participated in a failed offensive in August, before evacuating in December 1915. Intricate design layers imagery from the Lone Pine Memorial above Anzac Cove in Turkey, to amplify the sense of remembrance with which we look back upon the landing on Gallipoli.Struck in gold to mark the 100th Anniversary of the first Gallipoli landing.

SILVER: Australian troops spent eight months fighting on Gallipoli after the first landing on 25 April 1915. For decades Australians of an adventurous spirit have ventured to the site of Lone Pine to pay respects to the many lost and wounded in this conflict. Others have sought out the Lone Pine symbolically planted in Canberra.  In 2015, the 100th anniversary of the first Gallipoli Landing will be marked with the release of $5 Silver collectible coins.

Both coins are available to order now, with the silver going for $100 AUD ($90.91 for outside Australia), and the gold for $360.00 ($327.27 non-Australian buyers). Orders start to ship from the 30 January.

WEIGHT 31.1 g 3.11 g
SIZE 40.0 mm 17.53 mm
MINTAGE 10,000 1,500

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article “GALLIPOLI“, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0