Family takes journey to remember soldiers

Winchelsea’s Mitchell Woods, centre, and his father Stephen will travel to Turkey next month for the 100-year anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson presented the duo with an Australian flag to take on the trip.

Winchelsea’s Mitchell Woods, centre, and his father Stephen will travel to Turkey next month for the 100-year anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson presented the duo with an Australian flag to take on the trip.

AN EMOTIONAL trip to Turkey will provide a special moment for Winchelsea father and son Stephen and Mitchell Woods.

The Winchelsea residents will be part of a 100-year anniversary at Gallipoli where Australian and New Zealand soldiers famously battled against Turkish forces for nine months during the First World War.

Mr Woods sister-in-law put his name into a ballot for a place at the Gallipoli dawn service on April 25.

The 23-year army veteran said standing alongside his son at the service would be emotional.

“It’s a bit of a buzz actually getting a ballot ticket to go and it will be an honour to go along,” he said.

“I think it might actually be quite an emotional time, to think 100 years ago these guys were running off boats and getting shot at.”

Mr Woods said his wife Sally-Jo would also go to Turkey and the family would visit other European cities including Rome over two weeks.

Corangamite MP Sarah Henderson presented the Woods family with an Australian flag, which other Gallipoli attendees will sign at the dawn service.

Mr Woods said the flag would be a memento for the Winchelsea Returned Services League.

“In 50 years’ time the flag will be hanging up in the clubrooms and people will be able to have a look at it and see all the signatures of people who went along,” he said.

“It’ll be something interesting to look back on and say ‘we were there’.”

Mr Woods joined the army in 1977 and works with the army reserve as a Warrant Officer Class 2 while Mitchell is an army cadet at Geelong.

Ms Henderson said the 100-year anniversary of the Gallipoli landing was a significant time in Australia’s history.

“The Centenary of Anzac will be the most significant national period of commemoration in our nation’s history,” she said.

“The Anzac spirit of mateship and courage is legendary in Australian folklore.”

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