In a moving interview, designer Camilla Franks and Her Mum Discuss Their Gallipoli Trip in 2015. Camilla’s grandfather and great uncle both fought in Gallipoli. This interview with The Carousel Publisher Robyn Foyster was filmed the same year.
The Commemoration of the ANZAC at Gallipoli is close to the hearts of Australians and New Zealanders everywhere who honour the memory of Defence Force personnel who showed incredible bravery on the shores of a then little-known cove in Turkey over 100 years ago.
But for some the solemn occasion includes a personal story and a salute to members of their very own family. Designer Camilla Franks’ maternal Grandfather, ‘Grandpa King’ and his brother Clive were two of those brave ANZACs.
Here, the internationally-renowned Designer and her mother Narelle share their emotional story and explain why they travelled to the very shore for the Centenary on ANZAC Day (back in 2015).
Interviewer: So tell us why the trip to Gallipoli is so special and so personal?
Narelle Franks: Well I think as a family, Camilla’s father and Camilla and myself, to make this journey to honour my father who was a Gallipoli veteran is going to be something very, very special and also being the centenary – I just don’t know how we are going to feel when we get there. I mean I think it’s going to be overwhelming actually.
Camilla Franks: I think our senses are going to be heightened, I think you know, we are travelling with such pride and such honour and to be able to be on the sands where he was and to be able to really honour his bravery and his courage and his fearlessness and you know, Mum and I were talking before you know like, these boys were 19, we have no idea of the terror they went through, we have no idea of the pain that they felt and their experiences and this is going to be the closest we can to get to it.
Narelle Franks: I don’t think they sort of, I don’t think they really even knew.. they didn’t even realise what they were heading into.
Interviewer: Tell us what special memento you will take with you.
Camilla Franks: I’m definitely going to be taking this (indicates a gold bracelet she’s wearing). This is my favourite piece of jewellery and I feel like I’m connected to grandma and granddad by wearing it. It’s got a lot of grandmas jewellery melted into it..
Narelle Franks: And, her grandfathers fob chain was melted into it.
Camilla Franks: ..and I’ve worn it, Mum wore it when she was a young girl, Grandma wore it so it’s being passed on from generation to generation so it’s very sentimental to me.
Interviewer: That’s lovely, so Grandpa King, he lost his brother in Gallipoli
Camilla Franks: Clive yes..
Interviewer: He also had his leg amputated later as a result. They were a very strong generation you know, what can we learn from that generation?
Camilla Franks: Well I think we can learn, fearlessness, courage, honour and the other thing I think we’ve learnt is that war veterans need support, when they come out. In today’s society there is a rehabilitation program especially for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and everything like that but that wasn’t around for Grandad, they just sort of …
Narelle Franks: ..got on with it.
Camilla Franks: got on with it so, i think it’s about really, yeah their strength I’ve learnt a lot about my Grandpa’s strength since we are making this pilgrimage to turkey…
Narelle Franks: ..and also you know, for his parents, dad going over there in such wonderful shape and coming back this skeleton of a man and then losing another son, it’s tragic.
Camilla Franks: and the domino effect that has on a family unit you know…
Narelle Franks: But they had that stiff upper lip and you just got on with it and I mean but what they must have been feeling inside..
Camilla Franks: Mum was saying that her dad never really spoke about his pain he never really spoke about the experiences but that for me sort of says that it was too painful to talk about.
Narelle Franks: But he used to say some funny things you know he said “Oh, I climbed the pyramids and got in trouble” and also he said when he was shot and lying there, there was a Turkish soldier lying next to him and he said, “He took my chocolate! He took my chocolate!”
Camilla Franks: But I think he dealt with his pain through humour. You (Mum) told me a few stories
Narelle Franks: Yes, yes he did, and you know on both sides there was so much tragedy.
See more on Camilla here