|Sergeant Joseph Stratford|
The two claimants are Sergeant Joseph Stratford from Lismore NSW and Duncan Chapman from Maryborough in Queensland. Both were members of the 9th Battalion and both landed on the 25th April. But there the stories diverge.
Australian War historian Charles Bean referred to Duncan Chapman as the first Anzac ashore. But there is eyewitness evidence to the contrary that Sergeant Stratford landed first. The Lismore paper, the Northern Star reported in 1939 that:
''This recalls the belief, on the evidence of a returned Victorian soldier, that Sgt Stratford was the first man to land. The assertion was made by Private Studley Gahan, son of Councillor J. Gahan, of Wellingwood, that 'Joe Stratford was the first of Australia's troops ashore at Gallipoli'.''
The Uniting (formerly Methodist) Church in Lismore has a plaque which states:
''In memory of Sgt Joseph Stratford who attended the mid-Lismore Methodist Church Sunday School. Eyewitnesses state that he was first Australian to land at Gallipoli''.
For the full story, click here.
Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee