Çanakkale. Gallipoli. Lest We Forget

Jan 'Yarn' Wositzky

Çanakkale. Çanakkale. Çanakkale. Çanakkale. Çanakkale. Çanakkale.

It fitted our curriculum perfectly. The narrative, song, poetry, student involvement and props actively engaged the students and allowed them to consider the Gallipoli ‘experience’ from different points of view. They were thoroughly engaged.
Catherine Judd, Siera College

Jan's work is ingenious in being able to capture both the Anzac and Turkish experience and present it in a way that is totally accessible, engaging, and respectful.
Harvey Broadbent, author and producer of Gallipoli writings and documentaries

Written and performed by Jan 'Yarn' Wositzky (Bushwackers Band founder, ABC history feature presenter) Canakkale. Gallipoli. Lest We Forget was a major hit when performed before the Dawn Service at Gallipoli.

Çanakkale pronounced Cha -na -kale, is what Turkish people call the war at Gallipoli, and Çanakkale. Gallipoli. Lest We Forget is a unique piece of music/story theatre that tells both sides of Gallipoli using Turkish and Australian song, poetry, oral history, maps and historical sources.

ParticipationWith scripts send ahead 5 students join Jan in the show.

This is the Gallipoli story you won't hear anywhere else, and Australian history performance at its best.

By bringing both sides together Çanakkale. Gallipoli. Lest We Forget presents a story where our Anzac legend is enlarged by the Turkish legend of how enemy soldiers found respect for each other, and how that respect led to the friendship that Australia and Turkey share today.

The Australian historical material comes from poets CJ Dennis and Mary Gilmore, the ABC archives of Bill Harney, songwriters Ted Egan and Eric Bogle, and traditional songs from the time.

The Turkish material is drawn from poets Nazim Hikmet, Necmettin Halil Onan and Bulent Ecevit, traditional song and poetry and from the words of Turkish hero, Mustafa Kemal Attaturk.

As well as examining the story of Simpson and his donkey and the Turkish counterpart, the powerful drama is structured around four events: the April landing, the May truce, the August offensive and the December evacuation. The historical narrative linked by Jan's personal experiences at Gallipoli.

Jan also asks students to think about questions such as Gallipoli as the ‘birth of a nation’, and compares Australia’s Gallipoli identity that of Turkey’s - via Mustafa Kemal Attaturk, the commander against the Anzacs who became their President.

To make a booking or enquiry, simply press the GREEN Enquiry/Booking Request Button above right to directly contact the booking team. They will answer you promptly to discuss your booking including when payment will be required.

Shows for Schools not only gathers all the great available shows, it also makes booking easier!
Please note: The full production is suited to students in Years 5 - 12. For younger students Jan does an abridged version.

More Reviews

It was a brilliant production and we will certainly book Jan again. I was very impressed with how Jan involved our students in the presentation. Jan had total control, they were silent, listened attentively, and the questions were deep and meaningful.
Teacher, Billanook College

Thanks you for giving 'Çanakkale. Gallipoli. Lest We Forget' as the keynote presentation at the HTAV’s 25th Anniversary Conference. I heard lots of positive comments, some of whom said it was moving and informative as well as entertaining.
Ingred Purnell, History Teachers’ Association of Victoria

Thank you so much for such an enjoyable session last week. Your performance was very engaging, concise and thought provoking. The material directly linked to our classroom activities (based on the DVA 'Investigating Gallipoli' programme) and highlighted
Julie Macpherson Grade 6 Teacher, Australian International Academy

Students loved the show and they thought Jan was great, and having students involved in the performance showed that this was cool. The performance was excellent; varied and relaxed but quite structured.
Neil King, Horsham College

Show Details



Year Level Suitability

3-6 to 10-12

Curriculum area



Australian History, World War One, Gallipoli, Çanakkale, Enlistment, Reasons For Australian Involvement, Australian Relationship With Turkey, Turkish Perspective, Then And Now, Nationalism, Patriotism, Relationship With England, Soldier's Stories


Drama, Live Music, Music Theatre


60 minutes plus questions.


$5 per student, with $500 minimum per show. 10% discount for second show on same day. (Travel and accomodation may be necessary for some locations.)

School Term:
Term 1, Term 2, Term 3, Term 4


Jan operates out of Castlemaine, Victoria, and is available all year in Victoria and southern NSW. For elsewhere in Australia it needs to be a string of shows, so please send Jan an enquiry and we'll see if he can come your way.
PRESS THE GREEN BUTTON to directly contact the booking team!

Enquiry/Booking Request