From the Dardenelles to Anzac Cove: Coolum Surf Lifesaving Club

Nothing tears at the heartstrings more than the imagery of thousands of boats rowing into the shore of Anzac Cove to the tune of trumpets blasting the Last Post.

In April 2015 on the Dardanelles, an armada of surf boats filled with Australian and New Zealand lifesavers, including Ron Trembath, provided a special tribute to those men who lost their lives 100 years ago, by honouring their memory through participating in a surf boat race to the shores of Anzac Cove.

Coolum Surf Lifesaving Club were one of the first clubs to jump on board this initiative, committed to travelling to Turkey in April to be a part of the G100 surfboat race. An epic 68km journey, the distance will be shared and divided into 7km to 12km shifts, with several Australian and New Zealand crews filling almost 50 boats over the course of the two days – 22 and 23 April. Once complete, the boats were donated to surf clubs in Turkey, France and England as part of Australia’s ongoing support and encouragement of the formation of surf clubs in Europe.

The main driver of the crew’s involvement was Ron with his grandfather Charles Scott Yule having been wounded by the Turks on that fateful day 100 years ago. This has driven his quest to get the Coolum crew together and involved in this significant day of remembrance. Like the saying goes – ‘you can’t keep a good man down’, Charles was wounded in action, suffering shell wounds and serious fractures, leading him to be buried alive in the trenches. Remarkably he came to, recovered and was sent back to war in December 1915, only to then be hospitalised weeks later from a fractured collarbone. True of the unyielding digger we all come to immortalise each ANZAC Day, Charles returned to duty in January 1916, only to be diagnosed as medically unfit and discharged from service in August that year.

Now, his name rests inscribed on the bow of the purpose-built surf boat that closely resembles the whaler boats used in the Gallipoli landing, above eight other names of Coolum surf club members who have died, proudly serving their country. Painted on the other side of the boat are the names of an additional 70 Coolum surf club members who have served in Australian conflicts dating back as far as the Boer War.

View the video here.