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A century ago today, the last of 36,000 Allied troops left Gallipoli
Hundreds of bedraggled, battle-weary men huddled in winter darkness waiting for the last man.
Rough seas pounded their boat against a makeshift jetty. Lazy Turkish shells occasionally whistled over. They strained through the weakening blackness, praying that the human form scrambling over bush towards them was the missing "Joe" Maude and not a marauding machine-gunning Ottoman.
British Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Stanley Maude - a Sandhurst-educated South African War veteran and renowned stickler for professionalism and punctuality - had inexplicably got lost en route to the evacuation point after returning to retrieve his headquarters kit.
Just as daylight broke over a twinkling Aegean Sea on January 9, 1916, the final Allied soldiers - a century ago today - finally waved goodbye to the barren, bone and sorrow-filled land that would soon be etched into hearts and minds of every Australian and New Zealander.