A poignant reminder of the Anzac cricket tradition resurfaced this weekend on the eve of the World Cup Final and nearly a century after the Gallipoli landing.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission shared a picture on its Twitter feed of Anzac soldiers playing cricket in Gallipoli.

"During the 1915 Gallipoli evacuation a cricket match was staged to disguise the withdrawal," the commission said.

The Australian Army said a game was indeed played "as a diversionary tactic" during preparations for the withdrawal.


New Zealanders making the pilgrimage to Gallipoli for the Anzac centenary will likely pass close to the makeshift cricket ground.

"The Shell Green cemetery is located near Artillery Road which is now the primary route for personnel who are moving from the Anzac Cove Dawn Service to Lone Pine," the Australian Army said.

Cricket.com.au shared the image on its Facebook page on Anzac Day last year.

"Months after Anzac Day in 1915, and two days before the eventual evacuation of Gallipoli, Australian soldiers staged a cricket match at an area known to the Diggers as 'Shell Green'," the cricket site reported.

Shell Green was reportedly the only pieced of flat ground in the neighbourhood.
Whether or not any Kiwis were among the players at Shell Green, the commission said this weekend was also an appropriate time to remember New Zealand cricketer Thomas Marshall Percy Grace.

Mr Grace, a Second Lieutenant, grew up in Wellington and died at Chunuk Bair, the commission said.

"On 17 July 1915, Grace earned a mention in dispatches for his 'coolness and bravery' when carrying out a bombing raid on Ottoman trenches," the commission said on its website.

Mr Grace was also a talented rugby player, representing New Zealand Maori.