On the 11 April 2021, Severe Tropical Cyclone Seroja hit Geraldton, Western Australia. Over two days it caused widespread damage in the mid-west Gascoyne regions, the worst hit being the small towns of Kalbarri and Northampton, with 70 per cent of buildings damaged or destroyed.
Based in Geraldton, WA (400km north of Perth), the 11th Battalion Living History Unit is a team dedicated to researching and representing Western Australia’s first Battalion. The Gallipoli Trench, which is its recreation of a captured Turkish trench as taken by the 11th Battalion on the night of 31st July 1915, has been damaged to the extent of 60 – 80 percent.
This is a project run by volunteers as a service for those wanting to immerse themselves in the history of the battalion and experience the battle they have portrayed, with actors and sound effects for realism. The experience was shut down following the cyclone and reopened to the public once repairs were completed.
The 11th Battalion AIF sought assistance from Disaster Relief Australia’s DRT WA through their connection to the local RSL.
The DRT WA members assisted the Gallipoli Trench project team on two occasions.
DRA’s WA Disaster Relief Team volunteers assisted The Gallipoli Trench team members with repairs to the history project following Cyclone Seroja.