Daffodil honours Gallipoli troops
A new daffodil has been created to commemorate the sacrifice of those who died in one of the bloodiest campaigns of the First World War - and it has been 21 years in the making.
Ron Scamp has named his new variety Gallipoli Dawn in honour of those who fought in the Dardanelles Campaign in 1915. He also hopes the flower will raise much-needed funds for the organisation set up to remember those killed and wounded in the bitter fighting in what is modern-day Turkey.
Mr Scamp, who with his wife Maureen and son Adrian grows more than 3,000 varieties of daffodil - the largest collection in the world - in Falmouth, Cornwall, said: "I made the first 'cross' of this daffodil in 1992, it first flowered in 1997 and it usually takes another six to 12 years to develop to a commercial variety.
"This daffodil is an all-yellow, strong-growing variety for the garden and has already won prizes in exhibition. When the Gallipoli Association approached me and asked me if I had a variety that could be named for the centenary commemoration I was deeply honoured."
Gallipoli Dawn will be on sale soon at three for £12. The price reflects the scarcity of the variety - Mr Scamp expects to have no more than 200 bulbs for sale this year, with the numbers growing slowly as 2015, the centenary of the campaign which claimed in the region of 60,000 Allied lives, approaches.
Lyn Edmonds, executive officer for the Gallipoli Association's G100 centenary committee, said Mr Scamp will be making a donation from every sale. This will be used to boost funds aimed at taking British schoolchildren to the battlefields where 100 years earlier thousands fought and died in searing heat and inhospitable terrain.
"Our image of the Gallipoli Campaign is usually one dominated by memories of Australian and New Zealand troops, the Anzacs. Of course it's right to recognise their bravery and sacrifice, but in fact far more British servicemen died in the campaign and we are determined to ensure their contribution is not forgotten as the centenary approaches," said Mrs Edmonds.
The Scamp family have a direct link to the fighting, although it took Mrs Edmonds' investigative skills to uncover the full story. Some years ago Mr Scamp's son Adrian, then serving in the Royal Navy, attended a commemorative event on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Returning home he heard a family story that one of his ancestors had died there.
"We understood that this relative had travelled there in 1915 aboard HMS Euryalus, the name of the ship my son was serving in when he visited nearly a century later - it was an amazing coincidence," said Mr Scamp. "Lyn has since done some research for us and not only properly identified this young soldier but also located his grave." Mrs Edmonds has established that Private John Chapman, from Macclesfield and serving with the Cheshire Regiment, was killed in the Gallipoli fighting on October 18 1915, aged just 20. She and her husband Keith, from Godmanchester in Cambridgeshire, intend to visit Pte Chapman's grave when they next visit Gallipoli.
The Gallipoli Association is developing an educational programme in order that young people can learn more about the campaign and the events of almost a century ago. Anybody with an interest in the campaign and the work being done to mark its centenary can find out more by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. Specimens of the Gallipoli Dawn daffodil are available from: email@example.com or via their website: www.qualitydaffodils.co.uk.