Thursday, 27 October 2016

Gümüşlük - Calm and Chaos

I was in Gümüşlük this week on a beautifully calm and sunny day. There were a few late sun-seekers on the beach and one or two boats in the bay but there wasn't much going on to disturb the peace and quiet. 




It was probably after just such a day on October 22nd 1943 when the Greek destroyer Adrias hit a mine in the Gulf of Kos and lost most of its bow section, and the HMS Hurworth, steaming to aid the stricken ship, was blown in two by a second mine.  The sea off Gümüşlük was filled with oil, debris and wounded and dead sailors.  The Adrias managed to limp into harbour and this tiny Turkish coastal village became hospital, home and burial ground to Greek and British sailors. This fascinating glimpse of history has been well researched and reported by Dave and Ken in the Gülsüm Balcony Project  and I recommend a visit to their blog to read about it.

When I first visited Gümüşlük in the early eighties, there was a story going around that a British soldier, washed up on the beach after the battles off Kalymnos, had gone to ground in the mandarin gardens to avoid being repatriated to the UK.  Then and now it struck me as a great plot for a film or novel and somewhere in my folders there is a preliminary draft of a screenplay - maybe now is the time to dig it out.

http://gumuslukhistory.blogspot.com.tr/2016/10/73-years-ago-today.html

20 comments:

  1. Interesting war stories about this peaceful looking bay.

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  2. I hope the draft becomes a screenplay ...
    Hana

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    1. Thanks for commenting Hana, don't hold your breath, I am very lazy when it comes to writing.

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  3. Wow, that would make a great screenplay!
    So much history from this period - I did A-Level and (joint hons) degree in modern European history from this period - and these are the stories never told. Learned so much more since moving here / finishing uni and this is another little piece I never knew.
    Actually due to do our blog post from our visit to Gümüşlük in April - we're a tad behind ;) - so will definitely link back to this piece of history, too.

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    1. There's lots more to tell, once the research starts - there's no end.

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  4. Beautiful photos and fascinating history, Annie..

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  5. It looks a beautiful and serene location now but must have been horrifying in 1943 - do dig out your folder, it sounds as if it would be really well worthwhile resurrecting.

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    1. I need to motivate myself - not sure how

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  6. Gümüşlük has always felt like a very special place. Look forward to reading your book xx

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    1. If I had your drive I might be able to get it finished.

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  7. And the handsome young sailor wins the heart of a beautiful village girl? It must have a happy ending. :-D

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  8. B to B, Love the screenplay idea. Go for it! And the setting would be beautiful.

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    1. There have been a couple of films made here already

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  9. . . as you can't blow up ships for fun these days my shares in 'Industrial Light & Magic' should take a serious hike. Go for it!

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  10. Annie thanks for the nod, we’ve rarely had so many visitors to the blog.

    The link below is to an article in the Telegraph from March 2014 telling Donald Haskell’s story and his visit, aged 95, to the modern day HMS Hurworth.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/5623832/War-story-There-is-no-hope-your-husband-is-still-alive.html

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    1. You are welcome Dave. I love your blog and I'm sure lots of others will get great pleasure from the link.

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