The eight month campaign in Gallipoli was fought by Commonwealth and French forces in an attempt to force Turkey out of the war, to relieve the deadlock of the Western Front in France and Belgium, and to open a supply route to Russia through the Dardanelles and the Black Sea.
The Allies landed on the peninsula on 25-26 April 1915; the 29th Division at Cape Helles in the south and the Australian and New Zealand Corps north of Gaba Tepe on the west coast, an area soon known as Anzac. On 6 August, further landings were made at Suvla, just north of Anzac, and the climax of the campaign came in early August when simultaneous assaults were launched on all three fronts.
The cemetery was named from the 7th Australian Field Ambulance, which landed on Gallipoli in September 1915, but over 350 of the graves were brought in from earlier cemeteries after the Armistice (the majority of the casualties are therefore not Australian, but mainly 54th (East Anglian) Division). These smaller burial grounds were known as Bedford Ridge, West Ham Gully, Waldron's Point, Essex, Aghyl Dere, Eastern Mounted Brigade, Suffolk, Hampshire Lane Nos. 1 and 2, Australia Valley, 116th Essex, 1/8th Hants, Norfolk, Junction, and 1/4th Northants.
There are now 640 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 276 of the burials are unidentified but special memorials commemorate 207 casualties known or believed to be buried among them.
For more information see the Commonwealth War Graves page.