"THE fact that we will be doing what many Australians will never get to do, and that it is the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli makes for special memories, and to do this as father and son will be amazing," said Michael Graham of Taree, on his upcoming trip to Gallipoli with son Ben.
Ben, formerly of Taree High School, received two attendance passes in the Australian Government ballot to attend the 100th anniversary Anzac Day commemorations.
"I thought it would be a good opportunity for dad, he's never been overseas before," Ben said.
"So I really didn't think twice about it. As soon as I saw there was a second ticket I thought, 'Well great! Dad can come a long too.'"
They will spend two days in Istanbul before touring the Gallipoli battlefields and seeing historical sites like The Nek (the original trenches), Lone Pine and Anzac Cove.
The tour also visits the city of Troy the day before the highlight of the trip - the dawn service and Australian memorial service at Lone Pine.
The following week will be spent in Germany, before returning home.
The excitement of the trip and the pair's shared love of history prompted them each to do some further research.
"The trip inspired us to look into our family history to uncover any connections to the war," Michael said.
"Currently we have found one ancestor who fought in World War I in France as a bombardier and are researching more leads after contacting the extended family.
"We were able to uncover his enlistment records online through the Australian War Memorial archives and through family members passing artefacts down, we uncovered his war medals, including the rising sun from his hat which was presented to his next of kin on his death."
Ben had been given the medals from his grandmother when he was 14, but he didn't understand their significance until now.
"It has definitely been very interesting to uncover the history of the family," Ben said.
Ben and Michael would encourage others to look up their family's history in the war.
Using the National Archives of Australia website, they typed their relation's serial number into 'service records', and were presented with a mass of documents with information on his life and service in the war.
For Michael and Ben, uncovering the details of their history and other research into the war was a crucial part in their holiday preparation.
"It's not one of those holidays where you pack your beach towel and your sunscreen and then you're sorted.
"This a trip that, to fully appreciate the cultural significance, you need a bit of research so you get the back-story of it, so when you are there in the flesh, you can fully appreciate its importance," Ben said.