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Saturday, April 4, 2015

43.1.c Anzac Centenary - Turkey- the Gallipoli Campaign Timeline commencing 25th April 1915 - Helles

"Following in the Footsteps of our Durnfords who served in World War 1, this series of posts  provides a short overview of different campaigns, particularly those which they were involved".


The focus shifted from the Western Front to Turkey

Gallipoli involved soldiers from all parts of the Commonwealth and France.  Following the events in a Timeline provides an understanding of why the Gallipoli began and then ended 16 months later with an evacuation, and many of the Generals, who were responsible for another of Britain's War Losses, being recalled and answerable to Parliament.                                                                      

The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign, the Battle of Gallipoli or the Battle of Çanakkale (Turkish: Çanakkale Savaşı), was a campaign of World War I that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916.

One fundamental mistake early in the planning,  it was reported, was a complete disregard for the fighting capabilities of the soldiers of the Turkish Empire.

Perhaps then while researching and doing so, while the Zulu War has been upmost in my mind, it was easy to see the similarities.  Generals who had no regard for their soldiers, send them into battle whatever the consequences or the conditions.  Totally devoid of emotion and often capability.  Sleeping while the battles were taking place, men in the wrong place at the wrong times.  Who me? they might have asked.  

Fighting in the Otterman Empire had been going on for centuries.

The Ottoman Empire also historically referred to as the Turkish Empire or Turkey, was a Sunni Islamic state founded in 1299 by Oghuz Turks under Osman I in northwestern Anatolia.

With conquests in the Balkans by Murad I between 1362 and 1389, the Ottoman sultanate was transformed into a transcontinental empire and claimant to caliphate. The Ottomans overthrew the Byzantine Empire in 1453 with Mehmed II's conquest of Constantinople.

The siege lasted from April 6 to May 29, 1453. When Constantinople finally fell, the millennium-long Byzantine Empire ceased to exist -
he siege lasted from April 6 to May 29, 1453. When Constantinople finally fell, the millennium-long Byzantine Empire ceased to exist. - See more at:
he siege lasted from April 6 to May 29, 1453. When Constantinople finally fell, the millennium-long Byzantine Empire ceased to exist. - See more at:

During the 16th and 17th centuries, in particular at the height of its power under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Empire was a powerful multinational, multilingual empire controlling much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia, the Caucasus, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa.

At the beginning of the 17th century the empire contained 32 provinces and numerous vassal states. Some of these were later absorbed into the empire, while others were granted various types of autonomy during the course of centuries.

With Constantinople as its capital and control of lands around the Mediterranean basin, the Ottoman Empire was at the centre of interactions between the Eastern and Western worlds for six centuries. Following a long period of military setbacks against European powers and gradual decline, the empire collapsed and was dissolved in the aftermath of World War I, leading to the emergence of the new state of Turkey in the Ottoman Anatolian heartland, as well as the creation of modern Balkan and Middle Eastern states.

The Ottoman Caliphate, under the Ottoman dynasty of the Ottoman Empire, was the last Sunni Islamic caliphate of the late medieval and the early modern era. During the period of Ottoman growth, Ottoman rulers claimed caliphal authority since Murad I's conquest of Edirne in 1362.Later Selim I, through conquering and unification of Muslim lands, became the defender of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina which further strengthened the Ottoman claim to caliphate in the Muslim world.

The demise of the Ottoman Caliphate took place because of a slow erosion of power in relation to Western Europe, and because of the end of the Ottoman state in consequence of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire by the League of Nations mandate. Abdülmecid II, the last Ottoman caliph, held his caliphal position for a couple of years after the partitioning, but with Mustafa Kemal's secular reforms and the subsequent exile of the royal Osmanoğlu family from the Republic of Turkey in 1924, the caliphal position was abolished.

Mehmed VI, the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, leaving the country after the abolition of the Ottoman sultanate, 17 November 1922.

Contrary to the popular belief which is often presented in the West, the Ottoman Empire was not a barbaric one. In fact, the Ottoman society remained isolated in time. The Ottoman Empire virtually stood stagnant, while Europe advanced.

Their economy was being primarily agrarian was based on tenant farming and weighed down by greedy tax farmers. Women were disguised and repressed, though the mothers of the Sultans and prospective Sultans in the Harem played an important role in deciding the future of the empire at times.

One of the attributes which contributes to the success of the social structure of the Ottoman Empire was the unity among its highly varied populations through an organization named as millets. The Millets were the major religious groups that were allowed to establish their own communities under Ottoman rule.

Ottoman Empire architecture is among the most beautiful in the world. The roots of this architectural movement were established in the sixteenth century and were basically derived from two sources.

The first was the complex architectural movement that had developed over Anatolia in the preceding centuries – fourteenth and fifteenth- and the other was inspiration from Christian Art. This mix of Islamic and Christian architectural influences is what makes Ottoman Empire architecture so breathtaking – because it has the best of both worlds.

Istanbul has two distinct areas, the Old and the New.  The area around the Palace, comprises the Blue Mosque, the old Palace called Topkapi and the Grand Bazaar.  Wall to wall tourists, wall to wall buses, and wall to wall of so many of the same items for sale.

Dolmabahçe Palace was designed to deny the overwhelming evidence of Ottoman military and financial decline in the mid-19th century.

But when Sultan Abdül Mecit's architects concocted this dripping-with-wealth, Ottoman-European palace, it did more to precipitate the empire's bankruptcy than to dispel rumours of it. Your eyes will boggle at the feat of excess.

The word "Dolmabahce" in English means "The filled garden". Because the Dolmabahce Palace is founded upon a reclaimed area by filling up the sea. It's a beautiful 19th century palace right by the Bosphorus, on the waterfront. It's in baroque and rococo style and very French. Many people think that it is a small model of the palace of Versailles in Paris, France

When one enters the palace area, the first thing to see is the beautiful French style gardens. After having a lovely walk by the Bosphorus, one reaches the main building. The palace was constructed between 1842-1853 by one of the Ottoman Sultans, Sultan Abdulmecid. The architect was a famous Armenian architect, Nikogos Balyan.

The palace reflects the European and more "modern" side of the Ottoman Empire. The Sultans moved to Dolmabahce Palace after its construction was finished and never went back to Topkapi Palace which hosted them nearly 4 centuries.

Topkapi Palace ,Many people consider it one of the most unique places in the world, as well as being the world's largest and oldest Palace. 

The Spoonmaker's Diamond (Turkish: Kaşıkçı Elması) is a 86 carats (17.2 g) pear-shaped diamond which is considered the pride of the Imperial Treasury exhibitions at the Topkapi Palace Museum and its most valuable single exhibit. Considered the fourth largest diamond of its kind in the world, it is kept under conditions of high security.

The Big Diamond of the Topkapi Palace Museum, Photo: Harry Gouvas  Photos of the jewellery are not permitted, nor of any items in the collection of objects which belonged to the Emperors.

Before one enters into the main palace building, should wear blue nylons over shoes due to keep The Grand Hall the palace clean. After wearing them, one faces with a huge entrance hall with beautiful French Baccarat crystal chandeliers.

The palace altogether is decorated with French Baccarat and Czech Bohemian crystal chandeliers.The entrance hall is the hall where the visitors were used to welcomed. This part is the official part (Selamlik) of the Palace that was only open to the men.

The women and the children lived in a different part called "the Harem". The Sultan's bedrooms were also in the Harem Part. The founder of Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk died in this palace in 1938 of sirosis disease.

He actually lived in Ankara, Turkey's capital, but he used to come to Istanbul quite often and Dolmabahce Palace was his residence when he visited Istanbul.
Centuries old
His room is also in the Harem Part of the Palace. There are many portraits in the palace by famous artists, like Aivazosvky of Russia. It's a very ornate palace with its 285 rooms, 43 large halls and 6 Turkish baths.

The large old carpets on the floor are Hereke Carpets which were exclusively woven for the palaces. Some rooms have a great parquet floor with three different woods inlaid into each other by using no nails. Many of the palace fabrics and the curtains were also coming from Hereke, a small town 50 miles,70 kms. to the east of Istanbul. The palace fabrics today were replaced by new ones which are very similar to the original ones.

But not forgetting the Grand Mosque.  It too is filled with the most luxurious plush silk carpet, priceless.  We managed to buy a rather expensive smaller mat, the sheen and the quality would make you think twice about some of the "cut throat" genuine carpet seller ads that seem to be shown!

The traders used to congregate in the area and sell the spices and herbs and silks that they were well known for.

The Grand Bazaar, 1800 stalls, everyone selling the same variation of each other, so busy, so packed, and an absolute fire trap if one ever occurred.

In fact it is so large and congested, it is recommended taking a photo of the entrance so you know how to get out!  No smoking signs everywhere!  But...........

There was not of course any opportunity for our Anzacs to see the sights and sounds of Turkey.

No opportunity to visit the ruins of Ephesus, or the town of Troy, where thousands of years before wars were fought and won.

Where ancient civilizations fought
duels and staged events in huge stadiums, where huge libraries, now ruins due to time and earthquakes, where ingenuity was used to provide solutions to ablutions!

And where today, old palaces make way for stunning elaborate and very expensive exclusive residences for the rich.  

Let's hope that nothing changes those wonders that form part of Turkey.

The decisions were made!

By late 1914, the war on the Western Front had become a stalemate; the Franco-British counter-offensive of the First Battle of the Marne had ended and the British had suffered many casualties in the First Battle of Ypres in Flanders. Lines of trenches had been dug by both sides, running from the Swiss border to the English Channel as the war of manoeuvre ended and trench warfare began.

The German Empire and Austria-Hungary closed the overland trade routes between Britain and France in the west and Russia in the east. The White Sea in the arctic north and the Sea of Okhotsk in the Far East were icebound in winter and distant from the Eastern Front, the Baltic Sea was blockaded by the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) and the entrance to the Black Sea through the Dardanelles was controlled by the Ottoman Empire.

Gallipoli Timelines

January 1915
  • 13 – British War Council approves plans for a naval operation to force the Dardanelles.
  • 15 – Naval operations: French submarine Saphir is lost after running aground in the straits.

February 1915

  • 19 – Naval operations: First attack on the Dardanelles by battleships HMS Cornwallis, HMS Vengeance and French battleship Suffren.
  • 25 – Naval operations: Second attack on the Dardanelles, led by Vice-Admiral John de Robeck aboard Vengeance.

March 1915

  • 10 – Naval operations: Night attack in the straits led by Commodore Roger Keyes and the battleship HMS Canopus.
  • 12 – General Sir Ian Hamilton is appointed commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force by the Secretary of State for War, Horatio Kitchener.
  • 13 – Naval operations: Keyes conducts another night-time mine sweeping operation with some success.
  • 16 – Naval operations: Admiral Carden, commander of the Allied fleet, resigns due to nervous strain. Vice-Admiral de Robeck takes command.
  • 18 – Naval operations: Turkey defeats the final attempt by the British and French fleet to force the straits. Three battleships are sunk by mines. Three battleships and the battlecruiser HMS Inflexible are badly damaged.
  • 22 – At a conference between Hamilton and de Robeck aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth, it is decided to make an amphibious landing on the Gallipoli peninsula.

April 1915

  • 17 – British submarine E15 runs aground in the straits.
  • 25 – British Empire and French forces make amphibious landings on the Gallipoli peninsula.
    • Landing at Cape Helles made by the British 29th Division and elements of the Royal Naval Division.
    • Landing at Anzac Cove made by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).
    • French forces make a diversionary landing at Kum Kale on the Asian shore.
  • 26 – Naval operations: Australian submarine HMAS AE2 becomes the first Allied vessel to pass through the Dardanelles into the Sea of Marmara.
  • 27 – Anzac: Under the command of Mustafa Kemal, the Turks mount a counter-attack but fail to drive the Anzacs into the sea.
  • 27 – Naval operations: British submarine E14 passes through the Dardanelles to start a successful three-week tour.
  • 28 – Helles: First Battle of Krithia British and French forces suffer 4,000 casualties for little gain.
  • 28 – Anzac: The Anzac landing is reinforced by four battalions from the Royal Naval Division.

May 1915

  • 1 – Naval operations: French submarine Joule is mined and sunk in the straits.
  • 6 – Helles: Second Battle of Krithia commences. British 42nd (East Lancashire) Division begins landing as reinforcements.
  • 8 – Helles: Second Battle of Krithia ends.
  • 12
    • Helles: HMS Goliath is sunk by the Ottoman torpedo boat Muavenet-i Milliye.*
    • Anzac: Australian 1st Light Horse Brigade arrives as reinforcements.
  • 13 – Anzac: New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade arrives as reinforcements. Royal Naval Division battalions rejoin the rest of the division at Helles.
  • 15 – Anzac: Major General W.T. Bridges, commander of the Australian 1st Division is mortally wounded in the leg by a Turkish sniper. He dies at sea three days later.
  • 18 – Naval operations: British submarine E11 passes through the straits into the Sea of Marmara.
  • 18 – Anzac: Turkish forces mount a massive attack using 42,000 men but are repulsed, suffering 10,000 casualties.
  • 19 – Anzac: Australian stretcher-bearer John Simpson Kirkpatrick is killed near Steele's Post.
  • 20 – Anzac: The Australian 2nd Light Horse Brigade arrives as reinforcements.
  • 21 – Anzac: The Australian 3rd Light Horse Brigade arrives as reinforcements.
  • 22 – Anzac: Negotiations commence to arrange an armistice in order to bury the dead in no man's land.
  • 24 – Anzac: An armistice is declared from 7.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. in which time Turkish and Anzac dead are buried.
  • 25
    • Anzac: HMS Triumph is sunk by German U-boat U-21.
    • Naval operations: HMS E11 torpedoes Ottoman transport Stamboul in the Bosphorus, causing panic in Constantinople.
  • 27 – Helles: HMS Majestic is sunk by U-21.
  • 28-30 Battle for No.3 Post

June 1915

  • 4 – Helles: Third Battle of Krithia British and French forces mount a limited attack but still fail to reach their objectives.
  • 28 – Helles: Battle of Gully Ravine starts.

July 1915

  • 5 – Helles: Battle of Gully Ravine ends with the British repelling a large Turkish counter-attack.
  • 12 – Helles: British 52nd (Lowland) Division and Royal Naval Division attack along Achi Baba Nullah.

August 1915

  • 3 – Anzac: Reinforcements for the forthcoming offensive begin landing, including the British 13th (Western) Division.
  • 6 – Battle of Sari Bair, also known as the August Offensive, commences.
    • Helles: Battle of Krithia Vineyard diversion commences with an attack by the 88th Brigade of the British 29th Division.
    • Anzac: Battle of Lone Pine diversion commences at 6.30 a.m. with the Australian 1st Division capturing Turkish trenches. Fighting continues for six days in which time seven Victoria Crosses are awarded.
    • Suvla: At 10.00 p.m. the British 11th (Northern) Division, part of IX Corps, begins landing.
    • Anzac: Under cover of darkness, two columns of Anzac, British & Indian troops break out to the north, heading for the heights of Chunuk Bair and Hill 971.
  • 7
    • Anzac: Battle of the Nek At 4.30 a.m. another futile diversion virtually wipes out two regiments of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade.
    • Suvla: The British 10th (Irish) Division begins landing.
    • Helles: Fighting at Krithia Vineyard continues with an attack by the 42nd Division.
    • Anzac: After a lengthy delay, the New Zealand Infantry Brigade attempts to capture Chunuk Bair but fails.
  • 8
    • Anzac: Battle of Chunuk Bair Attacking at 3.00 a.m., New Zealand and British infantry gain a foothold on Chunuk Bair.
    • Naval operations: British submarine HMS E11 torpedoes the Ottoman battleship Barbaros Hayreddin off Bulair.
  • 9 – Anzac: A general attack by the Allies on the heights of Chunuk Bair, Hill Q and Hill 971 fails.
  • 10
    • Anzac: Battle of Chunuk Bair ends when the Turks, led by Mustafa Kemal, drive the Allies off the heights.
    • Suvla: British 53rd (Welsh) Division attacks Scimitar Hill, suffering heavy casualties.
  • 12 – Anzac: Battle of Lone Pine ends.
  • 13 – Helles: Battle of Krithia Vineyard ends.
  • 15 – Suvla: General Sir Frederick Stopford is sacked as commander of IX Corps.
  • 21 – Final British offensive of the campaign launched to consolidate Anzac and Suvla landings.
    • Suvla: Battle of Scimitar Hill IX Corps makes a final attempt to seize Scimitar and W Hills.
    • Anzac: Battle of Hill 60 begins.
  • 29 – Battle of Hill 60 ends.

September 1915

  • 12 – The 26th Infantry Battalion at ANZAC arrives as reinforcements, deployed to Taylor's Hollow.
  • 19 – Royal Newfoundland Regiment arrives as reinforcements.

October 1915

  • 15 – General Sir Ian Hamilton is sacked as commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.
  • 28 – General Sir Charles Monro arrives to assume command of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.
  • 30 – Naval operations: French submarine Turquoise runs aground while returning through the Dardanelles and is captured.
  • 31 – Suvla: Destroyer HMS Louis runs aground in a storm and is wrecked.

November 1915

  • 6 – Naval operations: British submarine E20 is ambushed and sunk in the Sea of Marmara by German U-boat U-14.
  • 15 – Field Marshal Horatio Kitchener, the Secretary of State for War, visits Gallipoli.
  • 22 – Kitchener recommends evacuation of Anzac and Suvla.
  • 27 – A fierce storm and blizzard, lasting three days, strikes the peninsula.

December 1915

  • 7 – Politics: The British Cabinet orders the evacuation of Anzac and Suvla.
  • 18 – Start of final evacuation of Anzac and Suvla.
  • 20 – Evacuation of Anzac and Suvla completed before dawn.
  • 28 – Politics: The British Cabinet orders the evacuation of Helles.

January 1916

  • 7 – Helles: British garrison reduced to 19,000. Turkish assault launched along Gully Spur.
  • 9 – Helles: Last British troops depart the Gallipoli peninsula.

Late 1914

While the empire remained neutral supplies could still be sent to Russia through the Dardanelles, but prior to the Ottoman entry into the war the straits had been closed and in November they began to mine the waterway.

French Minister of Justice Aristide Briand's proposal in November to attack the Ottoman Empire was rejected and an attempt by the British to pay the Ottomans to join the Allied side also failed.

 Later that month, Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, proposed a naval attack on the Dardanelles, based in part on erroneous reports of Ottoman troop strength. Churchill wanted to use a large number of obsolete battleships, which could not operate against the German High Seas Fleet, in a Dardanelles operation, with a small occupation force provided by the army.

It was hoped that an attack on the Ottomans would also draw Bulgaria and Greece (both formerly ruled by the Ottomans) into the war on the Allied side. On 2 January 1915, Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia appealed to Britain for assistance against the Ottomans, who were conducting an offensive in the Caucasus. Planning began for a naval demonstration in the Dardanelles to divert troops from the Caucasian theatre of operations

On 17 February 1915, a British seaplane from HMS Ark Royal flew a reconnaissance sortie over the Straits. Two days later, the first attack on the Dardanelles began when a strong Anglo-French task force, including the British battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth, began a long-range bombardment of Ottoman artillery along the coast.

The British had intended to utilise Ark Royal '​s eight aircraft to spot for the bombardment, but harsh conditions rendered all but one of these, a Short Type 136, unserviceable.[39] A period of bad weather slowed the initial phase but by 25 February the outer forts had been reduced and the entrance cleared of mines.

After this, Royal Marines were landed to destroy guns at Kum Kale on the northern Asian coast and at Sedd el Bahr on the southern tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula, while the naval bombardment shifted to batteries between Kum Kale and Kephez

February and March 1915 saw a series of three purely naval assaults upon the Dardanelles Straits by a combined British and French force led by Sir Sackville Carden and, latterly, Sir John de Robeck.  All ended in failure: all were the brainchild of British First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill.

The failure of the naval offensive ultimately claimed the careers of Churchill, First Sea Lord Admiral John Fisher (whose resignation brought Churchill down with him) and French naval minister Jean Augagneur.

Thus what began as a 'demonstration' of naval force against Turkish fortresses in the Dardanelles Straits claimed a number of high profile political scalps.

Rather than call off the endeavour in failure however the British and - somewhat more reluctantly, the French - government decided to press forward with a combined naval/ground expedition, the whole to be led by Lord Kitchener's former protégé, the newly-appointed Sir Ian Hamilton.

Hamilton was assigned a force of 75,000 men by Kitchener and a further 18,000 French colonial troops were added on 10 March.  Facing him were 84,000 Turkish troops - amounting to six divisions - led by attached German officer Liman von Sanders.

On 18 March 1915, the main attack was launched. The fleet, comprising 18 battleships with a supporting array of cruisers and destroyers, sought to target the narrowest point of the Dardanelles, where the straits are 1 mile (1.6 km) wide.

Despite some damage sustained by ships engaging the Ottoman forts, minesweepers were ordered to proceed along the straits. According to an account by the Ottoman General Staff, by 2:00 p.m. "all telephone wires were cut, all communications with the forts were interrupted, some of the guns had been knocked out ... in consequence the artillery fire of the defence had slackened considerably".

The French battleship Bouvet was sunk by a mine, causing it to capsize with her crew of over 600 still aboard. Minesweepers manned by civilians, under the constant fire of Ottoman shells, retreated, leaving the minefields largely intact. HMS Irresistible and HMS Inflexible were critically damaged by mines, although there was confusion during the battle about the cause of the damage—some blamed torpedoes. HMS Ocean, sent to rescue the Irresistible, was also damaged by an explosion, and both ships eventually sank.  The French battleships Suffren and Gaulois were also damaged; the ships had sailed through a new line of mines placed secretly by the Ottoman minelayer Nusret ten days before

The French battleship 'Bouvet', in the Dardanelles.
It was assigned to escort troop convoys through the Mediterranean at the start of the war. 

In early 1915, part of a larger group of combined British and French ships sent to clear Turkish defenses of the Dardanelles. 

The bombardment was to be performed by a mighty armada, led by the British super-dreadnought 'Queen Elizabeth' and battle-cruiser

HMS Irresistible battleship, the ship hit a mine at the battle of the Dardanelles on March 18, the sea is in her throat. Most of the crew evacuated under fire of the Turkish shore batteries after being abandoned, then went down in the waters of the Bosphorus.

18 March 1915 evacuees before sinking the HMS Lbatman ship. /HMS Irresistible abandoned 18 March 1915.  (Turkish translation)

After the failure of the naval attacks, ground forces were assembled, tasked with eliminating the Ottoman mobile artillery so that minesweepers could clear the way for the larger vessels. The British Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, appointed General Sir Ian Hamilton to command the 78,000-strong Mediterranean Expeditionary Force that was to carry out the mission.

 On 18 March the British and a squadron of French ships mounted a more determined attack, with the result that three were sunk and three disabled by undiscovered mines. There was little effect on the defenders, except to cause them to expend the majority of their ammunition. Churchill ordered Admiral John de Robeck to continue the operation, but de Robeck, replacing the intended commander of the fleet, Admiral Sackville Carden (who had become ill), saw no sense in losing further ships, and  withdrew. 

It was then decided that an invasion by troops would be required. Had the bombardment continued it is likely the defending guns would have ceased firing for lack of shells, the minesweepers could have worked effectively and the British ships could have moved in to their objectives.

Another British Officer who did not follow orders 

Hamilton became responsible for organising armed landings. He had no specialised landing craft, the disparate troops he had been given had no training, and supplies for the army had been packed in ways which made them difficult to access for landings. Hamilton believed that the navy would make further attacks during his landings.

The navy, realising likely losses and fundamentally opposing the idea that tactical losses of ships was acceptable, declined to mount another attack. The Turks had had two months warning from the first serious navy attack to prepare ground defences before the follow-up ground landings took place, and they used the time effectively

 At this time, soldiers from the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) and New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) were encamped in Egypt, undergoing training prior to being sent to France. These troops were formed into the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), which comprised the all-volunteer Australian 1st Division and the New Zealand and Australian Division under the command of Lieutenant General William Birdwood.

The ANZAC troops, along with the regular British 29th Division, the Royal Naval Division and the French Oriental Expeditionary Corps, consisting of "metropolitan" and colonial troops, were subsequently placed under Hamilton's command.

With only five divisions the operation would be complicated by the limited forces available, the rugged terrain of the peninsula and the small number of suitable landing beaches, as well as severe logistical difficulties.As the campaign progressed, the troops of the MEF would eventually be supported by about 2,000 civilian labourers from the Egyptian and Maltese Labour Corps

As a landing under fire had not been foreseen, the force was not prepared for such an undertaking. The British and French divisions subsequently joined the Australians in Egypt, while over the following month Hamilton prepared his plan, choosing to concentrate his force on the southern part of the Gallipoli peninsula at Cape Helles and Sedd el Bahr.

The Allies initially discounted the fighting ability of the Ottoman soldiers* but came to respect them during the campaign. The early apathy was illustrated by a leaflet that was issued to the British and Australians while they were still in Egypt: "Turkish soldiers as a rule manifest their desire to surrender by holding their rifle butt upward and by waving clothes or rags of any colour.

An actual white flag should be regarded with the utmost suspicion as a Turkish soldier is unlikely to possess anything of that colour." Erickson has argued that this apathy stemmed from a "sense of superiority" amongst the Allies, which had resulted from the decline of the Ottoman Empire, and perceptions of its performance in earlier conflicts including the Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913.

 As a result, Allied intelligence failed to adequately prepare for the campaign, in some cases relying on information gained from Egyptian travel guides

* Wouldn't you think they would have learnt a lesson, never to underestimate the opposition,

Starting on 19 February, Allied ships attempted to take the strait using naval power alone. For the large ships to approach and shell the forts, the mines had to be cleared. The mines could not be cleared because of inadequate minesweepers, and because of ongoing shell-fire from the forts. The plan had been conceived with the idea of only sending second-rate ships which were considered expendable.

The troops earmarked for the assault were required to be loaded on the transports in the order they were to disembark and as a result the landings could not be undertaken until the end of April. Whilst the five-week delay offered the Ottomans the opportunity to strengthen their position on the peninsula, unfavourable weather during March and April might have delayed the landings at any rate and would have prevented any troops ashore from being supplied and reinforced. Australian and New Zealand forces departed Egypt in early April, assembling on the island of Lemnos in Greece, where a small garrison had been established in early March.

 After arriving on 12 April a number of basic practice landings were undertaken. Meanwhile, on 17 April 1915, the British submarine HMS E15 under the command of Captain T.S. Brodie had also tried to run the straits, but hit a submarine net and ran aground. The submarine was subsequently shelled by a Turkish fort, killing Brodie and six of the crew and forcing the survivors to surrender.

Turkey in April - is still cold.  Perhaps not by English standards, but certainly by what most of the Anzac soldiers would be used to!   The winds blowing when we were at Gallipoli were bitterly cold.


Meanwhile back in England -

A warning of hard fighting to come in the Dardanelles, of taking “too light-hearted a view” of the campaign was published on 3rd April 1915.


“Except for a few shots on March 28th, and a reported bombardment by the Queen Elizabeth of some Turkish positions near the head of the Gulf of Saros, there has been no fighting recently in the Dardanelles region, says a Times telegram from Mytiline.

“The British public, who may have taken too light-hearted a view of the campaign against the gates of the Turkish Empire, will have to exercise patience and be prepared to accept heavy losses with equanimity.

“For the Turks and their German advisers have had time greatly to strengthen their positions on each side of the Straits. They have also been encouraged by the events of March 18th.

“They have a fair supply of artillery, including mobile pieces of from 4-inch to 6-inch calibre, and they have excellent artillery positions which the naval guns of the Allies cannot reach.

“There is nothing to show that any considerable proportion of officers are disaffected, or that the absence of camaraderie between German and Turkish officer diminishes the fighting efficiency of the army to any considerable extent.

“Much hard fighting, in which the Allies must suffer heavily, may, therefore, be counted on, before they can train their guns on the Mamakriken powder mills of the Sublime Porte.”
'Nottingham Evening Post', 3rd April 1915.

How true were those words!


A Fateful Day

  • 25 – British Empire and French forces make amphibious landings on the Gallipoli peninsula.
    • Landing at Cape Helles made by the British 29th Division and elements of the Royal Naval Division.
    • Landing at Anzac Cove made by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).
    • French forces make a diversionary landing at Kum Kale on the Asian shore.

Before undertaking this research project it had been my understanding that 25th April, only related to the landing at Anzac Cove.  How wise we become with extra knowledge and surely many others must think that also.  So how did we not know about the number of English who landed at the same time at Cape Helles?   One thing most Australians of my generation, are not, and that is insular.  

The more indepth my research, the more my realisation that the truth about Gallipoli was very well shaded, either conveniently or by design.  For that reason, and to follow this tribute, the timeline has been followed with stories and photos of the day.

It became quite evident when assessing war diaries and personal records that confusion reigned.  

Firstly the British Landing at Cape Helles

The landing at Cape Helles was part of the amphibious invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula by British and French forces on 25 April 1915 during the First World War. Helles, at the foot of the peninsula, was the main landing area. With the support of the guns of the Royal Navy, the 29th Division was to advance six miles (9.7 km) along the peninsula on the first day and seize the heights of Achi Baba.

The British were then to go on to capture the forts that guarded the straits of the Dardanelles. A feigned landing at Bulair by the Royal Naval Division and a real landing at Anzac Cove were made to the north at Gaba Tepe, by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps before dawn and a diversionary landing was made by French forces at Kum Kale on the Asiatic shore of the Straits. After dark another demonstration was made by the French in Besika Bay.

The Helles landing was mismanaged by the British commander, Major General Aylmer Hunter-Weston. V and W beaches became bloodbaths, despite the meagre defences, while the landings at other sites were not exploited. Although the British managed to gain a foothold ashore, their plans were in disarray. For two months the British fought several costly battles to reach the first day objectives but were defeated by the Ottoman army.

When the Battle of Gallipoli commenced in March 1915, Hunter-Weston was promoted to the command of the British 29th Division, which was to make the landing at Cape Helles near the entrance to the Dardanelles.


Allied troops prepare to disembark from HMS PRINCE OF WALES at Gallipoli in 1915.

When asked for his advice before the landings, Hunter-Weston cautioned General Hamilton that the Turks had had ample time to turn the peninsula into "an entrenched camp", that Helles was less vulnerable to Turkish attack than Suvla Bay but conversely offered little room for manouvre and given Britain's lack of High Explosive shells needed to cover attacks risked an Allied bridgehead being tied up in front of Kilitbahir Plateau and becoming "a second Crimea" which would damage Britain's standing with neutral Greece and Romania. He suggested that given the loss of surprise it might be better to call off the expedition.

Hunter-Weston wrote to his wife (7 April) “the odds against us are heavy. However, nothing is impossible”. Birdwood also privately wrote the same, and Travers suggests that, as British officers of the era were expected to remain cheerful and optimistic in public, this may have been “a safety outlet” to be pointed to if the operation went wrong.

Hunter-Weston, supported by Admiral Robeck, preferred a daylight landing at Helles (Hamilton and Birdwood preferred an attack just before first light – this was used for the ANZAC landing further north, which had been intended to land on the beach at Gaba Tepe

Hunter-Weston concentrated on V, W and X Beaches at the tip on the peninsula, less on S and Y beaches (on the east and west coast respectively), which were intended merely to threaten the Turkish retreat. No contingency plan had been made for S or Y beach forces to push ahead if the main forces at V, W and X were held up.

 Admiral Wemyss and Hunter-Weston spent 25 April on board HMS Eurylaus, the attendant ship at W beach, so were unable to inspect elsewhere – Hunter-Weston and his chief of staff Brigadier-General H.E.Street were on the bridge, where their papers were scattered every five minutes when the ship’s 9.2’’ gun was fired.

 An angry Roger Keyes recorded that they “were in complete ignorance of what was going on anywhere except at W and possibly at X Beach” and was furious at Hamilton for adhering to Staff College doctrine by not interfering with “the man on the spot” (Hamilton claimed he was dissuaded by Braithwaite, even though he could see that V Beach was in trouble).

He diverted the Essex Regiment (part of 88th brigade) from V to W Beach at 0830 hrs. Hunter-Weston’s diary records that “V Beach is still hung up”, suggesting that he thought the problems there temporary, although he was dissuaded from landing to take personal command at that beach.

Hunter-Weston appears to have little interest in Y Beach during the night of 25–6 April. For ten hours Lt-Col Godfrey Matthews had been signalling to Hunter-Weston, demanding reinforcements of men and ammunition there, but received no reply.

 Hunter-Weston did not reply to Hamilton’s first offer (9.21am) to make more trawlers available to land more troops at Y Beach, where they had surprise and lack of opposition. After being ordered to reply to the second message (10am) only did so at 10.35am after consulting Admiral Wemyss.

He was still awaiting reports from V Beach at the time. At 6pm Marshall, the commander at X Beach,  asked permission to advance to assist Y Beach, but after a delay of two hours Hunter-Weston ordered him to stay put and advance the following day. He did not mention Y Beach in his diary, and later concealed the evidence about it from Hamilton until July 1915.

On the evening of 25 April Hunter-Weston boarded HMS “Queen Elizabeth” to confer with Hamilton, who recorded that he was “cheery, stout-hearted, quite a good tonic and – on the whole – his news is good”.

After the 25 April landings Hunter-Weston thought the bravery of the men at W Beach “a most marvellous feat”. When the force at Y Beach had to be evacuated the following morning - a decision taken at the local level - Hamilton assumed that Hunter-Weston had ordered this without consulting him.

Robin Prior writes that Hunter-Weston "remained anchored off W beach.. He was out of contact with S and Y, neglected X and seemed determined to avoid any knowledge of V... (he) took no steps to gather information for himself.

His one positive move (to shift troops from V to W beach) had nothing to do with the situation at V and only succeeded because the Turkish defence was stretched too thinly."  Gordon Corrigan claims - without giving further detail - that his command of the division was "one of the more competent aspects" of the Helles landings and that "his handling of the division, once ashore, was thoroughly competent"

The journalist Ashmead-Bartlett wrote of how “a great number of the Brigadier-Generals openly refused to take any further orders from Hunter-Weston, who was responsible for the muddle … they all said that … he had been affected by the sun a little, and was incapable of giving orders”.

Hunter-Weston relieved Egerton of command of 52nd Division on 13 July, sending him to his ship for a night’s rest. Orlo Williams, a cipher officer, wrote in his diary (21 July) of how Hamilton, the nominal commander-in-chief of the campaign, had little direct involvement and how Hunter-Weston and a few staff officers were running the show.

Hunter-Weston was himself relieved on 23 July, officially for enteric or sunstroke, and returned to England. Les Carlyon writes: " What was wrong with (Hunter-Weston) has never become clear. The explanations run from sunstroke and exhaustion to enteric fever and dysentery to a collapse and a breakdown. Hamilton ... saw him 'staggering' off to a hospital ship.”

Hamilton recorded “He is suffering very much from his head”. Next day he recorded “Hunter-Weston has to go home” and a few days later he referred to “Hunter-Weston’s breakdown”.Hamilton later wrote to Aspinall of the Dardanelles Commission (July 1916) that Lady Hunter-Weston had been told that her husband was being “sent home”, normally a euphemism for sacking. Travers argues that his illness was used as an excuse to relieve him of command.

Godley wrote (23 July) “with all his faults Hunter-Weston was a gallant soul … At the same time, one is rather thankful to think he will not be (as he calls it) “blooding” Freddie Stopford’s reinforcements (IX Corps) against Achi Baba”.

Political leaders in London had agreed to commit a further five divisions to Gallipoli in July, but had decided instead that further attacks from the Helles bridgehead were too slow and costly and that a fresh landing at Suvla Bay offered a better chance of swift victory.

Hunter-Weston wrote to Hamilton (11 August - after criticism had been made of Stopford’s lack of initiative at Suvla) urging that he appoint commanders who would “push unrelentingly, push without ceasing, push without mercy”, without regard to the “yelping” of subordinate commanders.


Landing the Regiments - A very different plan

They called it a modern day Horse of Troy ship   ................As told by a survivor's son

 The scheme for landing the 29th Division on the Gallipoli Peninsula at Cape Helles was that five beaches designated 'S', 'V', 'W', 'X' and 'Y' were to be attacked simultaneously. Some of the division were to be landed from the River Clyde.

The River Clyde was a collier of some 2000 tons. The innovative idea of converting this vessel into a 'Horse of Troy' came from a Royal Naval Officer, Commander Edward Unwin.

The collier was to be filled with troops and run aground at 'V' Beach. To expedite the safe disembarkation of troops, holes were cut through the steel plates in her sides; troops could emerge on to gangways supported by ropes which ran along the sides towards the bows of the vessel from each side. These gangways then led down to two barges which were to form a gangway to shore.

 The River Clyde could hold about 2,100 troops together with the necessary crew, and she had eight machine guns mounted on her decks. The barges which would form the gangway to shore were to be towed alongside the vessel, and with the impetus of the ship under way, were to shoot forward when the vessel was beached and then manoeuvre into position so that the troops could run along them to shore and so land quickly, form up, and develop the attack.

Troops were staged at Lemnos. On 23-Apr-1915 at approximately 17.00 hours, the transport Caledonia left Lemnos with troops for Tenedos where final dispositions were made before the 'V' Beach landings. Steaming slowly all night with lights out, Tenedos about forty miles away was reached at 07.00 hours on 24-Apr-1915. At 15.15 hours orders were received to embark on the River Clyde. By 19.30 hours the embarkation was complete.
The disposition of troops on board was as follows:
No. 1 Hold (upper deck).
'X', 'Y' and 'Z' companies, Royal Munster Fusiliers.
No. 1 Hold (lower deck).
'W' company, Royal Munster Fusiliers.
One company Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
No. 2 Hold.
Two companies Hampshire Regiment.
One company West Riding Field Engineers.
No,s. 3 and 4 Holds.
Two sub-divisions Field Ambulance.
One platoon 'Anson' Battalion Royal Naval Division.
One signal section.
All the troops aboard were under the command of Lieut.-Colonel Carrington Smith, Hampshire Regiment.
The landing at 'V' Beach was to be made by the Royal Munster Fusiliers and the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The supporting ships were H.M.S. Albion, Lord Nelson, Dublin and Cornwallis. Two hundred rounds of ammunition and three days iron rations were carried by each soldier, with greatcoats and waterproof sheet in pack. Cocoa was to be issued to the troops just before dawn.

At 01.00 hours on 25-Apr-1915, the River Clyde left her moorings and slowly steamed towards her objective. At 05.00 hours the naval bombardment of the Turkish defences commenced, all troops were ordered below decks.

As the River Clyde steamed slowly in, the sun was facing her and it was very difficult to see the shore on account of smoke from the bursting shells. The ship headed for the beach and was run ashore about 06.25 hours, and grounded without the slightest jar in water that was out of the men's depth. And there she remained throughout the whole of the campaign.

The barges which were to have formed the gangway to shore from the ship, instead of going straight ahead as was expected, went wide of the vessel, but were eventually pulled into position under a hail of machine gun bullets from the defending Turks.

The Turks had been shaken but not obliterated by the naval bombardment. The interval between the shelling and the actual landing was a reprieve for them; they had returned to their trenches to take up fighting positions once again.

After the gangways were made ready the troops instantly responded. However as they disembarked and made a dash for the shore across the gangways they were mown down under a tornado of shot and shell. One of the barges broke away and drifted into deep water, some soldiers jumped over the side in an endeavour to make the shore, however many men sank owing to the weight of their equipment and were drowned. The carnage on 'V' Beach was chilling, dead and wounded lay at the waters edge tinted crimson from their blood.

Throughout most of the day the River Clyde was under heavy fire from the Turkish defenders. Some one thousand troops were still on board. By 01.00 hours on the 26th April and under cover of darkness, all troops from the River Clyde had been got ashore and nearly all the collected wounded had been brought back to the vessel for treatment.

One of the wounded men was my father L/Corpl Timothy Sullivan, aged 23 years, regimental number 9600, Royal Munster Fusiliers. He was one of the few survivors of this ill-fated landing. He lived to help fight another war.

A modern Trojan horse, the converted collier SS River Clyde ran ashore below the Ottoman fort of Sedd El Bahr at V Beach on Cape Helles. Crammed on board were troops of the Hampshire Regiment and the Dublin and Munster Fusiliers. Disembarking from ramps and doors cut into the sides of the ship, they made easy targets for the Ottoman defenders in the fort. Less than half of the first wave – only 300 men – managed to make it to shore.

The landing from the River Clyde at Ertuğrul Cove (V Beach) on 25 April 1915 as featured in H W Wilson and J A Hammerton (eds), The Great War, London, 1916, p.7. This imaginative reconstruction of the Landing shows the men of the Munster Fusiliers and the Hampshire Regiment rushing out of the sides of the specially cut doors 

by Charles Bean showing a flake from a shell fired by 
the battleship the Queen Elizabeth, found near Sedd-el-Bahr.

Landing a 155 mm gun at Sedd-el Bahr. Warships near the Gallipoli Penninsula, Turkey during the Gallipoli Campaign, 1915/1916.

Top Chamlar Tepe Fort (Battery No 49) the three guns which were known conjointly as "Asiatic Annie". Between Eren Keui and Kum Kale (Asia Minor).


Casualties of Helles

In 1929 Aspinall-Oglander, the British Official Historian wrote that in the course of the Gallipoli campaign, the MEF failed to reach its first day objectives but that the plan to advance to Achi Baba had a reasonable chance of success.

He wrote that the main reason for the failure lay in the unusual number of senior officers who became casualties. From the beginning of the landings, the 29th Division lost two of three brigadiers, two of three brigade majors and most of the senior officers in the 4½ battalions of the covering force which landed at X, W and V beaches.

Oglander also wrote that making landings on small beaches with few boats, required elaborate and rigid instructions if the passage from ship to shore was to be efficient and the plans laid down by the army and navy staffs and the headquarters of the 29th Division had been excellent but left very little discretion should the landings not meet equal success.

The commanders on Y and S beaches, had been left in do doubt that they were to wait for the advance from the main beaches and join in the attack on Achi Baba. No provision was made for an advance towards the main beaches to give assistance, yet the number of troops landed on the minor beaches exceeded the size of the Ottoman garrison at the south end of the peninsula.

Turks firing
The failure to contemplate the possibility that the troops at Y and S beaches, might need to support the main landings also exposed the failure to retain a reserve under the control of the Commander-in-Chief. Oglander speculated that had there been two battalions available to land at the weakest point that the main landings had revealed in the Ottoman defences, Helles and Sedd el Bahr would have fallen by midday.

Such a manoeuvre would have needed good communication between land and sea but the difficulty was underestimated and hampered British operations all day. The obvious difficulties of moving troops in open boats by several instalments had been distracting, particularly the moments between disembarkation and reaching the shore, despite the confidence of the navy in its plans for bombardment.

The apprehension was justified and the landing at V Beach was only saved from catastrophe by the covering fire of the machine-guns on River Clyde and defeat at W Beach was only averted by turning the Ottoman right flank. Lack of experience of opposed landings under modern conditions, led to the difficulty in rallying scattered units and advancing inland to be underestimated and it had been a mistake not to stress to all members of the landing force that there would be little time to move inland before Ottoman reinforcements arrived.

The landing plan had been based on the importance of maintaining liaison between the army and navy, which had led to a decision that the 29th Division headquarters should stay aboard Euryalus and that Hamilton and the MEF headquarters should remain on the Queen Elizabeth, the flagship of the naval commander-in-chief.

 Despite the efforts of the navy, Hunter-Weston and the 29th Division headquarters were out of contact with the landing forces for most of the day despite being barely 1-mile (1.6 km) from the front line. When Queen Elizabeth was needed to bombard V Beach, Hamilton was isolated there from the afternoon to the evening of 25 April, incapable of intervening elsewhere. Oglander suggested that a separate communications vessel should have been prepared for the army and navy staffs, equipped with signalling apparatus to maintain touch with the landing forces and not subject to other calls for its services.

The stress and exhaustion of the landings and the unknown nature of the environment ashore combined with officer casualties left some of the units of the 29th Division to be in great difficulty by the afternoon, unaware that the Ottoman defenders were in an equally demoralised state. Before the invasion Hunter-Weston had printed a "Personal Note" to each soldier in the division to explain the hazards of the landing as a forewarning, writing of
Heavy losses by bullets, by shells, by "mines" and by drowning....
to which the troops would be exposed.

 In the southern landings, the British landed 12½ battalions by 1:00 p.m. against a maximum of two Ottoman battalions and Oglander wrote that the failure at V Beach caused the failure of the British plan to reach Achi Baba. The Ottoman defenders were too few to defeat the invasion but the leadership of Sami Bey, who sent the few reinforcements available to the 26th Regiment, gave orders to drive the British into the sea, a simple instruction which all could understand.


The company at Sedd el Bahr endured the naval guns and held on to the position all day, being reinforced by about two companies. Overnight, the small parties of Ottoman infantry at W and X beaches contained the British and by 8:00 a.m. on 26 April had compelled the abandonment of Y Beach.


Aspinall-Oglander the British Official Historian, wrote that the Turkish Official History recorded 1,898 Ottoman casualties from the five battalions south of Achi Baba before morning on 27 April, in the first two days of the landings at Cape Helles. Keegan wrote that British casualties at Cape Helles during the morning were c. 2,000 men.

The 1st Royal Dublin Fusiliers and 1st Royal Munster Fusiliers formed a composite battalion, known as the "Dubsters" and the original battalions were reformed following the evacuation. The Munsters moved to the 48th Brigade of the 16th (Irish) Division in May 1916 and were joined by the Dubliners in October 1917.

Of the 1,100 Dubliners, eleven survived the Gallipoli campaign unscathed.

The Irish

The British plan was to use the 'River Clyde' as a Trojan Horse, grounding the old ship on 'V Beach' and opening doors cut in its sides to let the fusiliers storm on to the sands.

But the plan went badly wrong. The beach was heavily defended by Turkish troops, and as they opened fire, shells from their German-supplied pom-pom guns began "hitting off the ship and tearing people to pieces", according to one Irish veteran. The sea turned red from the slaughter.

More fusiliers attempted to land in small boats, and eventually 200 troops got ashore, but at a terrible price – the Irish troops sustained 90pc casualties in the attack.

The crew of the 'River Clyde' were so moved by the Irish soldiers' bravery that they later presented the ship's wheel and lantern to Munster Fusiliers. And, almost 100 years later, these artefacts are on display at the fascinating 'Soldiers and Chiefs' exhibition, which charts Irish military history from 1550 and has several rooms dedicated to World War I.

The V Beach exhibits are favourites of Lar Joye, curator of Military History at the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, who points out that the significant involvement of Irish troops in the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign is often overlooked.

"People know about the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand troops), but as many Irish died at Gallipoli as New Zealanders, 3,000, and 15,000 Irish soldiers served there in total."

The exhibition is full of such poignant details, and several of the exhibits provide a glimpse of what the war must have been like for those who fought in it. A Munster Fusilier uniform from 1915, for example, makes few concessions to the Turkish heat – the Irish soldiers landed on V Beach in the standard wool service dress.

Six VCs before Breakfast"

Six Victoria Crosses were awarded to troops who took part in the landing on W Beach, three in August 1915 and three more two years later in 1917, an event reported in the Allied press as the winning of "six VCs before Breakfast". The men awarded with the medal were:
  • Captain Cuthbert Bromley
  • Corporal John Grimshaw
  • Private William Keneally
  • Sergeant Alfred Richards
  • Sergeant Frank Stubbs
  • Captain Richard Willis
British soldier and grave
what would he be thinking?

The six men were originally nominated by Major Bishop, the battalion's commanding officer, after consulting "the officers who happened to be with him at the time and who did not include either of the officers awarded the Cross" and the recommendation endorsed by Hunter-Weston and Hamilton but was not carried forward by the War Office.

Victoria Cross Winners, W Beach Lancashire Landing. Gallipoli, 25th April 1915 by Stuart Liptrot.

ndividuals shown: Captain Richard R Willis, Captain Cuthbert Bromley, Sergeant Frank E Stubbs, Lance Corporal John E Grimshaw, Private William S Keneally and Sergeant Alfred J Richards. 

In August, three medals were awarded after a second recommendation by Hunter-Weston; under the original 1856 warrant establishing the award, up to four VCs could be awarded as a result of balloting the units involved. Hunter-Weston stated that a vote had been held and Willis was selected by the officers, Richards by the NCOs and Keneally by the private soldiers. The awards of the medal were published in the London Gazette on 24 August 1915.

Brigadier Owen Wolley-Dod, a member of Hunter-Weston's general staff and a Lancashire Fusilier, who had landed on the beach shortly after noon, pressed for more awards to be made; the other three men awarded the medal and were published in the London Gazette on 13 March 1917, with an identical citation to the original three men.

Bromley had died when his troopship had been sunk and Grimshaw had been awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal ("DCM") for his actions during the landing. The DCM was cancelled and replaced by a Victoria Cross. Stubbs had been killed in the assault on Hill 114 on the day of the landing.

V Beach

Six Victoria Crosses were awarded at V Beach to sailors or men from the Royal Naval Division who had attempted to maintain the bridge of lighters and recover the wounded, including

 Commander Unwin,
 Sub-Lieutenant Arthur Walderne St Clair Tisdall,
 Able Seaman William Charles Williams,
Seaman George McKenzie Samson and
Midshipmen, George Leslie Drewry and
Wilfred St Aubyn Malleson.

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Doughty-Wylie was awarded a posthumous VC for leading the attack to finally capture Sedd el Bahr on the morning 26 April, during which William Cosgrove of the 1st Royal Munster Fusiliers also won a VC

With the Dardanelles expedition stalled, Hamilton was recalled to London on 16 October 1915, effectively ending his military career.


The true story is shown by the number of names on the Helles Memorial

UK - 18,985
AIF - 248
INDIAN - 1,530


The Helles Memorial serves the dual function of Commonwealth battle memorial for the whole Gallipoli campaign and place of commemoration for many of those Commonwealth servicemen who died there and have no known grave. The United Kingdom and Indian forces named on the memorial died in operations throughout the peninsula, the Australians at Helles. There are also panels for those who died or were buried at sea in Gallipoli waters. The memorial bears more than 21,000 names. 

There are four other Memorials to the Missing at Gallipoli. The Lone Pine, Hill 60, and Chunuk Bair Memorials commemorate Australian and New Zealanders at Anzac. The Twelve Tree Copse Memorial commemorates the New Zealanders at Helles. Naval casualties of the United Kingdom lost or buried at sea are recorded on their respective Memorials at Portsmouth, Plymouth and Chatham, in the United Kingdom.

The main inscription on the memorial reads:
"The Helles Memorial is both the memorial to the Gallipoli Campaign and to the 20,763 men who fell in that campaign and whose graves are unknown or who were lost or buried at sea in Gallipoli waters. Inscribed on it are the names of all the ships that took part in the campaign and the titles of the army formations and units which served on the Peninsula together with the names of 18,985 sailors, soldiers and marines from the United Kingdom, 248 soldiers from Australia, and 1,530 soldiers of the Indian Army."
Designed by Sir John Burnet, the Helles Memorial was completed in 1924 and is built of rough stone from Ilgardere. The largest number of names are from the Lancashire Fusiliers (1,357 commemorations) on Panels 58-72, and the Manchester Regiment (1,215 commemorations) on Panels 158-170.


The Memorial stands on the tip of the Peninsula and is in the form of an obelisk over 30 metres high that can be seen by ships passing through the Dardanelles.


The Fusilier Museum in Bury, Greater Manchester, wants to show the medals in 2015 on the centenary of the landings.  It owns two and has been loaned three, but the remaining VC, won by a major from East Sussex, was last heard of at auction in the 1980s.

Col Brian Gorski said finding it would be the "last piece of the puzzle".
He added that the hope was to "re-unite" the VC, won by Maj Cuthbert Bromley, with the other five medals "so we can tell their story to this generation".

'Most celebrated'

The major, who had been temporarily promoted from captain, received Britain's highest award for bravery along with Cpl John Grimshaw, Pte William Keneally, Sgt Alfred Richards, Sgt Frank Stubbs and Capt Richard Willis in recognition for their actions when the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers landed at Gallipoli in Turkey on the morning of 25 April 1915.

In total, 18 men from the Lancashire regiment were awarded the VC in WW1
The battalion lost more than half of its men as they landed on W Beach, which was later renamed Lancashire Landing.  Sarah Stevenson, collections officer at the museum, said the major's family was from Seaford in East Sussex, where he has been honoured in the local church, St Leonard's, and had a road named after him.

She said there had been no trace of the medal since the late 1980s, but that "someone must still be in possession of the missing medal".
"Our mission is to find it so it can take its place alongside the other VCs in the exhibition."

Lord Ashcroft, who has loaned three VCs to the museum for the exhibition, said the "'Six before Breakfast' comprise one of the most celebrated batches of gallantry medals from any action of the entire Great War".


In April 1915, just to the north of Seddülbahir village, stood a Turkish fort known as Eskitabya, surrounded by a deep ditch and barbed wire. Fire from this and other nearby positions on 25 April 1915 kept the British landing force tied down to Ertuğrul Koyu (Cove) –‘V Beach’ to the British – below Seddülbahir castle. Little remains of Eskitabya. On that site today, between cypress trees, is the most isolated grave on Gallipoli, that of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Doughty-Wylie, Royal Welsh Regiment, who was killed in action here on 26 April 1915.

Doughty-Wylie leading charge

Artist’s impression of the charge at Seddülbahir led by Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Doughty-Wylie for which action he was awarded the Victoria Cross, 26 April 1915. [From Stephen Snelling, VCs of the First World War: Gallipoli, Stroud, 1999]

Doughty-Wylie’s is one of the most remarkable Gallipoli stories. A fluent Turkish speaker, he had lived in the country and been awarded the Imperial Ottoman Order of Medijedieh, 2nd Class, for his service to Turkish wounded when working with the Red Cross during the Balkan Wars of 1912–1913. On 25 April 1915, he was working as an intelligence officer on board the improvised landing steamer River Clyde.

From there he observed the failure of the British troops, under intense Turkish fire, to get inshore from Ertuğrul Koyu. On the morning of 26 April, along with Captain Garth Walford, Royal Field Artillery, he led the way into Seddülbahir. The village fell, but Doughty-Wylie knew the beach would not be safe until Eskitabya was taken so, at the head of a bayonet charge, he pushed on up the hill.

The attack succeeded, but Doughty-Wylie was killed at the edge of the defensive ditch. It is said that, because of his love of the Turkish people, he carried only a walking stick into action.
 Doughty-Wylie grave
The grave of Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Doughty-Wylie VC, Seddülbahir, Gallipoli, .

Doughty-Wylie and Walford, who was also killed, were awarded posthumous Victoria Crosses for their bravery. But an even more extraordinary story is associated with Doughty-Wylie.

 On 17 November 1915, a small boat brought ashore the only woman on the Allied side to visit Gallipoli during the campaign. She walked through Seddülbahir and up to Eskitabya to Charles Doughty-Wylie’s grave, where she laid a wreath. It was his wife Lillian.


Lancashire Fusiliers going to Helles

Taken from on the Clyde, dead lying
Landing waist deep water!

Helles camp at the Beach

Turkish Prisoners

Helles landing sites and camp

Lester Lawrence, English war correspondent for Reuters,
 in a trench at Helles (AWM
Helles January 1916

Barbed wire entanglements near Sedd el Bahr at Cape Helles, still in position after the landing on April 25th 1915. It will be noticed, on the left of the picture, that the tops of the supports holding up the wire are serrated so as to add to the formidable nature of the obstacle. Vessels of combined British and French fleet can be seen off the shore.

 The wall surrounding the old fort at Sedd el Bahr, Cape Helles, the holes made by a 15 inch shell from HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH during the bombardment of the 25th February, prior to the Gallipoli landings, visible. The old castle was used by the French as a depot for ammunition, some cases of which are in the foreground.


The landing at Cape Helles on the peninsula's southern tip, which was badly mismanaged by Aylmer Hunter-Weston, was at five locations ('Y', 'X', 'W', 'V' and 'S' Beaches) and consisted of 35,000 men.

 15km further along the Aegean coast the Australian and New Zealand Corps - Anzacs - comprising 17,000 largely untried men were landed at Ari Burnu ('Z Beach'), 1.5km north of Gaba Tepe (where the landing was actually intended).  William Birdwood's management of the Anzac's landing was markedly better than Hunter-Weston.

Meanwhile part of the French force, a division under General d'Amade, acted as a diversion by successfully landing on the Asiatic shore at Kum Kale and taking possession.  Also serving as diversion were the remainder of the British force which continued further north to Bulair, leading Liman to believe that a further invasion site was planned.  Part of the French force also feigned a landing at Besika Bay.

Indeed Liman required two days until he correctly ascertained the true key invasion sites and was able to respond accordingly.  Until this time a single Turkish division served to defend against Hamilton's force at Cape Helles and Ari Burnu.


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