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Remembered Today:

3rd/4th Charges at The Nek - some (more) confusion

Plugges Plateau

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Have read two excellent books lately involving the Light Horse Brigade's. Read Gallipoli to Tripoli - History of the 10th Light Horse Regiment AIF 1914-1919 by Gill and Browning (I see Ian is on here) and Hamilton's The Prince of Valour.

And herein lies my confusion and would hope maybe we can discuss a bit more of the story and particularly with regard Hugo Throssell and his involvement.

Firstly there is confusion (to my mind) over which charge Throssell H, was involved in. Hamilton quite clearly says the 4th charge on page 139, "Hugo Throseel was commanding the extreme right of that fourth line" but Ian Gill at least implies he goes with the 3rd charge.

Obviously I don't know but there is conflicting information that I'd be very interested to clear up and also I have read Ian's recent thread regarding the timings of the first charge and he alludes to a couple of 'blues' being apparent although he doesn't get an opportunity to expand as the thread is closed.

Please Ian, I'd love to hear more on your take of all of this and perhaps try to make more sense in a tradgedy that clearly makes no sense whatsoever.

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Hi Plugge's

I will get back to you shortly in a more detailed fashion, but for starts I think John Hamilton went with Bean and Sgt Sanderson's account to Bean, which was fairly detailed and which I did take into account, although I thought some of Bean's final layout of men was wrong and said so in our book. Of course John would have every right to run his narrative that way, given that account. I chose to go with Tom Kidd's account from his notes and diary, which gave a layout of who was where in their two lines, albeit incomplete, and partially wrong ( me thinks anyways). If you go to the 'silent seven minutes myth thread, you will see a newspaper account from Tom Kidd in Feb 1916, which has Throssell on the left in the 4th line - just to add to your (and my) confusion. It will pay you to read ALL that thread also.

Peter Burness wisely stayed away from getting into the detail of who was where in the third and fourth lines. Tom Kidd had one troop not charging at all in the 3rd line ( I quoted it and chapter noted it with some detail) and that ALL of A Sqdns troops went over. I think it was the troop nearest Kidd, but cannot prove it conclusively.

Enie Bain said that 3 troops in the 4th line did not charge at all and I had them as B, C and D troops of C Squadron on the left. Henry Foss of C Squadron also mentions not getting into the front line in time. Both these men I quoted. I think I made it pretty clear there was some element of doubt but chose to run what I thought were the 'likely' placements. Even contradicted some of Kidd's layout of troops and troop officers. I explained that in the book too. Have to go now, but will expand more shortly and tell you where I think I DID get one placement wrong in 4th line - and that was the two troops of B Sqdn that did go out. That, I should not have got wrong as Sanderson obviously knew who his troop officer was!

At this point in time I think it is the closest to knowing who was where, and as I said before, humble enough to have it corrected. Our account is certainly a springboard for the ALL encompassing account of that day with everyone correctly in place. I know my chapter notes were huge on this chapter, trying to explain everything!

I chose to keep the 8th LH lines account more minimal out of respect for Jeff Pickerd who knows all there is to know on 8th LH at The Nek (and more), in the hope one day he will go to print. His help, amongst others such as Bill Woerlee and Steve Becker, was instrumental in getting my part of the book done. It is what it is. If one doesn't like it, it would be a terrific doorstop or hand held close quarter weapon, given the weight!



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Thanks Ian,

This and your PM has cleared up quite a bit or as much as it is likely without more evidence coming to the table. I realsie there is loads of confusion out there and that these trenches by the time of the 3rd charge were carnage with the dead and wounded. It is no surprise that some of these troops would have likely been unable to get in correct positions and as you point out likely may not have not gone with the charge they were assigned.

Thanks for your relpy.


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I agree that there was great confusion in getting to their intended jump off positions due to the carnage bought upon the first two lines of 8LH, which I mentioned. Your idea that perhaps Throssell took his men over to the left, having missed the 3rd line's charge, and then went out with the 4th line some half hour later is perhaps a possibility. I reasoned that, as most of C Sqdn on left was held up in the rear in all the confusion over whether the attack was to continue, that perhaps C and D troops of B Sqdn moved further to the left of their intended jump off positions, perhaps as it was more protected and there was no one yet there from C Sqdn.

Throssell records being given C troop of A Sqdn and that Captain McMaster took his "position' by mistake. Throssell's own words can be construed that he went out with third line, although he does not actually say 'third line'. I struggled with the fact that if he went out on far right in third line, why no casualties in his troop, given it was very exposed from the right. However, I think Tom Kidd's accounts to be fairly accurate, given he was recently made intelligence officer. His Daily News account in Feb 1916 flies in the face of what he recorded in his notes and diary back in Egypt. He has ALL the troops of 3/4th lines charging and following the failure at the Nek, going down Bully Beef Sap to support the Brits in their attempt at head of Monash Valley. I don't recall ever reading anything about men of the 10th LH ever getting down into the valley ready to go again, before being recalled to a very shaky line back up on Russell's Top, which is where Brazier needed them. Perhaps I can be corrected on this last point.

My instinct from all the recorded events, indicate that Tom Kidd's account to the paper was a bit dressed up for the public, as opposed to his other notes and diary recordings, which I feel are, while not perfect, more accurate. Only my thoughts. Seems I just can't get to put this book down just yet!! I suppose if you read all of Hamilton, Burness and Cameron's works, along with Bean, you will get some idea. I wanted as many first hand accounts as possible in ours, even one that was completely untrue, to highlight keeping up morale at home. All very interesting.



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