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Remembered Today:

"2nd Heavy Battery R.G.A., Turkey" Help Please.


GWF1967

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Hi,

 These two postcards have the same information recorded on the back;  "WW1, 2nd Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, Turkey"

Looking at the LLT I can't find a 2nd H.B.,  R.G.A.  The only units I can find with a similar title, 2nd London Batt for example, were in France.

Could anyone identify the artillery pieces shown, the location, and/or the unit pictured please?

R.G.A. H.Batt. (3).jpg

R.G.A. H.Batt. (2).jpg

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They look like sixty pounders, which is consistent with the Heavy Battery title, but it is not that uncommon to find units serving in the Middle East being described by what you might call local titles which bear no resemblance to their official RGA designations. I think that this is one of those cases.

 

Ron

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9 hours ago, Ron Clifton said:

They look like sixty pounders, which is consistent with the Heavy Battery title, but it is not that uncommon to find units serving in the Middle East being described by what you might call local titles which bear no resemblance to their official RGA designations. I think that this is one of those cases.

 

Ron

Thank you Ron. 

 The images of 60 pounders I found all seem to show the recoil mechanisms above rather than below the barrel.

The nearest visual match I could find were 8” Howitzers. 

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Becke's Order of Battle of Divisions Part 1 has a small section on 28th Division in Turkey 1919 to 1923.

On page 114, 1 Heavy Brigade RGA (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Heavy Batteries) is shown attached from October 18, 1922.

It also confirms they were 8" Howitzers and were still in Turkey in June 1923. 

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36 minutes ago, David Porter said:

Becke's Order of Battle of Divisions Part 1 has a small section on 28th Division in Turkey 1919 to 1923.

On page 114, 1 Heavy Brigade RGA (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Heavy Batteries) is shown attached from October 18, 1922.

It also confirms they were 8" Howitzers and were still in Turkey in June 1923. 

Many thanks for your help David. 

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  • 5 months later...

GWF1967

 

Thanks for two great photographs and for the information from Becke's book.

 

As yet I have not been able to get the full entry you referred to. Is it possible to get a copy of the entry.?

 

If you call up this heading on the Great War Forum  Chanak Incident 1919-1923 3rdHeavyBattery there are some photographs from me. The photographs look very like the two you posted and some information on the 3rd Heavy Battery. They were taken by Richard Shrive RGA of the 3rd Heavy Battery, but time, has not been kind to them.

 

I am interested in the 3rd Heavy Battery because Richard Shrive was posted with others from the E Coast Battery, Catterick/Tynemouth but since all these batteries were in Turkey together their individual histories are relevant to the story.

 

I don't know were your photographs came from, but I have been searching the internet and any information about these batteries but it seems that none of the men in the 3rd heavy battery wrote up their experiences. The other men of the batteries may have.

 

I think the location of the batteries in your and my photographs is where the memorial and graves are now placed but this needs to be confirmed.

 

The IWM will have possibly the posting instructions of the other batteries. It was from them that I got the information on the 3rd Heavy Battery.

 

Thanks for what you posted

 

M Reeve

 

 

 

 

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On 11/03/2020 at 21:50, David Porter said:

Becke's Order of Battle of Divisions Part 1 has a small section on 28th Division in Turkey 1919 to 1923.

I think  Becke's Order of Battle of Divisions are available online on the pay website fold3.com as

https://www.fold3.com/browse/310/hTGb85NZ8wIfXXI19NTJHoYiz

Order of Battle of Divisions]  (1224) digital pages

 

It isn't explained just what this link consists of but it includes 5 Naval & Military Press reprints, and it seems likely one of them is 

https://www.naval-military-press.com/product/order-of-battle-of-divisions-part-1-the-regular-british-division/

Facsimile reprint of the Order of Battle of the British Army in the Great War 1914-1918.  Part 1. The Regular British Division. 

(I will also post this in the Virtual Library  in case anyone else is interested)

 

Cheers

Maureen

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19 hours ago, reevemjr said:

I think the location of the batteries in your and my photographs is where the memorial and graves are now placed but this needs to be confirmed.

 

Can you please be a little more specific as to which memorial and graves you are referring to here?

 

regards

Michael

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michaeldr

 

Seddel Bahr village on Cape Helles. Looking down on to the Gallipoli Campaign's V-Beach Cemetery where a burial is taking place. The Cemetery is still under construction with graves stones lined up outside the hallowed ground. Army and Naval personnel can be seen watching on from grounds outside the boundary wall. 

 

999999999999.jpg.83d6a95ecfe3e80407b8451080210946.jpg

If this was where the Heavy Batteries were situated it looks as if the guns had been removed by the time this photograph was taken. So this is likely to have been taken after June 2023.

There is what seems to be a flat area of ground behind and to the right of the cemetery area. If not where the burial party is in the picture they may have been located further back.

The 3rd Heavy battery was located at V-Beach. 

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Reevemjr,

 

Thanks for the clarification.

I'm afraid that I have to disagree here

If that photograph had been taken at V Beach, then you would not see the headland and cliff at the left margin. In its place there would be the remains of the corner tower of the fort. It is just possible that the photograph has previously been flipped in error and I have flipped it back below.

1731111326_R.G.A.H_Batt.(2).jpg.2e6e02a01f688968be7cfb5c94ca175a.jpg.ce4f4aaeb12abdb07194c10936654910.jpg

 

 

I am still undecided however as to whether or not it is V Beach.

Below you see V Beach photographed immediately post war [from the Mitchell Report] , and my doubts arise from the what is missing;

the hulks previously used as breakwaters and the pier which ran out towards them into the bay.

274247817_33Plate29.jpg.de05dfa315638a0d50dd25e9de8dad1a.jpg

 

On balance, I think that it is unlikely the guns are seen at V Beach in that photograph

 

regards

Michael

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10 minutes ago, Heid the Ba said:

Looking at the fittings on the nearest gun I don't think the photo has been reversed

 

Thanks for that insight

Since my last post I have found another photograph which is said to have been taken in 1923 and it clearly shows the two French hulks still in place

see https://www.prints-online.com/v-beach-cape-helles-gallipoli-dardanelles-14345279.html?prodid=676

All in all, I really don't think that this is V Beach

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/03/2020 at 10:50, David Porter said:

Becke's Order of Battle of Divisions Part 1 has a small section on 28th Division in Turkey 1919 to 1923.

On page 114, 1 Heavy Brigade RGA (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Heavy Batteries) is shown attached from October 18, 1922.

It also confirms they were 8" Howitzers and were still in Turkey in June 1923. 

 

The four batteries were first stationed at Kilia, and then at Azmac, Akbash, Soghanli and Seddul Bahr per

The Royal Engineers Journal of September 1923 [https://www.nzsappers.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/1923-September.pdf]

see the article

THE FORMATION OF A BASE AT KILIA, DARDANELLES. September, 1922 to June, I923.

quote:

The 1st Heavy Brigade, approximately 650 strong, landed at Kilia on the 10th October and camped for nearly a fortnight on the ground now occupied by the " S " Coast Battery Camp and the 15th and 29th Companies, R.E. On the same day, three Naval batteries, 220 men in all, took up their positions on the Peninsula; one at Seddul Bahr, one at Soghanli and the third at Kilid Bahr. They were all accommodated under canvas, corrugated iron cook-houses of a temporary nature being hastily constructed.

Between the 19th and 29th October, the four batteries of the 1st Heavy Brigade moved out to their permanent camp sites at Azmac, Akbash, Soghanli and Seddul Bahr, and the brigade camp was taken over by the 5th Medium Brigade, 620 strong.

 

Thanks are due to Maureene for a very useful link which she posted recently 

Edited by michaeldr
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38 minutes ago, michaeldr said:

The 1st Heavy Brigade, approximately 650 strong, landed at Kilia on the 10th October and camped for nearly a fortnight on the ground now occupied by the " S " Coast Battery Camp and the 15th and 29th Companies, R.E

 

As far as Kilia is concerned the 1st Heavy Brigade's camp site ("now occupied by the " S " Coast Battery Camp and the 15th and 29th Companies, R.E") can be seen here in the top RH corner square1736880131_Scan2020-10-08_142118cropA.jpg.a68d68125dc4eba70bfce3870aee1178.jpg

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Hi all, 

 

sorry for being late to the party, I have only just been alerted to this thread.

 

I agree with Michael that the photo of the battery deployed was not taken at V Beach, with the lack of piers, wrecks and the like being one clue. Another is that there is no deep ditch or watercourse, as seen in front of the guns, running through to the sea in that area.

 

I do not think the picture was taken at Soganlidere either, given that there is no sign of the Asian coast in the background. The opposite shore of the Dardanelles is clearly visible from the coast at Soganlidere so it should appear in any photo taken looking out over the waterway. The same would apply in photos taken at Akbash, with lies to the north of Kilia, with the mountains of Asia clearly visible. 

 

I happen to have a series of photos taken during the occupation, one of which shows three guns positioned at the exact same location, with the smoke nearest the right gun suggesting it has just been fired. Again, there is no coast in the background. The photo is similar but not the same as the one posted by GWF1967

 

One possibility is that the photos were taken at or around Azmak, though this begs a question as there were three Azmak Deres on the peninsula, all running into the Aegean Sea. It is definitely not the Azmak Dere that runs through Suvla, though it could be one of the streams further south. One argument in favour of one of the Azmak sites is that the nearest land is well out in the offing, being Imbros Island which is more than a dozen miles off shore. 

 

Among the other photos I have is one of the guns and limbers parked at a camp with Nissan huts and tents in the background, some on a slope, which could be at the main Kilia base. Another photo shows two of the guns and limbers being towed along a dirt track by tractors. 

 

Hope this has been of some help. 

 

Cheers

Bill

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Many thanks for coming in on this Bill - there's no substitute for local knowledge!

This is from a previous thread and is another of our Pal reevemjr's photographs

Does it help in any way to identify the location?

 

post-46986-1246778138.jpg

Edited by michaeldr
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It does look like some of the terrain on the Aegean coast to the south of Kabatepe, with this photo looking southwards. The exact location is a bit difficult to pick, as most of the hills along the coast have been planted for pine, obscuring the lay of the land. 

 

Bill

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38 minutes ago, Eceabat said:

It does look like some of the terrain on the Aegean coast to the south of Kabatepe, with this photo looking southwards.

One of the possible Azmak Deres

1264240992_MapAzmakDeresouthofKabaTepe.jpeg.a2ccd7a4a509e76409b52893442b4bbb.jpeg

 

 

Edited by michaeldr
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Of course, there is the point that the battery could have been camped in the Azmak Dere but its training ground for firing exercises could have been somewhat away from their camp. 

 

The area of that particular Azmak Dere is close to the present day ferry and fishermen's port on the coast. It is more likely to be the site used as the camp for the battery, as the Azmak Dere's to the north had limited road access and the terrain does not look like that shown in the photos. 

 

 

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Hi all, 

 

did a drive around yesterday of the areas along the coast and have come up with two possible sites that could fit in with the photos and info we have to hand.

 

The Azmak Dere on the map that Michael posted runs straight through the state-owned camping ground just to the south of the present day Kabatepe ferry and fishing boat harbour. During the campaign and later, there were a number of Ottoman artillery units camped further inland from this site, and after the evacuation from the Anzac sector there was for a time a German battery emplaced on Kabatepe itself, so the area was a popular pick for artillery units to set up shop.

 

There is some flat ground in the area around the Azmak Dere, though the site is now heavily wooded with pine trees. If the battery conducted its exercises close to its camp, this would be a prime candidate. 

 

There is another option, somewhat further to the south, at a distance of three kilometres (oh all right, two miles). That is the flat area around where the Kum Hotel and community of summer houses is positioned. There is a fair bit of flat ground, along with some hills rising just to the south of the position. Probably a coincidence but in the collection of photos I have from the occupation, one shows a battery deployed and firing in the same position as the in the photos here, while another shows two gun tractors towing artillery pieces along a dirt road. It could be that the guns and their teams were taken to the training ground away from the camp site at Kabatepe, maybe part of the training being moving over terrain before and after deploying... or not.

 

As an aside, a number of Ottoman batteries were camped around the Kum area in April 1915, as the Ottoman-German command felt the area, which had wide open beaches, flat ground and then a gentle slope inland that could be captured and held to allow further waves to land safely, was a prime spot for an invasion. 

 

Just a couple of thoughts.

 

Cheers

Bill

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Thanks for checking this out on the ground Bill

Between the two, I'm inclined to go for the first option 

3 hours ago, Eceabat said:

There is some flat ground in the area around the Azmak Dere, though the site is now heavily wooded with pine trees. If the battery conducted its exercises close to its camp, this would be a prime candidate. 

 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Kabatepe+Plaj%C4%B1/@40.1960304,26.271441,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m8!1e2!3m6!1sAF1QipOcC3Bg2MZ7aFu8F3xIRYSnpjtaadB6eZh4XcpN!2e10!3e12!6shttps:%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipOcC3Bg2MZ7aFu8F3xIRYSnpjtaadB6eZh4XcpN%3Dw203-h360-k-no!7i1836!8i3264!4m7!3m6!1s0x14b1afaed3e25861:0xd0313ebc561e787f!8m2!3d40.1960304!4d26.271441!14m1!1BCgIgAQ#

 

This gives you a concave bay and headland in the right place when compared to the original

post-46986-1246778138.jpg

 

whereas the second option at the present day Kum Hotel does not provide either of those features

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3 hours ago, Eceabat said:

Hi all, 

 

did a drive around yesterday. 

Bill

 

12 minutes ago, michaeldr said:

 

Thanks for checking this out on the ground Bill

Between the two, I'm inclined to go for the first option 

This gives you a concave bay and headland in the right place  

Many thanks for your time and effort Bill, it is greatly appreciated.

With your local knowledge and the keen eye of Michaeldr it seems the location has been correctly identified.  

ABA62D79-C247-4A7D-A28D-863692DF7B43.jpeg

04BA2591-3BC1-497D-947C-A6FB05B3DAE8.jpeg

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Hi 1967, glad to be of some small assistance. 

 

Like Michael I tend to favour the Kabatepe area as the most likely site for the photo, though just south of the Kum Hotel area there is a bit of a headland, hemming in what is almost the last of the flat land along the coastal strip, with cliffs or steep ground running down to Cape Helles. 

 

Bill

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  • 4 months later...

Hello, I have only just joined in as I'm tracking my Grandfather's activities in this area. I have his handwritten diary and at least 40 negatives of photos taken at the camp in the Soganli area during November 1922. I'd be really grateful for any ideas about how to best archive this material. The photos that I have show a headland and guns, as well as crosses in the cemetery near Soganli (I think). The images that I can produce from the negatives are not good, but I will have a go at attaching one of them here. Best regards.

Negative-12.jpg

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Hi Sue and welcome to the GWF

 

The negative which you reproduce above looks to me like W Beach

On the map below you will find the mouth of the Soganli Dere in square N26

while the headland seen in the photograph is on map square G25

The large lettered squares are 6000 yds across (or about 5½ kms) thus W Beach would be an easy outing from Soganli Dere

If I am correct, then the nearby cemetery to W Beach would be that which became Lancashire Landing CWGC Cemetery.

However, it is possible to pass several cemeteries on the way from Soganli Dere to W Beach

 

1492576481_MapHellescropSoganliDere-WBeach.jpg.39caf0a9adc55374a69e55abc1b8ef83.jpg

 

 

 

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