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Can any body please tell me what battles the 8 Battalion Royal Welsh took part in while at Galipolli? 

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They were part of the 13th (Western) Division - Wiki should provide you with the info you require.

MB

 

 

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Thankyou very much i did know two companies of royal welsh took part in an attack on an area called the chessboard about the same time as the battle of the nek, but were beaten back by the terrain and the turks, but i don't know which batallion the 8th in the 13th western dvision and the 1/5th, 1/6th, and 1/7th batallions in the 53rd welsh division

Edited by peter blackwell
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4 hours ago, peter blackwell said:

what battles the 8 Battalion Royal Welsh took part in while at Galipolli? 

The following is from Ray Westlake's book 'British Regiments at Gallipoli' published by Leo Cooper, 1996, ISBN 0 85052 511 X

8th (Service) Battalion The Welsh Regiment (Pioneers)

Sailed from Avonmouth 15th June 1915. Arrived Mudros (island of Lemnos) 2nd July. Disembarked 3rd. Making roads & sinking well. Moved to West Mudros 5th. Worked on North Jetty. Making roads, wells & causeway to Turks Island 11th - 31st July 1915.

Then follows:

image.jpeg.4483c94b913ae0ca77be59667449eceb.jpeg

Edited by michaeldr
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Thanks for your kind reply

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Peter,

Some possible confusion here.

Are you looking for the 8 Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who were in 40 Brigade, 13th Division; or are you looking for 8 Welsh Regiment, who were the Pioneers for the 13th Division?

This confusion has arisen previously.

Rob

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8th batallion Royal Welsh Fusiliers thanks Pete

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Pete,

There is quite some detail in Ray Westlake's book.  They were involved in a number of incidents, and they were in support of the Australians in the attack on The Nek.

(I don't know about copyright rules on whether to attach a photocopy of Westlake's section on the 8 RWF???)

Rob

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Thanks i'll try to get a copy can you please tell me the name of the book? pete

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Peter, since the topic has been accredited to the 8th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, the following is what I have recorded for the regiment’s involvement with the charge at The Nek, 7th August 1915.

This starts from the 5th August.

The Brigade Major, Lt Col J. Antill, on the evening of 5th August outlined the orders for the 3rd Brigade’s part in the attack to the Brigades officers, as set out in the New Zealand and Australian Division, Divisional Order No. 11. Appendix B, drawn up by Lt Col W. Braithwaite, General Staff.

The Supplementary Instructions in continuation of Appendix “B”, also issued on this date, give the objectives of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade’s role in the operation: “The objective of the force holding No. 4 Section under Brigadier-General Hughes will be the trenches on the Nek (Group “A” on the trench Diagram) and those of the Baby 700 and Chessboard positions as far South as is necessary to secure his right flank and as far to the East as the trenches of “D” Group which are all to be taken. If and when the situation admits, this force will advance to meet the forces approaching from the direction of CHUNUK BAIR, and assist in the operations involving an advance down the spurs to the East of BATTLESHIP HILL, and the consequent and necessary clearing of the ground East of our present position. This attack will be delivered at 4.30 a.m. on August 7th, unless orders are given to the contrary. Troops will be rested during the night as much as possible. If the assault is postponed, troops should remain in readiness to attack at half an hour’s notice.  A copy of the instructions given to the G.O.C., 1st Australian Division has been forwarded to Brigadier-General Hughes as to the action being taken in regard to the GERMAN OFFICERS TRENCH.”

As a part of this memorandum the operational orders for Brigadier-General Chauvel, commanding No. 3 Section (Pope’s Hill & Quinn’s Post) is given. Operation Order No.1, (Operational Order No.1 by Brigadier General Hughes VD, 5th August 1915.  AWM4 10/3/7) put together by Lt Col Antill and Bdr Gen Hughes was also presented to the Regimental commanders.

These orders were very explicit and full of great detail, so much so that one officer complained at the length of time it took to copy it all down.  The time for the charge was set at 4.30 a.m. of the 7th August. The actual assault was to be undertaken by the 8th and 10th LHR’s, in four waves of 150 men each. The 9th LHR was to be held in reserve.

The 8th LHR would make up the first two lines and the 10th LHR the third and fourth. In addition to the 3rd LH Bgd. there was to be two companies of the 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers and a battalion of the 8th Cheshire Regiment, although at this time their role in the operation had not been defined.

The 8th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers under the command of Lt Col A. Hay and the 8th Service Battalion Cheshire Regiment under the command of Lt Col H. C. Willoughby arrived at Anzac Cove during the evening from Lemnos Island. Both these regiments were from the 40th Brigade, a part of the 13th Western Division (New Army), and had been attached to the 3rd Light Horse Brigade in No. 4 Section.  Each regiment sailed from England in June and arrived in Egypt, via Malta early in July, embarked for Lemnos the next day, arriving at Mudros Harbour on the 10th July. The 8th Battalion of the RWF and the 8th Battalion Cheshire Regiment were sent to Cape Helles on the 16th aboard the transport ship “Whitby Abbey” and landed at “V” beach. The 8th RWF moved up into the firing line at Worcester Flat on the 17th July relieving the 6th South Lancashire Regiment in the trenches H11& H12. On the 19Th July it was relieved by the 8th Cheshire Regt until it being relieved by the 8th RWF the next day, the 20th. The 8th Cheshire again relieved by the RWF on the 25th July at 10.30 am, moving into the Right Subsection, 13th Division trenches, until when it was relieved and moved to Gully Beach on the 28th. On the 25th July the 8th RWF went into Divisional Reserve in Eski Lines and Gully Ravine until the 27th July. Both regiments returned to Lemnos on the 31st July until sailing for Anzac Cove on the 4th August. The 8th RWF moved into bivouac at White Gully, the 8th Cheshire’s to below Walker’s Ridge. Headquarters, “A” and “B” Companies of the RWF, along with the 8th Cheshire Regiment, moved up onto Russell’s Top in reserve on the 5th. “C” and “D” Companies RWF moved across Monash Gully up  onto Quinn’s and Courtney’s Posts in No. 3 Sector and attached to the 1st Light Horse Brigade, 1st and 2nd Light Horse Regiments.

The 8th Battalion (Service) Royal Welsh Fusiliers war Diary for this day: “Headquarters, Machine Gun Detachment & ‘A’ & ‘B’ Coy’s proceeded at 10.00 am. To Russell’s Top where they joined the troops there under command of Brig Gen Hughes ‘C’ & ‘D’ Coys proceeded to Monash Gully & joined the 1st Light Horse Brigade force under command of Brig Gen Harry Chauvel.”

At about 5.10 a.m. the Turkish fire had again died away and Major Scott had been waiting about ten minutes for Brazier to return from seeing Hughes, to find out what the decision was, and if the attack was to be stopped. As events transpired Brazier’s return with Col Hughes decision would be too late. Colonel Hughes claimed he had ordered the attack across the Nek to be stopped after the second line had been cut down and dictated a new direction of advance via Monash Gully with the Royal Welch Fusiliers to be undertaken. It would appear that Brigade Major Antill was unaware of Brig Hughes new orders and was issuing orders for the attack to continue. The plan for the advance was that as soon as the 3rd Brigade had captured the front trenches at the Nek, two companies of the 8th Battalion Welch Fusiliers would advance up the head of Monash Gully between Russell’s Top and Pope’s Hill, climb the slope on the right and commence a flank assault upon the Chessboard, joining up with the 3rd LH Brigade on the left and the 1st LH Brigade on the right from Pope’s Post.

According to C.E.W. Bean, the 8th Bn Royal Welch Fusiliers, with a party of engineers of the 71st Field Coy had filed down Bully Beef Sap from Russell’s Top at 3.30 a.m., just before dawn on the 7th. They had moved up Monash Valley and passed through the barbed wire at the farthest Anzac post. Here they waited under cover for word that the Turkish front line trenches had been taken by the Light Horse. One officer, 1 NCO & 10 men of the 71st Field Coy Engineers were attached to the RWF for the advance up Monash Gully.

Lt Col Hay, the commanding officer of the 8th Bn Royal Welch Fusiliers described his orders: “At 5.10  a.m. a message was received that the Australian Light Horse were holding the “A” line of trenches, and I was instructed to move forward at once.” He split his troops into two parties, one, “B” Company under Graham on the left, to attack the Turkish trenches at the head of Monash Gully and the other, “A” Company under Capt Walter Lloyd on the right, to advance on the Chessboard in a flanking move to join up with the 1st Light Horse Regiment attacking a hundred yards away to the east from Pope’s. “B” Company advanced up a steep head of Monash Gully.

Due to the steep terrain and dense undergrowth they could only advance in parties of ten men at a time, climbing up in single file. No sooner had the first party of “A” Company started to climb up they came under fire from the Turks, with bombs being thrown from the trench at the edge of the cliff face. C.E.W. Bean states: “The 1st Light Horse, watching from Pope’s, observed the Turks running forward from their trench,  rolling bombs down the cliff-face. The leading men of the Fusiliers were blown back and, in falling, swept away those on the uncertain foothold below. The enemy, who seemed inclined to follow, were instantly stopped by the light horse snipers, who quickly picked off a score of them. But the task of climbing the washaway seemed hopeless, especially as the muzzles of two machine-guns could be seen protruding over the parapet.”

The 8th Bn RWF War Diary for the 7th August states: “Paraded at 3.30 am & marched to Monash Gully. Orders had been issued that the 3rd Light Horse Brigade were to rush the Nek at 4.30 am after a preparatory bombardment. When the trenches opposite had been seized the 8/Royal Welsh Fusiliers were to advance & seize the Turkish trenches at C6 eventually making good the Chessboard.

At 5.10 am a message was received that the Australians had rushed the Nek & that the Fusiliers were to advance at once. ‘A’ & ‘B’ Coys had previously to this, advanced up the Gully to a wire fence & entanglement which the R.E. had demolished, bifurcated, one portion going to the left & one to the right. ‘A’ coy had been ordered to follow the right which led into about the centre of the Turkish line, while ‘B’ Coy was to go to the top of the Gully & work down the Turkish trench & effect a junction with ‘A’ Company.

The Gully was very steep & the slopes of both sides covered with thick scrub so it was difficult to work up to the top, the last ten or fifteen feet was loose earth where it was almost impossible to get a foothold. ‘A’ Coy got almost to the top of the ridge when it was attacked by bombs & a machine gun placed in the trench on the crest. Casualties occurred at once & the men falling back knocked over the men coming up behind, owing to the narrow frontage it was impossible to carry the ridge with a rush & therefore it was decided to see whether it would not be more expedient for ‘A’ coy to turn & follow up in rear of ‘B’ Coy. But by this time ‘B’ Coy had been held up by the fire from two machine guns on the ridge & also bombs. The whole of the leading platoon (with its Officer & the Company Commander) being killed or wounded. A Staff Officer shortly after came from General Hughes to say that as the Australian advance had failed no further advance was to be made by the R.W.F. & that the Battalion was to remain in the Gully under cover. The Battalion remained in the Gully till the evening when it returned to Bivouac on Russell’s Top.”

“Steep slopes on both sides and thick with scrub. Casualties occurred at once and the men falling back knocked over the men coming up behind. Leading platoons of “B” Company sweeped with MG’s fire. Ordered to fall back and remain under cover in the Gully.”
”A” Company advanced up a steep washaway on the right and almost immediately at its starting point came under heavy machine gun fire. Capt Walter Lloyd was shot and killed, his subaltern next to him wounded, and every man in the first party being hit.

The Fusiliers met the same fire as the men of the 3rd Brigade had encountered and the attack failed. Lt Col Hay found that the advance could only be made in single file and that any attempt to renew it was at once met by the fire of a machine gun and by bomb-throwing, he abandoned the attack and reported to Brigade Headquarters that he was held up.

From the 3rd L.H. Bde War Diaries there are two message reports of the 8th RWF written by Lt Col Hay:

The first: - “To H.Q. 3rd L.H. Bde. With reference to your message re manner of individuals for special mention I have none who exactly comes under the provision of your message but I should like to bring to notice the name of Captain Walter Lloyd (killed in action). This officers Company was the one that suffered most severely on the left advance from machine gun fire & bombing – the whole of the leading platoon (including Captain Lloyd) being killed and wounded. I am therefore unable to any evidence as to the conduct of any individual, but Captain Lloyd was previous to the attack, leading his company as I personally saw him at the head of it & his body was subsequently found right in front with seven or eight others & I therefore consider that his name deserves for mention for gallant leadership when exposed to an extremely heavy fire.

 Signed, A. Hay Lt Col, O.C 8th RW Fusiliers.”

The second: - “Report of part taken by 8th R.W. Fusiliers in the operation of 7th August. In accordance with Bde Order the Battalion (less 2 Companies attached to 1st L.H. Brigade) moved off at 3300 am & proceeded via Bully Beef Track to MONASH GULLY. On arrival at the barbed wire barrier about 200 yards from the junction of BULLY BEEF TRACK & MONASH GULLY the column halted to allow the R.E. detachment to cut the wire & clear the road. After passing through the barrier the GULLY branches & according to my instructions already issued “A” Company proceeded up the right hand branch while “B” Company continued up the main Gully. Owing to the narrow front & difficulties to be anticipated in climbing up the frontiers of the Gully Companies had been directed to send their men forward in parties of 10 at a time – 4 as bombers, carriers and lighters & the other 6 as bayonet men. Companies moved up their respective routes to as far as they could with safety while the bombardment from 4.0 to 4.30 was in progress. At 5.19 a.m. a message was received that the A.L.H. were holding the “A” line of trenches & I was instructed to move forward at once. My intention was that “B” Coy should proceed to the head of the Gully & work along C6a, while “A” Coy was to get the trench at the junction of C6a & C6b & work along to the right. I proceeded with “A” Company & almost as soon as the leading party of 10 men had commenced to move bombs were thrown at them over the top of the parapet & the muzzles of 2 machine guns could be clearly seen. Casualties occurred at once & the men in falling swept men who were coming up off their feet as the surface of the ground was loose earth. Bombs continued to be thrown & owing to the presence of the machine guns I considered an advance that way impractible. I therefore proceeded up the other route taken by “B” Coy. Here I also found that the advance had been checked. The head of the company come under heavy machine gun fire almost at once, the Coy Commander had been killed, the subaltern with the first platoon wounded & the whole of the first two parties of 10 men killed or wounded.

A fresh attempt to advance was made but on the least movement on our part the machine gun opened fire & in addition bombs were sent down from the trench. I therefore considered it was impossible to attempt an advance, especially as owing to the thick scrub any advance could only be made in single file. The check was reported to G.H.Q. & instructions were shortly afterwards received to remain under cover & await orders. The Battalion remained in the Gully until 6.45 p.m. when it returned to Bivouac.

 Signed, A. Hay Lieut Col 8th R.W. Fusiliers”

The 8th Bn RWF War Diary also states that Capt W. Lloyd KIA. 4 officers and 61 men killed or wounded.

The 3rd L.H. Bde. War Diary, list of casualties from the charge gives, Captain LLOYD 8th R.W. Fusiliers killed. Lieut WILSON wounded. Lieut’s EDMINSTON and CARTER wounded. 11 other ranks killed, 46 wounded and 4 listed as missing.

At this point it is stated the Brigadier (Hughes) diverted two companies of the 8th Cheshire Regiment down the Bully Beef Sap into Monash Gully to support the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, but they did not advance as the attack had failed. Both companies moved back up onto Russell’s Top on the evening of the 7th. The remaining two companies of the 8th Cheshire’s had remained in the reserve trenches back on Russell’s Top, their exact position is not known, but was possibly the rest trenches out around the edge of Happy Valley, as the 9th LHR were in reserve along the Broadway and Todd Road.

It would appear that total confusion was now in force, as differing orders for the cancellation or continuation of the advance would appear to have been coming from the two different positions o Russell’s Top. By the account of the situation at this time it would appear that Col Hughes was unaware of the failed attempt of the Welch Fusiliers in Monash Gully and had come to the conclusion that any further advance against the Nek could not succeed, had given orders for the attack to be called off and the survivors to go down to Monash Gully to assist the Royal Welch Fusiliers.  It would also appear that he may have been aware of the report that some of the men of the 8th had occupied the Turkish trench out on the right, although he later claimed no knowledge of it. It is probable that Lt Col Brazier, 10th LH may have raised it, but as related, he would have probably dismissed the probability of it being true.

After the war, Hughes in a letter to C. E. W. Bean, claimed that he had stopped the attack after the second line had gone out. He also implied that Brazier was responsible for the continuation of the attack and the loss of the third line. With Brazier not being at his position in the front trench when Hughes claims to have forwarded the orders to stop the advance, he implies that Brazier committed the third line to the attack against his orders. He stated to Bean; “as the runner was unable to find anyone to deliver the orders to.” It is clear that his orders were not forwarded to Antill and it is unclear as to just who this runner was to pass the order to. It is also obvious that the order was not relayed to any of the Staff Officers controlling the movement forward of each of the lines. Antill also related to Bean after the war, his account regarding the issuing of the order for the attack to be stopped. He wrote; “After the zero whistle had blown, no further orders were issued until the attack had been abandoned. The Brigadier was on the spot himself, and if an order were given, or to be given, it was he, and he alone competent to give it. But no such order was given.” The fact that Brazier, Love and Todd all reported the failure of the attack to Hughes, after the third line had advanced, would seem to be at odds with Hughes assertion that he had already called the attack off. It is even harder to understand, if he had already done so, why this had not been relayed to Antill, who despite his assertion that no further orders were issued, continued to order the advance of the third and fourth lines.

There are so many unanswered questions here. If as he claims, why did Brig Gen Hughes order the 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers to attack at 5.10 am. If he had no knowledge of the signal flags and the occupying of the A1 trench, and had called off the advance after the second line had gone over?

Who actually did relay the order to advance to Lt Col Hay, C.O. RWF? He claims it was from a staff officer of the 3rd L H Brigade HQ, for the WRF were under that command, but Col Hughes claims to have issued the order. Was that Staff Officer Lt K. McKenzie who had probably asked Lt Col Brazier why the 3rd line had not gone forward at 4.40 am, a good half hour afterwards? Antill makes no mention of issuing any such order.

Hope all of that answers some of your question regarding the regiments roll with the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, but I will have to leave it to others to fill in the details for rest of the Gallipoli campaign.

 

Jeff

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Thanks i had read of the rwf's assault on the chessboard but nothing in this detail the only reference i read was two lines on wikipedia so i'm realy greatful for this account of what happened thanks again pete

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Hi Peter,

Pleased that it has been of some help to you. I was a bit concerned that it may not have been that clear in its context, as it was extracted from the over-all account of the charge at The Nek using only the references to the 8th Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Here are a couple of maps that will give the area of operations for the regiments advance up Monash Gully. 

Jeff

Anzac Trench Diagram.jpg

Trench Map No 10.jpg

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Thanks very much, most appreciated pete

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On 22/11/2022 at 03:37, Jeff Pickerd said:

Hi Peter,

Pleased that it has been of some help to you. I was a bit concerned that it may not have been that clear in its context, as it was extracted from the over-all account of the charge at The Nek using only the references to the 8th Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Here are a couple of maps that will give the area of operations for the regiments advance up Monash Gully. 

Jeff

 

Trench Map No 10.jpg

That map is georeferenced on TrenchMapper. Right click and choose Gallipoli, right click again and choose Map ID Jump then enter awm_rc04174.

There are over 70 maps that cover that area of various scales and types, notably the Sevki Pasa 1:5,000 post evacuation maps at the top of the list.

I gave up on georeferencing the top map, the one I got was fuzzy and geometrically quite inaccurate. That lack if geometrical accuracy is typical of many Gallipoli maps but the Sevki Pasa are the most accurate.

Howard

 

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Thanks very much i'll do as you suggest Pete

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On 22/11/2022 at 03:37, Jeff Pickerd said:

Hi Peter,

Pleased that it has been of some help to you. I was a bit concerned that it may not have been that clear in its context, as it was extracted from the over-all account of the charge at The Nek using only the references to the 8th Royal Welsh Fusiliers.

Here are a couple of maps that will give the area of operations for the regiments advance up Monash Gully. 

Jeff

Anzac Trench Diagram.jpg

Trench Map No 10.jpg

I have now obtained a decent copy of the Anzac Trench Diagram, georeferenced it and put it on TrenchMapper.

As usual, right click and choose Gallipoli, right click again and choose Map ID Jump with ID=pd_0029.

The geometric accuracy of the map is poor, you will see when zoomed out that the georeferencing transformation method, Thin Plate Spline, has distorted the rectangular sheet in an attempt to get all the ground control points used to register with the reference map. In this case that was the Sevki Pasa map, there being no accurate points of correspondence on modern maps.

Such poor planimetry is a general feature of Gallipoli maps,. To be fair it is called a diagram not a map- it would be useful if navigating trenches but no use at all for artillery. If people want to use these maps to “stand where Grandpa stood”, a fair amount of judgement will be required. Best to find the same place on the Sevki Pasa map and use that.

Howard

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Thanks always happy to get any infomation on Gallipoli Pete. 

Edited by peter blackwell
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