Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

The Plummed Goose

Old Fort at Seddülbahir

Recommended Posts

The Plummed Goose

Dear All,

Is there anyone who could tell me where I can find a picture of the "Old fort" at Seddülbahir ?? Most pictures include the castle, but -I think- I have never seen one of the fort.

quote "the fort was never rebuilt after the war. The rubble was used by locals for their houses and, by the late 1940s most of it was gone. A local resident recalled that the gateway where Douyghty-Wylie was killed was dismantled last. The foundation of the walls can still be seen from the sunken track. unquote /Phil&Pam Battlefield guide.

eric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Krithia

Hi Eric,

I think you are referring to Fort No.2, nicknamed "The Castle" later called Fort Doughty-Wylie which was situated on Hill 141. The 'Old Fort' or Fort No.3 is the Sedd el Bahr fort/castle that remains to the right of V Beach. Phil and Pam are correct. What wasn't destroyed during the war was taken to build houses in the village and surrounding when the area was resettled. What little remained was taken by the Turkish Army as foundations for the 'modern' army camp that use to reside near W Beach. The only remains are the foundations by the road that leads to Panyson Helles Panorama. I understand that the owner, Erol Baycan (ex-CWGC head gardener) use to play in the forts underground vaults, now all sadly gone. I haven't a modern day photo but I think I have a photo of the fort in 1915 ... I'll dig it out and post on this thread when I find it.

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Plummed Goose

Thank you Steve

I'll be there this weekend and know Erol quite well.

I'll have chat with him

Eric

But if you could find that picture it would be great !!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Plummed Goose

Dear Steve,

Just came across a picture of the "barracks" / Hill 141 so no need for you to "dig" into your library.

eric

PS : Battleground Europe, Helles Landing, Huw & Jill Rodge, p. 149

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jonathan Saunders
Dear Steve,

Just came across a picture of the "barracks" / Hill 141 so no need for you to "dig" into your library.

eric

PS : Battleground Europe, Helles Landing, Huw & Jill Rodge, p. 149

Eric,

I am looking at the photo now. To give me some idea of where the Fort was face on, where abouts is the fort in the photo in relation to 1) Doughty Wylie's grave and 2) Erol's Panyson?

Sorry I did not get to say more than hello and goodbye to you at Erol's last week - I think it was a case of splitting into the smoking and non-smoking group, but trust the Wills kept you entertained.

Jon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Plummed Goose

Dear Jon,

Need to have a close look at it before I answer but ... OK we did't "meet" ... but we''ll meet as I am here to stay ... (Probably the first Belgian to die at Gallipoli -of old age-ha, ha,ha- there is a Dutch though !!! -Shell Green Cemetery).

I'll go with the picture to Erol some time this week .... Will let you know !!!

Cheers

Eric

PS : YES, I was in the smoking section

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Orion

Hi Krithia,

If possible could you still hunt for the photo and post it here?

Is this particular building also refered to sometimes as the 'Hospital' or 'old Barracks'?

Much appreciated,

Brian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Plummed Goose

here it is scanned from "Helles Landing"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Plummed Goose

Here is is REALLY ... I hope ... had to reduce the size ...

eric

post-7070-1117696399.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

I have some doubts about this photograph which the Rodges reproduce in their book with the caption “Hill 141 and the old castle/barracks where Lt Col Doughty-Wylie fell”

The photograph shows a very substantial building or ruin, which, judging by the door arch and by the number of windows, must have had a frontage amounting to several metres in length. This is not a building which could have been ignored, and yet it does not figure on maps or in accounts of the action.

Most maps show the redoubt on Hill 141 as two concentric circles of trenches without any building whatsoever

If this building had been sited on Hill 141 at the time of the action then it would have provided a good defensive position and made a substantial obstacle, just like the Old Fort above-right of the beach and like the houses of the village of Sedd el Bahr. But there is no mention of it

E.g. Stephen Snelling’s “VCs of the First World War – Gallipoli”

‘Having reached the outer limits of the village, he arranged for a naval bombardment as a prelude to an assault on the Turkish positions by his own men in conjunction with Capt. Stoney’s disparate force in the centre. Together with Capt. Nightingale, Doughty-Wylie watched the bombardment from one of the corner turrets in the Old Fort. As they observed the fall of the shells, he explained how they would storm the hill. Nightingale later wrote:

“There was a strong redoubt on the top, but he decided that the remnants of the three battalions should assault simultaneously, immediately after the bombardment. He was extraordinarily confident that everything would go well, and the hill won by sunset, and I think it was due much to his spirit of confidence that he was able to overcome the enormous difficulties with only such exhausted and disorganised troops as he had to deal with.

His sole idea and determination was that the hill should be taken that day at all costs; for he realised that it was impossible for us to hold any position between the high ground and the edge of the cliff where we had spent the previous night.

As the time was getting near for the bombardment to cease, the colonel gave his final orders to the few remaining officers before the assault. Major C. T. W. Grimshaw was to lead the Dublins. Simultaneously, the Hampshires were to assault from the far end of the village and come up on the far shoulder of the hill, while the Munster Fusiliers were to advance on the left of the Dublins, and at the same time.

When the order came to fix bayonets, however, the men scarcely waited for any orders, but all joined up together in one mass, and swept cheering up through an orchard and over a cemetery, Hampshires, Munsters and Dublins, to the first line of wire entanglements, through which was the way out leading past the deserted Turkish trenches to the summit of the hill. On top was a flat space surrounded by a moat 20 feet deep with only one entrance leading up over it, through which the assaulting troops were lead by Colonel Doughty-Wylie and Major Grimshaw.

The men lined the top edge of the moat, firing down on the remaining Turks, who were retreating down their communication trenches in the direction of Achi Baba. It was at this moment that Colonel Doughty-Wylie, who had led his men to the last moment, was killed by a shot in the head, dying almost immediately on the summit of the hill he had so ably captured.”’

These doubts of mine lead me to think that the photograph of the ruined barracks may instead possibly be of those sited behind Fort No.1; on some maps this building is also referred to as a hospital [as mentioned by Brian above]

N.B. - These are ‘doubts’ only, and therefore I would welcome any comments and corrections which others would like to make here

Regards

Michael D.R.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jonathan Saunders

Michael,

Your comments seem logical. I too was trying to work out where it could have been sited and how this dove-tailed with the contemporary photos I have seen of Sedd-ul-Bahr village. Also I dont remember seeing anything of the foundations of such a large building on my recent trips to Erol's - although I was going to look more closely on my next visit. No doubt Eric will report back after he has spoken to Erol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MartinWills
Michael,

Your comments seem logical.  I too was trying to work out where it could have been sited and how this dove-tailed with the contemporary photos I have seen of Sedd-ul-Bahr village.  Also I dont remember seeing anything of the foundations of such a large building on my recent trips to Erol's - although I was going to look more closely on my next visit.  No doubt Eric will report back after he has spoken to Erol.

Jon,

As you walk up the curve of the drive to Erol's you will see some old stone work on your rigt - much overgrown. I have always presumed this to be what is left of the old fort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jonathan Saunders
Jon,

As you walk up the curve of the drive to Erol's you will see some old stone work on your rigt - much overgrown. I have always presumed this to be what is left of the old  fort.

Martin,

I think I know where you mean but I havent paid it much attention. Does it look like part of foundations of a building as large as the one shown above?

Trust you enjoyed your week in Istanbul.

Jon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Krithia
I have some doubts about this photograph which the Rodges reproduce in their book with the caption “Hill 141 and the old castle/barracks where Lt Col Doughty-Wylie fell”

I agree. The photo shown in the book I always understood to be the main Sedd-el-bahr fort and not the one on Hill141. I have other photos with annotations that show the same view as above.

Below is a pic of what could be the Fort in question, but I am not sure. Any ideas anyone? This photo was taken c.mid 1915 by a chap in the Royal Scots, but sadly no caption to help identification.

post-1114-1117986779.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Plummed Goose

This is getting interesting.

I am going to see Erol this week. Promise.

And yes Martin how was the week in Istanbul ???

eric

PS : The foundations you mention are indeed part of that old fort. I talked to erol when he was in eceabat last week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Orion

Thanks for the excellent quotes from Stephen Snelling’s “VCs of the First World War – Gallipoli” Michael. I think I will order the book as I haven't read those detailed accounts of the action before.

I agree with all thus far - what we need is someone to scope this out on-site by walking the area with a map.

Looking at the old maps it appears that Hill 141 is simply a redout fortified with barbed-wire encirclements and of course renamed Fort Doughty-Wylie in honour of the man and his courageous actions. No buildings or ruins are indicated or apparent in that location!

If however we focus a little to the west or southwest in the area of Guezji Baba, three prominent rectangular buildings are evident: Fort No 1 (being the largest), the Ruined Barracks (also known as the hospital in some accounts I believe), and the Ruined House - perhaps what we are seeing in the last posted photo? I have enclosed them with an elipse in the attached photo. Also it appears that the two Old Batteries nearby also had foundations of sorts.

Does anyone have a sure photo of the Fort No 1 or Barracks?

If someone can email me a modern map with roads etc. of this area I can superimpose the two maps and post it for use and comparrison with ruins and foundations.

Could someone please indicate the locations of Erol's Pansyion on the map?

Very interesting, hopefully we can figure it out, especially if one of you can actually walk the area to confirm ruins and foundations!

Good Luck!

Brian

post-4774-1118000866.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Blackblue

Brian,

Here is a photo of V Beach, 10th May 2005. The main fort can be seen in the background.

Rgds

Tim

post-1563-1118011007.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

Quote: Does anyone have a sure photo of the Fort No 1 or Barracks?

Brian,

The photograph below carries the IWM ref No. Q13229

It appears on the dust jacket of Steve Newman’s ‘Gallipoli Then & Now’

as well as in Nigel Steel’s ‘Gallipoli – Battleground Europe.’

In the latter case Nigel’s caption reads “The remains of the guns in Fort No.1. In the background of the picture the ruins of the old barracks above V Beach stand to the left with opposite on the far right, Hill 141………”

[ignore the far horizon which is the Asiatic shore]

Erol’s ‘Pansiyon Helles Panorama’ is right next to Hill 141 – see Martin’s post above

Yes, Stephen Snelling’s book is a ‘must have’

Regards

Michael D.R.

post-386-1118039373.jpg

Edited by michaeldr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

Some more thoughts on that picture: Looking at the photograph as reproduced in the Rodges’ book;

If the doorway is 1 metre wide then the building must be over 30 metres long

[actually I have the feeling that this particular doorway is more than 1 metre wide]

in any event, we are looking at a very long building with a two-storey centre section.

Not only that, but it is said to be a building standing on a hill [Hill141] which dominates V Beach.

Take a look again at the Geddes sketch here

Look over the top of the ‘River Clyde’ and slightly to its left – say 11 o’clock.

The trees are there which could indicate the orchard mentioned by Nightingale, but

there is no 30 metre long building with a two storey centre section on the sky line.

The only building which stands out is the ruined barracks/hospital behind Fort No.1

The photograph below is from the British O.H.

Its caption reads “The Old Fort, Sedd El Bahr, and the Asiatic Shore”

However the note to the caption is of more importance in this case, and it informs

that the photograph was taken “From the summit of Hill 141”

I admit that there is not date for this photograph [the OH was published in 1928], but it does look back roughly over the route taken by the attackers and one can see earthworks or trenches of Hill 141 in the foreground. What is missing is any suggestion of a large 30+ metre long building or ruin.

For the moment, my money is on that long building we are looking at being the barracks or hospital behind Fort No.1

Regards

Michael D.R.

post-386-1118039722.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Plummed Goose

A more or less accurate "today" map

Eric

post-7070-1118044639.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

Many thanks Eric for the modern map

Regarding Brian’s 25th April 1915 map,

it may be helpful to note that

the distance from the centre of the barrack/hospital block

to the centre/top of Hill 141

is c.600 yards

regards

Michael D.R.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

I wonder if we can tackle this question from another angle

We have one or more pictures here which may or may not be of a structure on Hill 141, therefore, can we put any competing photographs to one side for a moment

and can I ask if anyone can supply a contemporary 1915 description of exactly what was on Hill 141?

Has anyone come across a ref to the walls, their height and length?

Whether there was more than one storey?

Etc. etc.

Regards

Michael D.R.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MartinWills

I have always worked upon the principle that Erol Baycan's Pansiyon Helles Panorama is actually on the top of Hill 141, commanding as it does views in all directions. I'm not sure if I have a picture of the remains alongside Erol's drive but perhaps if Eric is in the vicinity in the near future he could oblige. I wonder if the substantial building with the flat frontage is actually the barracks building shown on the Off. Hist. Map but which no longer exists - presumably it stood where the newish Turkish memorials at the back of Fort no. 1 now stand?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Orion

Okay, I've superimposed the two maps, lining up as best as possible the two hills: Guezji Baba and Hill 141, and the Sedd-el-bahr castle. The Old Fort No1 and the Ruined Barracks correlate well with the TA28 and TA29 red areas of the modern map. It would be interesting to know what TA28 and TA29 are indicated as being from the map's legend or the turkish names shown in blue adjacent to the features (if someone can read them)!

I'm afraid it isn't much help but the graphics exercise was fun!

sorry, I just read the posts again and see that TA28 -29 must be new turkish memorials. whoops

Michael I agree with your aproach. I will continue to search my books for a contemporary description of hill 141. I just ordered Stephen Snelling's book so I should have it in a little over a week. In his book might lie part of the answer - from the posts thus far it sound like it gives the most detailed account of the attack on Hill 141. Too bad we couldn't get out on the ground measuring foundations, etc.

Thanks everyone for all the help and great photos!

Cheers,

Brian

post-4774-1118104482.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

Quote from my post No.10 above;

“I have some doubts about this photograph which the Rodges reproduce in their book with the caption “Hill 141 and the old castle/barracks where Lt Col Doughty-Wylie fell”

The photograph shows a very substantial building or ruin, which, judging by the door arch and by the number of windows, must have had a frontage amounting to several metres in length. This is not a building which could have been ignored, and yet it does not figure on maps or in accounts of the action………………………………………….

These doubts of mine lead me to think that the photograph of the ruined barracks may instead possibly be of those sited behind Fort No.1; on some maps this building is also referred to as a hospital [as mentioned by Brian above]”

Following this line of thought I posted [see No. 18 above] a photograph of the ruined barrack/hospital behind ‘Fort No.1’

I have now found what I think is a much better photograph of that ruin and I suggest that it does indeed look like the building which the Rodges show on page 149 of their book.

What do you think?

My previous doubts are now crystallizing and I think that I am about to come off the fence on this one and suggest that it be included in CGI’s thread ‘Gallipoli : OOPS !’ The irony of it is that the photograph below also comes from the Rodge’s book; see the Title Page or page 1!

Regards

Michael D.R.

post-386-1118140826.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...