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The Nek, 7 August 1915

Bill Woerlee

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There are various sources for the KIA and DOW at the Nek. For those not in the know, this was possibly one of the greatest military disasters to befall the 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade during the Gallipoli campaign. The person singled out for the most blame commencing from Bean was Antill. Even the movie Gallipoli paints him as the bungling idiot callously sending men to their deaths.

The sources used to create this list is a composite of that provided by Peter Burness in his seminal work on the Nek, Antill and his short history of the 3rd LH Bde produced in 1918, [inserted 24 April 2006] the work of Captain HR Gollan [end of insertion] and McLauren's history. There are other sources but until I am given permission to refer to them, they remain anonymous but insightful contributors. In addition to that I have made a careful analysis of the records and added some names that have not appeared in the above mentioned sources.

Note inserted 24 April 2006: I have received a note from one of the silent contributors who has done so much to clarify our knowledge of the action at the Nek - possibly the fellow whose knowledge about the Nek and the 8th ALHR is second to none - I speak of Jeff Pickerd from Melbourne. He has given me permission to acknowledge him and his great work on this subject and without his constant prodding I would never have discovered those things that I have placed upon this site. On this subject I owe him a massive debt and cannot speak too highly of his ability as a researcher. It is upon his primary work that I began my research.

The result of the work is to produce the following list:

678 Private Frank Leigh A'BECKETT

755 Private James Valentine AIREY

682 Private Rollo Charles ALBAN

756 Private Robert Osborne ALEXANDER

607 Private Patrick Joseph AMOR

801 Private Arthur Andrew ANDERSON

544 Private George John Stewart ANDERSON

778 Private James ANDERSON

235 Lance Corporal James Alfred ANDERSON

Lieutenant Leo William Hall ANDERSON

101 Private William Fleming ANDERSON

608 Private William Stawell ANDERSON

876 Private Stephen ARBUTHNOT

364 Sergeant Duncan Farquhar Grant BAIN

208 Private John Henry BAKER

103 Private Harold BARRACLOUGH

881 Private Walter Ernest BARTON

806 Private Percy Hamlin BECKETT

527 Private Robert BEILBY

878 Private James Alexander BELL

601 Private Charles BENSON

223 Private Albert Alfred BENT

234 Corporal Alexander Douglas BETHUNE

372 Private William BLAKE

338 Private Victor Eric BLAKENEY

805 Private Douglas BODDY

46 Sergeant Henry Otto BOHLSEN

Lieutenant Keith BORTHWICK

209 Lance Corporal John BOSWELL

934 Private Horace BOWER

880 Private Richard BOWERING

233 Corporal Alwynne Stanley BOWKER

709 Private Edgar Vernon BRADY

69 Private Hubert Howden BROCKMAN

244 Private Thomas BUCKINGHAM

379 Private Frederick John BUNCE

165 Lance Corporal Thomas Francis BURGES

342 Driver William BURKE

712 Private Albert James BUTLER

311 Private Morton Alfred CAKEBREAD

300 Sergeant Major Colin Henry CAMERON

937 Private James Percival CAMERON

605 Private James Pullar CAMERON

853 Private James CARNEY

59 Private Alfred Ernest CARPENTER

Lieutenant Charles CARTHEW

129 Lance Corporal Alfred CAVANAGH

860 Private Henry Thomas CHIPPER

97 Lance Corporal Lindsay Lewis Sterling CHIPPER

68 Private Ross Richard Vivian CHIPPER

281 Private Henry Norman CLAYION

776 Private Thomas George COATES

142 Private Albert George COBB

156 Private Dyson Frederick COLE

155 Private Lionel William COLE

787 Private Herbert Alfred COLLINS

93 Private Tom COMBLEY

689 Private Walter COMBS

115 Sergeant John Leslie CONNOR

151 Private John CONSIDINE

240 Private James CONWAY

70 Corporal Henry COWELL

534 Private Colin Heardon CRAMOND

58 Driver Alexander George CUMMING

139 Private Richard Edward CUMMING

884 Corporal Herbert Roulston Clifford CURRIE

Lieutenant Charles Coning DALE

718 Private Rowland [Ronald] Dudley DAVIS

791 Private George Ernest DE MOLE

539 Private Reginald Garry DEMPSIER

694 Private Percy George DEWHURST

89 Private Oliver Ernest DONALDSON

166 Private Amos Leonard DOUST

781 Private William DOW

542 Private Frank Napier DREW

690 Private Alfred DRISCOLL

394 Corporal Denis DU VAL

693 Private Thomas Alfred DUDDERIDGE

662 Private James DUFFY

692 Private Thomas Leo DWYER

84 Private Norman Charles DYER

817 Private Stanley EDMISTON

615 Private Wallace ESSAY

1804 Private William Williamson EUSTACE

368 Private Albert Lacey EVANS

369 Private Alexander George EVANS

889 Private Herbert Ernest EYERS

153 Private John Charles EYRE

109 Sergeant Basil Middleton FENWICK

212 Private Lawrence Gerald FINN

521 Private Jack FLUX

821 Private Benjamin FORBES

403 Corporal Richard Andrew FORBES

265 Sergeant Thomas Charles FORDE

158 Private Arthur William FYFFE

245 Private William Henry GALE

824 Private Edward GIBBS

160 Private Frederick Gilbert GIPPS

893 Corporal Hugh Garfield GORDON

286 Private Ernest Samuel GOULDEN

287 Private John George Letcher GOYNE

709 Corporal Hugh GRACE

894 Private Gerald Lawrence GRAHAM

929 Private Geoffrey Treacher GRANT

Lieutenant George Muir GRANT

559 Private Charles GREAVES

381 Sergeant Clifton Riversdale GRENFELL

698 Private Louis Gerald GRIFFIN

167 Private Alfred Henry GRIFFITHS

621 Private Mansell David GRIFFITHS

728 Private William HAHN

760 Private Frederick George HALL

828 Private Arthur HANCOCK

113 Private Gresley HARPER

114 Private Wilfred Lukin HARPER

250 Private Reginald Desmond HARRIS

361 Squadron Sergeant Major William Edward HARVEY

112 Private Oscar Donald Humphrey HASSELL

896 Private James HASTINGS

168 Private John HAY

Lieutenant Thomas James HELLER

541 Private Edward Percival HENDY

Lieutenant Edward Ellis HENTY

292 Private Arthur Henry HILL

247 Private Bertie HILL

283 Private Henry George HILL

213 Private William Arthur HIND

200 Corporal Russell George HINDHAUGH

314 Private Carl HOLMBERG

623 Private George Reuben HOPE

897 Private Harry HOSKINS

Lieutenant Thomas Spencer HOWARD

96 Private Geoffrey Castell HOWELL

803 Private Raymond HOWELL

201 Lance Corporal George Thomas HUGHES

Lieutenant David Alexander JACKSON

742 Private Samuel JAMES

229 Private Douglas JAMIESON

217 Private Donald Mathieson McGregor JOHNSON

316 Lance Corporal John Joshua JOLLY

828 Private Arthur JONES

394 Private Thomas JONES

130 Private Charles KELLY

547 Private Frank Winterburn KEMP

400 Private Robert KERR

703 Private Edward Richard KILPATRICK

831 Private Martin Frederick KING

83 Private Allan Bruce KINNAIRD

141 Private Frederick William KIRSCH

150 Private Louis Alfred KLOPPER

251 Private Archibald Roland KNIGHT

33 Private William Henry LAILEY

898 Private William LANG

762 Private Michael Edward LARKIN

834 Private Ralph Vivian Worthington LEES

133 Private Hugh LENNON

120 Private John Percival LEWIS

132 Private Thomas LONGMORE

116 Private Dudley LUKIN

906 Private Charles Russell MACNALLY

Second Lieutenant Lieut Cyril Godfrey MARSH

255 Private Robert MARTIN

307 Private William Henry MASON

903 Private Oscar John MATTHIES

170 Sergeant Ernest MCALIECE

744 Private Herbert MCCARTHY

450 Lance Corporal Alfred John MCCLUSKY

263 Private Samual Jeremiah MCCOLL

177 Private William MCELHINNEY

123 Private John Blacklock MCJANNETT

813 Private William Cuthbert MCKENZIE

962 Private Donald S. MCLEAN

Captain Robert Thompson MCMASTER

735 Private Henry George MCNEILL

125 Private Gordon MCRAE

Lieutenant Colonel Col Albert MIELL

414 Private Robert Reid MITCHELL

254 Private William MITCHELL

138 Sergeant Reginald Johnstone MOORE

542 Private Archibald Hubert MORETON

663 Private Patrick MORRISEY

138 Private James Edgar MOYSEY

766 Private Thomas Richard MURRAY

142 Private Walter Edwards NEWTON

325 Private Archibald NICOLSON

80 Private William Reginald Eustace NORTHEY

554 Private Bernard Lindsay O'MULLANE

432 Sergeant Sydney John O'NEILL

264 Private George booth ORMEROD

41 Sergeant Ebden Harcourt Roger PALMER

702 Private John PALMER

910 Private Walter Raymond PATTERSON

741 Private Frederick PAYNE

327 Private Leonard Parker PAYNE

325 Private Arthur Albert PEARSON

966 Private Ernest PENNY

232 Sergeant James Burnett PICKETT

Captain Vernon Frederick PIESSE

327 Private Arthur Thomas PITTS

631 Private Herbert POPE

746 Private Allan PREECE

482 Lance Corporal Godfrey Liddle PURVES

331 Private Alexander RAE

231 Sergeant Frank Albert RAWLINGS

198 Corporal Victor Norman RAYMOND

Major Thomas Harold REDFORD

463 Private John REGAN

82 Private George Wallace RICHARDSON

42 Sergeant Henry George ROBERTS

333 Private Charles Archibald ROBINSON

715 Private Frederick RODERICK

Second Lieutenant Leopold James Cecil ROSKAMS

130 Private William Allardyce ROSS

Captain Andrew Percival ROWAN

152 Private Harold RUSH

891 Private George Frederick Henry SANDY

226 Sergeant John Andrew SCOTT

62 Lance Corporal George Southwell SEAGER

182 Private John Alexander SHAW

913 Private Ernest Lloyd SHEARSMITH

453 Private Herbert Steven SHELDON

157 Corporal Clarence SHEPHERD

746 Private Frederick Joseph SMITH

147 Private William John SNUDDEN

722 Private Edward Reuben SOMERVILLE

212 Squadron Sergeant Major John SPRINGALL

750 Private Abraham Joseph STANFORD

857 Private Herbert Edward STANLEY

919 Private George STENZEL

643 Private James Alexander STEWART

296 Private Charles Tyler SUTHERLAND

898 Private Clarence Edward SUTTON

841 Private Patrick Joseph SWEENEY

858 Private Nicholas TACKABERRY

75 Private Stanley TAYLOR

304 Lance Corporal Arthur Norman TETLEY

184 Private James Gordon Ford THOMPSON

821 Corporal Thomas THOMPSON

902 Private Owen Stanley TIMMS

923 Private William TOLEMAN

551 Private William TOSH

752 Private Angus Duncan TREWIN

Second Lieutenant Alexander Phipps TURNBULL

748 Private Leyshon VILLIS

850 Private Reginald WALLACE

22 Private Claude Hallastone WALSH

150 Private Victor Kenneth WALTON

298 Lance Corporal John Fortescue WEATHERHEAD

784 Private William Bradley WELCH

357 Private Frederick Harold WESTON

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Henry WHITE

143 Private Edwin James WHITE

Second Lieutenant Henry Eric WHITEHEAD

71 Private James Thomas WILKERSON

532 Private Roy WILLAN

261 Private Alfred Spedding WILLIAMS

475 Driver Richard WILLIAMSON

Lieutenant Eliot Gratton WILSON

29 Private James Joseph Reginald WILSON

225 Private Charles Melbourne WINGROVE

333 Private John Wylie WINNETT

Lieutenant Charles Talbot WOODS

British Casualties from the 8th (Service) Battalion, Cheshires.

2152 Private Arthur CHAMBERLAIN

1835 Private Tom DAVIDSON

2242 Private William LEE

413 Private Ernest POLLITT

1728 Private George SIDEBOTHAM

131 Private Fred SINKER

Information for the Cheshire's casualties at the Nek generously supplied by Patrick Gariepy

If folks have suggestions, corrections or other names to add, please put them on this thread and the above list will be altered to reflect that information if necessary.



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In recognition of the fact that the losses at the Nek were not confined to the Australians but a unit of Cheshires also suffered about 80 casualties - noted as missing but sadly KIA. Unfortunately, I am unable to trace the records of these men who were caught up in the maelestrom at the Nek.

If anyone is able to help here, please let me know. I would like to add their names to this list and remember the bravery of the men on this sad day.

In the book, "The History of the Cheshire regiment in the Great War" by Arthur Crookenden we find this entry at pp. 177-8:

"A months rest at Lemnos was followed by the attack at Anzac, where the 13th Division was to assist the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. the 40th Brigade, to which the 8th Battalion belonged, was broken up. During the battle of Sari Bair, the 8th Battalion was attached to Light Horse Brigades of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. They were employed in trench duties during these days, and lost a number of men; 9 officers and 66 men were wounded, and 2 officers and 77 men missing."

Royal Welch Fusiliers (23rd regiment) Diary for this period says:

"Our 8th battalion was to be attached to the left covering force with the primary duty of holding the line, but was split, two companies going to hold, with the 1st Australian light Horse Brigade, No.3 Section of Defence, and, if all went well, to co-operate in the consolidation of the line Quin's Post-Scrubby Knoll, while Battalion Headquarters, with the other two companies, the 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade, and the 8th Cheshire Regiment, were to occupy No. 4 Section, the line Russell's Top-walkers ridge to the sea... on the 5th of August C and D Companies, under Daly and Anwyl, were sent to No. 3 section, while Headquarters and A and B, under Graham and Walter Lloyd, went to No. 4 Section. At 3.30 a.m., under orders for attack, our 8th Battalion (A and B Companies) marched from Russell's Top to Monash Gully. the 3rd Australian light Horse were to rush a place called the Nek at 4.30 a.m., and if successful our battalion was to attack other lines of enemy trenches."

We also know that Graham led "A" Company and Captain Walter Lloyd of "B" Company took part in the attack on the Turkish positions at the head of Monash Gully. The attack occurred at 5.10 am, some time after the attack at the Nek was called off and just before the 4th wave of the 10 ALHR was accidentally launched.

So while we know the Cheshires were there, we do not know who was involved in the day.



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For those not in the know, here is a brief summary of the Nek.

Just before the attack, Reynell tossed a few reflections around. He said: “I suppose there will be a lot of promotion, but as far as I can see my chances are nil. If the Brigade command becomes vacant they don't seem disposed to put Colonel Meill, the senior Regimental Commander, in - and unless he goes up or out, my cake's dough. Without wishing anyone bad luck there is a lot in the old toast – ‘Here's to bloody wars and sickly seasons and quick promotion’. Well some of us will be making room for others before long I guess and it's all in the game. I see big stacks of new stretchers being made just near by our bivouac.”

Saturday morning, 7 August 1915. The timetable of a massacre.

4.00 – The bombardment began.

Reynell: … the artillery bombardment was a joke and such as it was not made in cooperation with the attack. There was just a desultory bombardment and then an attack.

4.23 - the "joke" of a bombardment ends.

4.28 - Turks clearly seen manning the parapets of the trenches and machine gun ranged.

4.29 – The men in the first line already know they are in for a tough time.

4.30 – The whistle blows and 150 men of the 8th Light Horse Regiment, led by Colonel White, climb out of the trenches and charge across the Nek.

“Well simply that the boys in that section had 'hopped out' as ours had done the night before. Two seconds and the bullets began to come across, not in ones or twos either, but in showers, screaming and whining by, spitting up the dust everywhere, a man standing beside me was hit fair on a locket round his neck. The bullet must have been well spent as it did nothing except give him a bit of a shock...The only difference with this rifle fire was that it did not cease after a few minutes but continued a long while before it died down, and before that our artillery and boats opened up again... the duration of the rifle fire showed plainly that the men were not in their trenches..." [Lance Corporal Cyril Lawrence of the 2nd Field Company Engineers, Diary]

4.35 – 150 men lay dead or wounded within 30 metres of the trench. Three men made it to the Turkish trench only to die there. A location flag is seen by an observer in Turkish trenches.

The whistle blows and a further 150 men climb out of their trench.

4.40 – 150 more men lay dead or wounded.

Colonel Brazier, commander of the 10th Light Horse Regiment argues with Antill about sending the next line out. Antill orders Brazier to send out the third line.

4.45 - Trooper Harold Rush, 10th Light Horse Regiment, says to his friend as they shake hands: “Goodbye Cobber. God bless you."

The whistle blows and a 150 men from the 10th Light Horse Regiment climb out of their trench.

4.50 – 150 more men lay dead, wounded or pretending to be dead.

5.15 - The 4th line of the attack is called off but some troops misunderstand this direction and charge.

5.20 – 234 dead and wounded from the 8th and 138 from the 10th Light Horse lay on the Nek. In addition, the 9th lost Miell, Harvey, Seager and Smith. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade lost 249 men killed as a consequence of that dreadful half an hour, some twenty per cent of the Brigade.

Antill summarised the event when he stated: “The positions assaulted by the 3rd Light Horse Brigade were absolutely impossible to take by frontal attack and the front comprised a Nek less than 100 yards across with cliffs on either side, the whole full of machine guns. There was no hesitation or falter amongst our officers and men, especially the 8th Light Horse Regiment who were practically wiped out.”



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Hi Bill

I was aware of events at the Nek but thanks for posting the above. I have often wondered how those men felt waiting to go over the top knowing what an impossible task they faced it makes me feel sick to think of it. I have often wondered to myself if I was there would I have gone over the top knowing it meant death.

Have you or anyone else heard the saying "you'll get it in the nek", when some thing goes wrong, I wonder if it came from this attack ?


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G'day matess

I agree with you - we cannot know what the men thought as they began their hop over. It beggars the imagination.



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Bill, Pat Gariepy would be worth talking to regarding the Cheshires casualties at The Nek; I'd be willing to bet he'd be able to give you an answer. His forum name is leanes-trench.

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G'day mate

Thanks for that mate. I will PM the fellow.

Had a chuckle over the name "leanes-trench" - it reminded me of the 48th Battalion known as the Joan of Arc Battalion because it was made of all Leanes. Great double entendre. Someone had a powerful imagination.



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I went through what's left of Leanes Trench (as well as the rest of Gallipoli) with Pat in 2001. You'll find he really knows his Gallipoi casualties: he's proved a number of unrecorded deaths to the CWGC, and as a result headstones were added to cemeteries for them.

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That's just what I need for my Albany Boys Bill :) Can I use it?

Like Annette ... I wonder in situations like that what must have gone through their minds. I believe this country will never see a calibre and character in men and boys such as those of WWI (good or bad). We read such things as

"Trooper Harold Rush, 10th Light Horse Regiment, says to his friend as they shake hands: “Goodbye Cobber. God bless you.""

And those I have read in "Kia Ora Cooee" makes me realise how far removed from them we really are.

Brigh Blessings


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Original documents found in the collection of Major William McGrath

The dates really bring it home.

(Apologies for the difference in scans as these were on foolscap paper and very delicate.)


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