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The Nek, 7 August 1915


Bill Woerlee
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Kim

G'day matess

McGrath's description is absolutely powerful and compelling reading. It brings the action and feelings of the day to our attention with an immediacy as though it has just happened - which is so when the letter was written. The letter has lost none of its power over time.

Thanks ever so much for posting that information as I am sure that folks researching into the events of this sad day will be forever grateful for this new material.

Cheers

Bill

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Sandra

Please feel free to use any of my personally produced information and original work although as with all authors, I would like it to be acknowledged in any published work. Where I have given citations to other works, I have no control over their wishes.

Cheers

Bill

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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.

Dear Bill,

Thank you for your message. My records are organized by unit, and not date. However, if you would like to drop me an e-mail, I would be happy to share what I have regarding the Cheshires. What exactly would you like? Just a list of names?

Regards,

Pat

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Ta Bill :) Already cited with date and time.

The only thing I don't have is Antill's reference.

Bright Blessings

Sandra

Sandra

Please feel free to use any of my personally produced information and original work although as with all authors, I would like it to be acknowledged in any published work. Where I have given citations to other works, I have no control over their wishes.

Cheers

Bill

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Sandra

Here is the Antill AWM reference:

post-7100-1145833208.jpg

This is the reference from the file cover giving all the necessary locational detail.

Hope this helps.

Cheers

Bill

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Mates

It might be wise to reflect upon the hopes placed upon this offensive. I have posted below a copy of Ian Hamilton's note to the men prior to the offensive beginning on the evening of 6 August 1915.

post-7100-1145833447.jpg

Reflect on this optimism with the wisdom of hindsight and then imagine you have just received this message while getting final instructions for the assault. At the moment you feel ten foot tall and bullet proof. 24 hours later you will know better. If you want to capture the feelings of the men prior to the hop over, this is the only way to do so. Reality is that they thought this would be a cake walk. No one imagined in their wildest dreams that the 8th and 10th LHR's and the Cheshires would be cut to ribbons.

Cheers

Bill

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Mates

And why wouldn't they feel confident? Here are the forces arrayed against the Turks for the attack against the Nek extracted from the field returns on 6 August 1915 at 9.30am that morning - this paticular document was produced after the attack.

post-7100-1145834162.jpg

Over 2,000 men ready and fit and waiting to charge across an area about the size of a couple tennis courts to trenches that contained few Turks and even less ability for them to reinforce the trenches.

The orders were given that there would be no bullets up the spout to ensure the men did not get bogged down in personal shooting combats but instead the trenches would be taken by storm through bayonet and bomb.

Failure was not in their minds at all. They could see success and breakout and they were going to be part of it.

Cheers

Bill

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I have really enjoyed this thread. I have always found the Nek to be such a moving topic of study. The movie Gallipoli really brings the horror of this fighting to life.

Can experts on this action help me with a question please:

I am researching an 18 year old soldier of the 1/7th Manchester Regt. killed on this day, August 7, 1915 at Gallipoli...

Where were the Manchester's relative to the ALH? Was the 1/7th Manchester Regt. fighting along side the Australians that day, or were they involved in a totaly unrelated action?

Regards,

David

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Sandra

I almost forgot a most important contributor - Captain HR Gollan.

Here is his reference:

post-7100-1145839468.jpg

He is responsible for producing a casualty list for the 3rd LH Bde from the commencement to the termination of the Gallipoli campaign.

Cheers

Bill

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David,

The 1/7th Manchesters were attacking four Turkish trenches about 12 miles south of Anzac, in the Helles sector, during the Battle of Krithia Vineyard on August 7. The trenches were G11a, G12a, G12d and G13. What was the soldier's name?

Regards,

Pat

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David

G'day mate

Thanks for your comments on the thread.

To answer your question, the only Australian book that I know of which specifically mentions the Manchesters in relation to Gallipoli is in Bean Volume 2: May-June, 1915 STRUGGLE FOR KRITHIA p. 43

"There the story of the principal effort, that of the force at Helles, must for the moment rest. The two Anzac brigades were relieved from the line on the night of May 11th, and returned to their own force a week later. The position which the Australians had reached remained the front line until May 27th and 28th, when the Manchester Territorials advanced some 200 yards farther under cover of darkness, scarcely losing a man. The trenches dug by the Australians became the second, or "Redoubt" line, and the old Indian Reserve Trench - from which the attack upon Krithia started - was the third, or "Eski" line. "

In relation to your man, no mention of being in the vicinity of the Australian forces during the attack of 6/7 August 1915. I am unsure as to the placement of the Manchesters and indeed, this fellow could have been killed at Krithia where the Territorials were. I notice Pat has kindly filled in the details above - thanks Pat, your knowledge is indeed a blessing - and posted while I was putting this post together.

Cheers

Bill

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Bill,

Just a correction.

The 5 page letter I first posted was by an unamed soldier. McGraths collection has a few of these. From what we can work out, soldiers gave him their written recollection of events so as to help him with writing the History of the 8th, which he started at some time during the war.

Kim

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Thank you Pat and Bill for the information you provided. This does help quite a bit.

So sorry for not responding sooner, I forgot to check the ''topic notification" feature, and subsequesntly lost track of this thread.

The soldier I am researching is:

Pte. Harold Dean

1/7th Manchester Regt.

Killed Gallipoli August 7, 1915

Thank you,

David

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Noticing that there are some who are interested in The Nek, the following reading is also recommended.

Goodbye Cobber, Godbless You.

John Hamilton

Published by Macmillan

IBSN 0 405 03624 9

It a a good insight into the events leading up to the charge and includes letters and diaries.

Cheers

Kim

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Mates

Just as an add on about the thoughts of the men before the assault at the Nek, here is the diary entry of Carew Reynell, 2IC 9th ALHR:

"4/8/15 Got first definite orders about the attack last night. The attack is to be general and a big left flanking attack to be made in cooperation. Apparently the artillery support for the frontal attack will be good. Our 3rs Light Horse Brigade is to take the trenches on the Nek with good covering fire by rifle, machine gun and artillery fire after a very heavy and prolonged bombardment and so it should present no difficulties. However there will be stacks of scrapping between here and the Narrows four miles away, but from what I can guess of the plan of attack and the numbers we are to have I anticipate a great and glorious victory during the next few days with such a stunning blow to the Turks that it may end the Turkish hash in one hit. I have been very busy all day with preliminary arrangements. The Colonel is away sick at Lemnos. He will be terribly upset if they don't let him back here in time for the attack which is to start on the day after tomorrow either just before or after daylight."

No one contemplated defeat. They imagined that despite a few losses, and none of them expected many or that they would be one of them, by nightfall of 7 August, the war would just about be over. It was, but not for the Turks.

Cheers

Bill

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For further info on the Nek.

Major William “Lauchie” McGrath's collection which has just recently come to light, has provided documents including the Gallipoli lists of KIA and Wounded that were posted, letters from soldiers who participated, the 8th Light Horse History, as well as a War Diary, which was unseen until now. The History and documents have proved another invaluable research source into Gallipoli.

Members may remember the Turkish letter posted some time ago, that was also from this collection. As well, there is note book from his Officer Training and another note book that lists all the things a soldier needs to know.

Lauchie began his collection while still in the desert, as there are documents that are original copies. He also started the History before the end of the war, as in drawing up the title page, it has included in it, 1914 to 19___, a sign that they did not have any idea when it would end. He was a meticulous record keeper and because of that we now have an insight into aspects of the Light Horse.

I have the permission of Lauchie’s Granddaughter to eventually put it all onto CD, so that others may share in the information.

The following information is the work of Jeff Pickerd, whose interest and subsequent in-depth research of the 8th, was born out of finding out about his Grandfather, Sgt George William Fuzzard No. 50. "D" Troop, "A" Sqdn, 8th LHR. who was WIA going out in the second line from Sap No. 5.

His troop was under the command of Lt Tommy Howard who was killed in the charge and his body never recovered.

Service Profile of

Major William “Lauchie” Mcgrath M.C.

Born at Taradale, Victoria.

Enlisted 23-9-1914. Age 27, Occupation given as Clerk. Married. Address given as South Melbourne, Victoria. Rifle Club Member.

Light Horse Depot to 6th Light Horse Regiment, 2nd Light Horse Brigade, Wednesday 23-9-1914 to Monday 5-10-1914 (8th Light Horse Regiment, 3rd Light Horse Brigade begins to form at Broadmeadows Camp)

Corporal No 268 “B” Sqdn 8th Light Horse Regiment 28-10-1914

Taken on Strength 8th Light Horse Regiment, “B” Squadron, 1-12-1914 (Regiment Nominal Roll draw up by Major Alexander Henry White, Commanding Officer.)

Lance Sergeant 24-6-1915 “B” Sqdn.

Tempoary Squadron Quarter Master Sergeant “B” Sqdn 27-6-1915

LSgt to SQMS “A” Sqdn 7-7-1915

Saturday 7-8-1915 In charge of 8th LHR QM Carrying Party for the Charge at the Nek, did not charge.

Squadron Sergeant Major and Acting RSM “A” Sqdn 9-8-1915

2nd Lieutenant 14-9-1915

Wounded in Action (Slight) 9-10-1915, evacuated to Malta 13-10-1915

Evacuated from Malta to England 15-10-1915

Admitted to Hospital London 2-11-1915

Returned to duty Heliopolis Camp, Egypt 2-2-1916

Lieutenant 17-3-1916

Acting Quarter Master “B” Sqdn 5-4-1916

Officer Commanding “C” Sqduadron December 1916

Mentioned in Despatches Battle of Magdhaba 23 12-1916 (6-7-1917)

Hotchkiss Gun Course, School of Instruction, Zeitoun (Passed Qualified Instructor) 2-6-1917

Evacuated to Hospital 17-6-1917 to 7-7-1917

Returned to Duty “B” Sqdn and Appointed Temporary Adjutant 7-7-1917

Awarded Military Cross for gallantry at Tel Khuweilfe (Thirsty Ridge) 2-11-1917

Captain and Adjutant 13-11-1917

AIF Headquarters Cairo 31-1-1918 to 7-2-1918

Evacuated ill 3-3-1918 and 10-4-1918, 3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance.

Adjutant 8th LHR 3-7-1918

Evacuated ill 3-12-1918

Temporary Major, Officer in Command “B” Sqdn 30-4-1919

Returned to Australia aboard transport ship “Malta” 3-7-1919.

Awarded Royal Humane Society Silver Medal for bravery 10-2-1924 (During a shooting incident where he was shot three times whilst shielding women and children.)

Enlisted WWII at South Melbourne, No V80058, 29-9-1939. Captain 6-10-1939.

12th Garrison Battalion, VDC 16-10-1939. T/Major 29-7-1940. Major 1-9-1942.

Discharged 19-2-1944. Vice President 8th LHR Association 1920. Died 30-4-1978

Cheers

Kim

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