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The Nek, 7 August 1915

Bill Woerlee

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For those of you referring to John Hamilton's book


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G'day matess

Thanks for posting the trench maps. They really highlight the circumstance in which the men found themselves prior to the hop over.



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Following is the work by the afore mentioned Jeff Pickerd.

Anyone who had a relative at the Nek, or is interested in that battle, will appreciate the amount of time and effort, that this man has put into the following narrative.

This is an ongoing work of his and as more information comes to light, it is constantly updated.

The Nek.

Before joining this discussion into why it happened, what should have happened and what could have happened, I feel it is important to lay down what I have been able to establish of just what did happen. Without the known facts we run the risk of adding to the so-called Myths that have been built up of the Charge at the Nek.

I put off entering a detailed account of the 7th August in my chronological history for nearly two years. It was altogether too hard to establish just what the real facts were.

At this stage I only had at my disposal five references that could be drawn upon to outline the charge at the Nek.

C.E.W. Bean’s account of the August campaign in the Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18, Vol II. The Nek, by Peter Burness, and the History of the 8th Light Horse Regiment by Major William “Lauchie” McGrath. To this were the published letters in “Maygar’s Boys” by Cameron Simpson and my Grandfathers account of that day.

All of these outlined the 3rd LH Brigades assault on the Turkish position at the Nek, the officers and men who were involved and the outcome, but it still was unclear as to just were all the personal accounts and descriptions of the charge fitted into the actual picture of just were each of the officers and troops of each of the four lines were positioned. Without knowing at just what point on Russell’s Top all these accounts were pertaining to the whole affair was still somewhat of a mystery.

I then set forth to see if I could place every officer and troop to there correct position for the charge.

Since the beginning of this search for the real story of the charge, four important things have happened.

The first being the release of the exceptional book on the 8th Light Horse Regiment 1914-1915, “Goodbye Cobber, God Bless You” by John Hamilton. John’s work brought forth a wealth of new material and told the story of the charge from the words of the men themselves. To my mind this is the best representation of the events leading up to the charge, and of the charge itself, that has been written to date. This in turn led to the subsequent coming forward of a vast number of descendents with further important material. This was then closely followed by the discovery of Major William “Lauchie” McGrath’s vast collection of documents and the first draft of his history of the Regiment. Here was all the Regimental data and history of the 8th Light Horse Regiment.

Next came the remarkable work of Bill Woerlee with his research into the 9th Light Horse Regiment and his tireless search of the archives of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. Bill has unearthed documentation that has probably not seen the light of day for many years, in some cases for over eighty years or more, he has found records that I thought would never be found, let alone still exist.

Last, but no means least, the tireless work of David Hamilton, a fellow descendent. David has spent the last six years going through the collections and archival newspapers at the State Library of Victoria for anything pertaining the 8th Light Horse, a resource that has proved to be invaluable.

It is to all of the above and the many, many others, that the following narrative is accordingly accredited.

Here is what I have been able to establish.

On Wednesday 21st July Brigadier Colonel Hughes, Brigade Major Antill and the three commanding officers of the 8th, 9th and 10th Light Horse Regiments, Lt Col White, Lt Col Miell and Lt Col Brazier, went out on the British torpedo destroyer HMS “Chelmer” to observe the Turkish positions on the Nek and Baby 700 from the sea. They had hoped to establish the full location and strength of the Turkish machine gun positions and an overall picture of the trench systems above Russell’s Top, but little of any benefit could be observed. This voyage seems to have instead turned into a pleasure cruise and a chance to dine on good food and be away from the confines of the trenches on Gallipoli for a short while. This was probably the first official briefing that the regimental commanders had of the forth coming offensive.

3rd Bde HQ and the regimental commanders met on the morning of Monday 26th July to continue discussions on the plan for the attack.

Lt Col White recorded this meeting in his diary and his comments are worth repeating for the thoughts he reveals:

“Had a pow-wow of C.O.s that took all morning, great preparations for the supposed attack that is to come. I am certain my chaps will do well. It will be a pleasure to lead them, good old 8th. The numbers are going down but they are still full of grit and go yet. I am very fortunate in my officers, could not have a finer lot of men, and all loyal to the backbone. I love them all but it does seem a waist of troops doing this work, such a bonnie Regiment of Light Horse.

Anyhow we have done what we can and relieved the infantry a lot, we could not do more. I believe our horses are looking very fine and well, only wish we had them, no chance here for mounted work.”

3-8-1915 (Tuesday) – Lt Col John Antill, the Brigade Major of the 3rd LH Brigade, briefed all the officers of the 8th, 9th, and 10th LH Regiments as to the objectives of the August offensive and issued the orders for the advance by the 3rd Brigade on the Turkish positions on the Neck and Baby 700.

Lt Col White now learned that the regimental commanders were to remain in the trenches to dictate the movement forward of their squadrons in the advance. They were to observe the progress of the attack with periscopes until after the fourth line had gone forward, then move up to the captured trenches. According to the Brigade Major, Antill, Colonel White told Brigadier General Hughes; “Damn it! I’ll lead my Regiment.”

The men were ordered to hand in their tunics, great coats and other spare clothing as well as their blankets. This appears to have been done in mistaken pursuance to a general order, which was subsequently cancelled in the case of other regiments. This order was to cause the men great discomfort during the next four nights when the temperature dropped and became extremely cold in the trenches.

Tpr John Faulkner wrote; “We had rather a slack time in the trenches until August 7th. We were given two or three days’ notice of a big attack for that day and we were instructed to prepare for it. After eleven weeks of trench-digging and water-carrying we were all eager to attack the enemy and push them back into the open country. Orders were given that we had to pack up our blankets and overcoats and leave them at the Quarter-master’s store. For some strange reason our tunics were taken away and we were left practically without clothes, except for our shirts, short pants and puttees.”

Tpr David McGarvie in a letter to his parents, published in the Camperdown Chronicle on 23rd September 1915, wrote; “On Tuesday morning at 4.30 we were ordered to pack our kits, putting away overcoat and tunic, blanket, spare clothes etc., and mess tin, and then hand them in to Reg. Q.M. We went into the trenches at 7a.m. During the day every man was issued 3 pieces of calico, one piece to be sewn on the back, and a piece on each arm. The attack was to be made in shirtsleeves, and we expected it to be that night, but it didn’t come off, and we shivered all night in the trenches.”

On the evening of Wednesday the 4th August Brig Gen Hughes and Lt Col Antill gave a final briefing to all the senior officers of the 8th, 9th & 10 Light Horse Regiments, The 8th Cheshire Regiment, 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers Regiment and the 71st Field Coy Engineers (New Army) on the orders for the assault upon the Turkish positions on Baby 700. The Operational Order No.1, by Brigadier General Hughes VD. Dated 5th August 1915, is the plan outlined to all of the Regiments Senior Officers at this briefing and was drawn up from the hand written plan by Brigade Major Antill.

Sapper Chas Jamieson, 3rd LH Bde Signal Troop: “Turks evidently getting nervy. If our lads start up with a bit of rapid fire, the Turks waste a lot of ammunition. 7,000 troops expected to land tonight. 3rd L/H will take over Russell’s Top on 5/8/15, to be complete by 7 p.m.”

The Turkish forces facing the Light Horse at The Nek were from the 19th (Ottoman) Division, under the command of Mustafa Kemal Bey, being the 18th & 27th Turkish Regiment’s, occupying the front trenches, with the Turkish 57th Regiment and Arab 72nd & 77th Regiment’s in reserve on Baby 700.

The time for the charge was set at 4.30am of the 7th August. The actual assault was to he 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. Bde, 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.

This was all laid out according to the “Nek Forming-up Plan, G7432. G1 S65, Gallipoli x 1.12.” and “Objectives Plan, Anzac Trench Diagram No. III, corrected to 20th July, 1915.”

(Australian War Memorial web site, “Mapping Gallipoli”.)

According to the Official Historian C. E. W. Bean and Wilfred Kent-Hughes, the officers for each line were as follows:

The disposition of each of the four lines was thus:

1st Line- Commanded by Lt Col White with the Adjutant, Lt Dale. Directing the advance from the centre of the Australian line, from Sap No.2 near the Red Lamp.

Left of line (lying out about 10 yards in front of the Secret Sap) commanded by Major Redford, “B” Sqdn, commanding all troops on the left from Malone’s Gully to the start of No. 1 Sap.

(It is still not clear as to whether the Secret Sap was No.1, or if there was another shallower sap dug at where the Cheveaux de Fris ran out across the front, about five yards out from the Secret Sap, and accessed from the Whispering Tunnel.)

Extreme left of line from Malone’s Gully, Left to Right - Lt Wilson “D” Troop, “B” Sqdn, Lt Anderson, “A” Troop, “A” Sqdn, 2nd Lt Marsh, “C” Troop, “B” Sqdn.

Right of line commanded by Capt Talbot-Woods. “A” Sqdn, all troops from Sap No.2 back to Sap No.5.

Extreme right of line, Right to Left - Lt Henty, “A” Troop, “B” Sqdn, Sgt Grenfell, “C” Troop, “A” Sqdn and Lt Borthwick, “B” Troop, “B” Sqdn.

2nd line- commanded by Major Deeble, 2IC of the Regiment, from the centre of the line, at No. 2 Sap by the Red lamp.

Left of line commanded by Major McLaurin, “C” Sqdn, from the entrance of Whispering Tunnel, Secret Sap. He was in command of all troops from No. 1 Sap (Secret Sap) back to Malones Gully.

From the extreme left of line, Left to Right - Lt Robertson, “D” Troop, “C” Sqdn, Lt Crawford “B” Troop, “A” Sqdn, Lt Higgins, “C” Troop, “C” Sqdn.

Right of line commanded by Capt Hore, “C” Sqdn. from main trench behind No. 4 Sap.

From the extreme right of line, Right to Left - Lt Howard, “D” Troop, “A” Sqdn, Lt Carthew, “A” Troop, “C” Sqdn, Lt Grant, “B” Troop, “C” Sqdn. (Lt Grant is listed as an officer of “B” Sqdn, but it is evident that he must have been transferred to “C” Sqdn, prior to or on the 7th August).

(Note- Capt Wilfred Kent-Hughes outlined two scenarios of the disposition of the 8th LHR lines for C. E. W. Bean, AWM 3 DRY, item 32/606, in which he has omissions and contradicting placement of the various troops. On all the available evidence I have endeavoured to place each of the squadrons troop’s at what would appear to be their correct positions for the charge. The position of Sgt Grenfell in the 1st line and Lt Grant in the 2nd line was at first somewhat puzzling, as they did not seem to accord with the dispositions of their Squadrons to each of the lines. The explanation may lie in what specific duties they were assigned to undertake. I had tended to think their placement was wrong and they should have been in the lines of their own squadrons, but the reports of witnesses seem to confirm their places in the charge. The dividing of “A” Sqdn and attaching the two halves to “B” and “C” Sqdn’s would have led to adjustments being made to all of the Troops, along with this the decrease in numbers from casualties and sickness, men may well have been moved to reinforce different Squadrons.

Also Grant’s reported position in the second line was in the centre on the right, where he lay dead on top of Tpr Frank White of “B” Troop, “B” Sqdn, far removed from one of the statements of him going out in the first line alongside Major Redford, whose body lay out on the left, ten yards from the Turkish trenches.)

3rd and 4th lines- 10th LHR, commanded by Lt Col Noel Brazier, who unlike Lt Col White had decided to supervise the advance of his two lines from the trenches and had given command of the first line to Major Tom Todd, CO “A” Sqdn, 10th LHR. The 10th LHR set up regimental headquarters in No. 5 Sap and it was from this position that Lt Col Brazier was to dictate the movement forward of his two lines. It is to date still unclear as to what the actual disposition of the third and fourth lines were, but from what C. E. W. Bean has recorded and from other evidence, it would have appeared to consist of the following –

3rd line- commanded by Major Todd, “A” Sqdn, from the centre of the line near to No. 2 Sap, being made up from “A” Sqdn and half of “B” Sqdn, “A” & “B” Troops.

The left commanded by Capt Walter C. Robinson, with Capt Robert McMasters, “D” Troop, “A” Sqdn, Lt Tom Kidd, “A” Troop, “B” Sqdn and T/2nd Lt Leo Roskams, “C” Troop, “A” Sqdn.

The right commanded by Capt Vernon F. Piesse, 2 I.C. “A” Sqdn, with 2nd Lt Alexander Turnbull, “B” Troop, “A” Sqdn, Lt Leslie Craig, “B” Troop, “B” Sqdn and Lt Thomas Heller; “A” Troop, “A” Sdqn.

The numbers of men allocated to man the firing line for the 3rd line on the right are put at 75, of which 40 were in the reserve trenches leading out to near No. 5 sap, and 35 in the main trench leading to the junction with the Secret Sap. From the group of 40 men, 20 were to take up positions from the junction of the reserve trench back to No 8 Sap and the other 20 to man from the left out to No. 4 Sap. The other group of 35 men were to man the firing line from the start of the Secret sap back to the right, up to No 4 Sap. The men of the fourth line were to move into the positions vacated by the 3rd line in the reserve trenches and take up the same positions in the firing line as the third line charged.

4th line - Commanded by Major J. B. Scott, C.O. “C” Sqdn, with this line being made up of “C” Sqdn and the other half of “B” Sqdn, “C” & “D” Troops.

The left was under the command of the 2 I.C. Capt Henry P. Fry with Lt Herbert B. Hamlin, “C” Troop, “C” Sqdn, T/2nd Lt H. W. Harper and Lt Jackson. “D” Troop, “C” Sqdn.

The right commanded by Capt A. P. Rowan, “C” Sqdn with 2nd Lt Hugo Throssell “B” Troop, “C” Sqdn. “D” Troop, “B” Sqdn possibly commanded by SSM Springall or Sgt William Sanderson and Lt William Lyall, “A” Troop, “C” Sqdn.

The actual orders, “Operational Order No. 1 by Brigadier General Hughes VD, 5th August 1915. AWM4 10/3/7’, issued to the 3rd LH Brigade were –

1. This will be carried out by the troops in occupation of RUSSELL’S TOP, and in four separate and successive lines, each comprised of (approx) 150 bayonets. Preparatory to the attack of which one hours notice may be given, troops will be disposed as per attached diagram (X) (Nek forming-up Plan, G7432, G1 S65, Gallipoli X 1.12.) 1st and 2nd lines in position (CBA) 3rd & 4th in rear to file in immediately room permits.

2. (8th LH.) First line will consist of troops already in fire trenches and saps. On a given signal, silently and without rifle-fire, it will rush The Nek (A1) and with bayonet and bomb engage the enemy, taking possession of the flank, communicating and advanced trenches (A9, A5, A8, A11), paying special attention to the machine-guns, which must be sought for and rushed, and to the trenches overlooking the cliff North of The Nek and to those on the Southern Flank of same, so as to prevent flank interposition by the enemy - mine fuses and phone wires to be sought for and cut.

3. (8th L.H.) Second line (already on banquette) will immediately follow; jumping advanced trenches (already engaged by first line) it will sweep on and attack supporting and subsidiary trenches (A12, C1, C4). Its action will be forward, ignoring trenches behind, but accounting for those to right and left (C6a, BI, B2, B3). Bayonet and bomb without fire.

Note --- As soon as first line has moved from our trenches, second line will take the position vacated in order to make room for third line. In passing over intervening space officers will take post in the ranks so as not to make themselves a conspicuous target.

4. (10th L.H.) Having moved up communicating trenches, third line will in like manner be prepared and follow on at once. Its objective will be the next line of trenches (C2, C3, C5, C7, C8) and if possible, (Z, Y, CI0, C11, to C12-13); with bomb and bayonet only, the enemy will be driven back and out without turning back, and avenues blocked. Once in the trenches, the enemy will not be able to make effective use or his machine-guns. When the extreme limit of advance has been reached the gain must be made good and safe against machine-gun fire and against counter-attack.

Here fourth line plays its role.

5. (10 L.H.) Fourth line will in like manner follow and act in concert with 2nd and 3rd. It must endeavour to join up with the latter. Every second man will carry digging tools in the proportion of one pick to two shovels. It is impossible to define precisely what this line may be called upon to do. This must of necessity depend upon the progress of its predecessors. It may have to down tools and assist, but it must make every effort to join up with the third line and block the approaches. This is its role.

6. Waiting in Broadway and Todd Road the Reserve Regt (9th LHR) will occupy our Fire Trenches and Saps and with our Machine Guns assist the assault, giving special attention to SNIPPERS RIDGE and where opportunity presents itself.

Further to this, orders issued by the 3rd L. H. Brig staff stated: “There are supposed to be machine guns in E8, E6, C6a, and most probably at Y and Z.” These positions were marked on the map of the Turkish trench systems supplied to 3rd Bde HQ, by Divisional Headquarters, ANZAC Trench Diagram No1, Baby 700 Position and Nek objectives map, ANZAC Trench Diagram No. III.

The men’s tunics were to be taken from them and they were to charge wearing their flannel shirts, short pants and puttees. The actual orders were: “Shirt sleeves, web equipment, helmets, 200 rounds of SAA, field dressing pinned right side inside shirt, gas helmet, full water bottle, 6 biscuits, 1 tin Bully beef, 2 sandbags, (4 periscopes per each line and gas sprayers to be carried by the fourth line), wire cutters, rifle (unloaded and uncharged), bayonet fixed.”

The orders stated that each squadron was to have 48 bomb throwers and a reserve of 400 bombs carried by each line.

Major William “Lauchie” McGrath states in his history that: “Each line had 24 bomb throwers and carriers, while every man was also supplied with two bombs. Lt Tommy Howard, “A” Sqdn, had charge of all bombing personnel and arrangements.”

Two scaling ladders and four large planks were to be carried by groups of three men each for the purpose of throwing over any wire entanglements and crossing the Turks deep trenches.

White patches were to sewn on the men’s shirt backs and white armbands to be worn, so as to enable the artillery observers to distinguish the light horsemen from the Turks. Also each line was to have carried four small red and yellow flags for marking captured trenches so that the artillery observers and staff were able to identify their progress.

Tpr Ronald Ross also recorded: “Orders to get ready to attack. 8th to 1st and 2nd line of trenches (Turkish), 10th go to top of hill… Have to wear white patches on shirtsleeves and on back. No pocket books to be taken. Ghurkhas go on the left flank.”

According to Major Reynell the 9th LHR were to cover the attack on the first trenches with fire and after the 8th and 10th had taken their objectives the 9th was to then attack the trenches further up on Baby 700 and the Chessboard. He claimed; “which was really the worst job of the lot.”

The orders also stated; “Headquarters- C.L.H. phone in rear of No. 8 Sap (Old AW).” This refers to the new advanced headquarters dugout, which was situated at junction of the trench running back from the firing line between No 5 and No 8 Saps to the reserve trench that ran from the Main Street trench out to the Monash Gully firing line. The orders went on to state; “Progress reports will be furnished direct to BHQ at AW phone as occasion permits. So that HQ is kept fully alive to all developments. In case of breakdown helos and lamp will be available.” Further on it states: “Until then C.O. lines will keep Headquarters informed by orderlies (Runners) of its fortunes and should unforseen difficulties present themselves, advise Headquarters.”

Two officers of the 3rd LH Brigade Headquarters, Lt W.S. Kent-Hughes, Lt K. McKenzie, were assigned to watch for the flags, which would dictate the timings for the advance of the third and fourth lines. LCpl William Donald Oliver No 28, Brigade Headquarters, commanding the Japanese Mortar Bomb Guns was also to watch carefully for these flags and rush the trench mortars across as soon as the Turks had been driven out. The actual number of Japanese trench mortars the brigade had is unknown, but would probably have been two.

Tpr J. Mack, No 524, “A” Troop, “A” Sqdn, was one of the men assigned to fire the Japanese trench mortars, as the man assigned to the work had gone away sick.

Lt Col Miell, along with Major Reynell and Capt Callary of the 9th LHR, were to take up an observation post from which to watch and report back to Brigade Headquarters, the progress of the charge.

Wilfrid Kent-Hughes later stated to the official historian C. E. W. Bean after the war, that the job of the men on the right of the line was to get round the pocket of Turkish trenches on the right at the head of Monash Gully, Trenches A1, A7 and A11. (This would accord with the plan for the Royal Welch Fusiliers to attack up the head of Monash Gully after the enfilading fire from The Nek had been eliminated. They were to link up with the 3rd LH Brigade and attack the Turkish trenches on the

Chessboard between The Nek and Pope’s Hill, trenches C6 out to C29.)

The Brigade Major, Lt Col. Antill issued written orders to the troop leaders, which stated: “One thing must be clearly understood and appreciated. We are out to stay; there is no coming back. The surest means are dash and determination. No time to waste on prisoners, no notice of tricks of the enemy such as ‘cease fire’ and there is no retire. Once out of the trenches, out for good, and the assault, once for all goes right home.”

Lt Robinson of “C” Sqdn, later recalled in his letter to C.E.W. Bean; “In time of war as in peace, our Brigadier’s idea of soldiering was to salute smartly, roll a great coat correctly and note the march discipline. Our Brig Major talked volubly about getting over ‘with rifle butts and pick handles and chasing the other fellow out’. Our acting Staff Captain, Billy Hughes was a mere boy, very good-natured and thoroughly inexperienced. Like the Brigadier, he left most things to the Brigade Major, who largely trusted to luck and countermanded his own orders.”

McGrath states that; “All wounded were to be left to the stretcher bearers, while any prisoners were to be sent to the rear without escort.”

RQMS J. Sproat, Brigade HQ, was to be in charge of the carrying party, which was made up from about 20 to 30 men of the 8th Regiment. LSgt William McGrath, who was acting, as SQMS of “A” Sqdn, was also part of the command structure of this party. The majority of men selected for the carrying party were those considered by the M.O. Capt Beamish to be too sick or unfit to take part in the charge.

Two officers from the 9 LHR were detached to act as marshals, to co-ordinate and direct the troops of the 8th and 10th to their allotted positions for the assault. These officers were, Major C. Reynell, and Capt P.I. Callary, and the orders for this movement were outlined on the map issued for the progression forward of each of the lines through the reserve trenches on Russell’s Top. [AWM, Printed Records Maps, G7432/G1 S65.]

The 9 LHR were to provide men to act as sharpshooters to put down a covering fire for the charge. Sgt W. Cameron, 9th LHR, was in charge of some or these sharpshooters. (It would appear that none of these men fired during the actual attack, as a captured Turkish soldier later stated that no men in the front trenches had been killed during the charge. This would seem to apply to the left and centre positions in the Turkish trenches, as there must have some Turks killed or wounded out on the right by the group of Australians who got into the trench and also by the bombs thrown by the bombers.

Trooper David McGarvie and others are also reported to have shot Turks in the second line of trenches on the right.)

Major William (Lauchie) McGrath states in his history that; “Throughout the day everyone was busy and as soon as the work was done most of us sat down to pen a word of farewell home.”

Major Reynell wrote in his diary: “Got first definite orders about the attack. Our Brigade is to take the trenches on The Nek with good covering fire after a very heavy and prolonged bombardment and so it should present no difficulties, I am looking forward to the attack very much as I am hopeful that it may result in a glorious stroke.”

Tpr Cliff St Pinnock wrote; “I felt convinced that it would be the last letter I would ever write. I could not say anything definite as we were told that any letters referring in any way to us making an advance would be destroyed…

The orders for the Brigade’s part in the attack put together by Hughes and Antill were lengthy and more detailed than many of those prepared on the Peninsula, and one officer even complained about the length of time it took him to copy them all down. They set the time of the attack for four-thirty in the early morning of 7th August. Unfortunately, no matter how fully they were written, they could not overcome the impossibility of the task that had been set.”

At 4a.m. of the 7th, the artillery and warships were to bombard the Turkish positions on the Nek and Baby 700, ceasing fire at 4.30a.m. The orders stated that the troops would have “The full assistance of naval guns and high explosive fire from the full strength of our howitzer and other guns.

5-8-1915 (Thursday) - In the morning between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m, the 8th LHR moved up to the front line trenches on Russell’s Top and took over all the saps and trenches that had been manned by the 10th LHR. The 10th moved to the reserve trenches to prepare for their role in the charge.

The Brigade headquarters moved from the shelters on the rear cliff edge on Walker’s Ridge to a forward dugout in the reserve trenches behind No. 8 Sap on Russell’s Top, to be closer to the regiments for the assault. Also the regiments RMO Capt F.T. Beamish, began to prepare a make shift Hospital in one of the rear trenches for the expected heavy casualties.

6-8-1915 (Friday) Tpr David McGarvie in his letter printed in the Camperdown Chronicle continued with his recollections of this day; “Well, on Friday we were told definitely that the attack would be at daylight on Saturday morning. We were issued with rations for 48 hours and told to save our water all we could. At 8 p.m. on Friday we went into the saps in front of our firing trench, ready for the rush in the morning. It was only 80 yards to the first Turkish trench.”

At 4.30 p.m. the artillery, which was placed under the command of the New Zealand Artillery Staff, began the initial bombardment of the Turkish trenches on Hill 971, Baby 700 and the Chessboard. The artillery assigned to this sector were the Australian 18 pounders of Col G. J. Johnston’s 2nd Field Artillery Brigade, consisting of, Major Caddy’s 5th Battery at the head of Monash Gully, Major Phillip’s 4th and Major Bessell-Browne’s 8th Batteries on 400 Plateau. The four guns of the New Zealand Howitzer Battery on Anzac Beach and two 6" howitzers of “C” Battery, 69th (British) Howitzer Brigade, plus the 5" howitzer on Walker’s Ridge of the 5th Battery RA. All of these batteries began to fire single rounds at two and a half-minute intervals.

The warships also continued to fire on the Turkish positions on the Chessboard and Baby 700. It would appear that these were the two cruisers HMS “Bacchante” and HMS “Endymion”, along with 4 Monitors and 2 Destroyers, HMS “Chelmer” and HMS “Colne”.

McGrath states in his history that: “This preliminary bombardment was being done from the sea by warships, and a word of explanation regarding its carrying out may not be amiss, as some wonderment may be caused as to how this could be done in darkness, and with safety, when the opposing trenches were so close to each other. This was got over by us putting up a secret lamp, coloured red, right in our foremost sap, and on the cliff edge facing seawards. The observers on the boats could see this, though the enemy could not, and the ship’s gunners knew that anything within 20 yards of this would mean casualties for us. They had been practicing nightly during the past few weeks, occasionally using their searchlights for better observation, and had by now become very accurate.”

Although a number of British warships were assigned to bombard the Turkish positions on Baby 700 and the Chessboard, it appears that only one destroyer was allocated to direct its shellfire directly onto the positions at The Nek. According C. E. W. Bean the fire from this destroyer was not put down directly on the Turkish front trenches at the Nek until after the charge.

At midnight the Turkish guns from the Olive Groves, the “W” Hills, as well as the two 75’s at Su Yatagha, east of Chanuk Bair, returned fire onto the Anzac positions. Many of these shells fell on Russell’s Top knocking some or the rear trenches about and wounding Tpr S. N. Palmer No 635, of “A” Sqd. The front Turkish trench on The Nek and the trenches on the seaward side of Baby 700 could only be reached by shells from the 5" and the two 6" howitzers on the left-hand positions of Monash Gully. The shelling went on through the night.

The Australian 1st Infantry Brigade launched the attack on the Turkish Lone Pine trenches at 5.30pm.

For two hours the men on Russell’s Top were able to see line after line of Australian’s charge across no-man’s land and into the covered Turkish trenches of Lone Pine. This attack was designed to be a feint to draw the Turkish reserves away from reinforcing Chunuk Bair while the advance on the right was being launched.

In his history of the regiment, Major William “Lauchie” McGrath states that at about 9p.m. a gang of engineers arrived at the front trenches, and with the aid or some of the 8th’s men, quickly set to work removing sections of the barbed wire entanglements, to make a clear passage through. The engineers suffered one man killed and several wounded, including their officer who was shot in the foot, during this operation. In an unsigned narrative of the charge submitted to Major McGrath, by one of “B” Sqdn’s men, the following account of these engineers is relayed; “At 8 or 9 o’clock a party of British engineers came up, went over the top & quietly removed some of our barbed wire placing it behind our front trench, in doing so one of their number was killed & several were wounded.” Further in this account, it states with regard to the Turks having prior knowledge of fore coming advance; “The enemy must have heard our barbed wire being removed…”

These engineers were the 71st Field Coy, of the 13th Western Division, (New Army) who had landed at Gallipoli on the 5th August and moved up onto Russell’s Top on the 6th August. From the 7th August they were the only engineers on Russell’s Top until the 26th August.

Further he states; “The night of the 6th/7th, was moonless and chilly. We had been made to stack all our belongings, including tunics and overcoats well at the rear of our position, and the men only had their flannel shirts for body covering. The night air struck through, and despite a good rum issue, made us all into a shivering huddled mass, all fervently wishing for daylight.”

In the unsigned narrative of the man from “B” Sqdn, it states; “The night was quiet with the usual amount of rifle & machine gun fire & an occasional bomb.”

Early in the morning of 7th, SQMS McGrath was ordered to report to RQMS Jim Sproat No 456, with six men of the carrying party to draw rum rations, for a double issue to be given out to each troop.

Sgt H. J. (Bunny) Nugent, No 195, “B”, Sqdn, later recalled: “We had to sit in trenches all night and listen to the boys charging on both flanks. First they charged about nine o’clock on our left and then from our right at about midnight. We had to sit tight and wait as we were given the hardest job to do. All night we sat and the strain was awful. It is wonderful what you can do in such circumstances. About two o’clock I went to sleep. I slept for about an hour. Then I went and served out the rum to the men, as the night was cold during the night I got the boys to dig with their bayonets, footholds in the trenches. The word was passed down to stand by. We were told the order to advance would be given this way: ‘Two minutes to go’, ‘One minute to go’ and then charge!”

The RMO Capt Beamish noted: “Before the time came the men heaped up pocket books and keepsakes that were to be sent home.”

According to Trooper J. Mack, No. 524, “A” Troop, “A” Sqdn, Sergeant Roger Palmer No. 41 had a bet of five pounds that he would get into the Turkish trenches, alive or dead.

On the right of the line in the deep front trench and the saps leading from it, the men of the first line stood on the fire steps and in the saps. The men of the second line stood behind them in the trench. Pegs had been driven into the wall of the trench and foot holes cut to enable the men to haul themselves up when the signal to charge was given. The men of the second line standing behind them would also give those not on the fire steps a leg up. On the left in the shallow Secret Sap and the sap leading from it there was not enough room for all the men of the two lines. The men of the first line therefore lay out in front of the sap in the dead ground formed by a slight rise in the ground, concealed from the view of the Turks. The second line formed up in the Secret Sap behind them. Due to the narrow frontage between the 8th’s trenches and the Turkish trenches on The Nek, and the position of the trenches across this frontage, the charge by the 8th LHR would have to be made in more the shape of a boomerang rather than a straight line. The area in which the men would have to charge was no more than 150 to 200 yards in length and at the centre the Turkish trenches were about 25 yards distant. On each of the wings of Malone’s Gully and Monash Valley the distances were about 70 yards and 100 yards respectively, tho much of the ground leading to the Turkish lines on the left was protected by a slight rise running out for about 25 yards. On the extreme right, the rise up from Monash Gully gave some protection from fire from the Nek trenches, but not the trenches at the head of Monash Gully, and would have been also subject to enfilading fire from across the gully, from the Turkish positions on the Chessboard and Turkish Quinn’s.

Leading out from the trenches and forward saps on Russell’s Top several deep tunnels and shallow tunnels had been dug towards the Turkish trenches. These tunnels had been started by the New Zealanders and work on them had been continued by one officer and 15 men of the 71st Field Coy engineers, who took over the work on the 6th August, with fatigue parties of the 3rd LH Brigade.

The deep tunnels were designated low-level tunnels, numbered accordingly L1, L2, etc, and the shallow, high-level tunnels, H1 onwards. A deep tunnel known as the Gallery had been dug running out from the edge of Monash Gully passing through No. 5 Sap, continuing out in front of the forward saps to No. 2 Sap and then running across and back to the Secret Sap where it entered at the point known as the Whispering Tunnel. From the Gallery a few short low-level tunnels had been started in the direction of the Turkish lines. There two longer High-level tunnels leading out from the forward saps, the longest of these being driven from No. 2 Sap, L7, towards the Turkish trenches on the left. High-level tunnels which were in some places only six inches below the surface of the ground, had been started to be dug leading out from the forward saps, and these had been hastily extended during the week before the attack with the aim of being opened up and converted into communication saps after the Nek had been taken.

On the northern side of the Nek the Turks had also driven tunnels out towards the Australian lines. One these ran very close to one of the shallow tunnels out from No. 2 Sap, but passed over the low-level tunnel L7. Immediately before the attack the work on these low-level tunnels had been taken over by the 71st Fld Coy Engrs, 6th August. During the evening the engineers set a charge in L7 under the Turkish tunnel, which was subsequently fired that night. [Map No 17, C.E.W. Bean, sketch, Lt Tom Kidd, 10th LHR and Lt Col Braziers map of Russell’s Top]

It is of interest that no mention of the firing of this mine has been made in any of the accounts left by the men of the 8th LHR. It is possible that when it was fired it could not be distinguished from the explosion of the Naval shells.

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Part Two

Charge at The Nek

7-8-1915 (Saturday) - The men were awaken at 3a.m, a double issue of rum was handed out and the men of the first two lines took up their positions in the firing line and saps for the charge, under the direction of Major Reynell and Capt Callary, of the 9th LHR.

At approximately 3.45 a.m. the artillery, with the addition of the two guns of Major Trenchard’s 26th Mountain Battery, positioned in Shrapnel Gully, increased their rate of fire to four shells a minute. The allotted destroyer also opened fire, putting down a concentrated fire onto Baby 700 and the trenches immediately below it at The Nek. At 4.27 a.m. the artillery increased their rate of fire to an intensive level for three minutes, ceasing fire at 4.30 a.m. The warships continued to fire on the Turkish positions further back on Baby 700 and the Chessboard.

This bombardment of the Turkish trenches on The Nek seems to have caused a large number of casualties to enemy, particularly amongst the 18th Regiment, but did little damage to the immediate front trenches facing the 8th LHR. The only reported damage to the Turkish front trenches appears to be on the extreme right, at the head of Monash Gully, A1/A7,

At 4.23 a.m. the artillery fire ceased, C. E. W. Bean states according to one account, “cut short as if by a knife”.

The timing for the cessation of fire by the artillery is a key factor in the outcome of the charge by the 8th and 10th Light Horse Regiments. C. E. W, Bean in his Gallipoli diary makes mention of the fact that the Light horsemen were late in getting away after the artillery had ceased fire. He wrote; “I walked slowly home along the sap. As I got opposite the Sphinx a tremendous bombardment broke out. The dawn was just growing and the shell shaped cliff around the Sphinx fairly bellowed with sound. Tails of black earth were being flung up from Walker’s Nek against the sky. It stopped at 4.30. I believe the 3rd L.H. Brigade was a bit slow in getting out, didn’t start for a minute or so after finish [of the artillery bombardment] and the Turks had time to get up again and get out their rifles. Few men reached the Nek.”

At 3rd Brigade headquarters Lt Col White and the Adjutant, Lt Dale were with Brigadier Gen Hughes and Lt Col Antill, the Brigade Major. At about 4.20 a.m. Antill contacted Divisional Headquarters by telephone to ask if he was still to go ahead. He was instructed that the attack must proceed according to plan. Antill later described the event; “There must have been a score (machine guns) in action at close quarters indicating a sure knowledge of our plans. Between the commencement of the fusillade, which never slackened a second, and zero (hour), two urgent telephone messages were sent to divisional headquarters describing the situation, which was stated to be a most serious development and urging the abandonment or postponement of the attack. The laconic reply was that the attack must proceed according to plan. White heard the divisional final order, and was in charge of the business, he elected to decide his own position. He then shook hands and said goodbye to the brigadier and brigade major.

White‘s goodbye was pathetic. He had no coat on and around his neck wore a chain and locket with his young wife and infant baby’s photo. He insisted on leading his men – we did our best to persuade him otherwise. He certainly had the ultimate right to choose his own place.”

The officers of the 3rd Brigade were perplexed as to why the bombardment finished at 4.23am, 7 minutes early. Clearly there was a complete failure in the synchronization of watches. It would appear that the time discrepancy was not at the 3rd LH Brigade level, as all of the officer’s watches were synchronized and checked on the afternoon of the 6th August with all other brigade watches. Wilfrid Kent-Hughes in his letter to C. E. W. Bean on the 29th Feb 1924 stated that his watch was; “synchronized with all other brigade watches. How brigade time was synchronized with other times is a matter for higher command.” He clearly puts fault for the discrepancy at Divisional HQ. The Brigade headquarters were in constant contact with Divisional HQ via telephone and runners right up until the time the attack was launched, so it is difficult to see how a discrepancy of 7 minutes would not have become apparent. One explanation for the difference in timings could lie in the 8-minute difference between the Turkish time and the English time. Lt Col Aubrey Herbert of Gen Godley’s staff discovered this difference, when he was coordinating the armistice on the 24th May. While he was arranging the timings for the start and finish of the truce, he noted: “I found the Turks’ time was eight minutes ahead of ours, and put on our watches.” It is possible that this Turkish time was still in use with some members of Divisional Headquarters and the Headquarters staff and officers of the artillery, and possibly the Navy. The 3rd Brigade was clearly still using the English time, as born out by the following statement.

Lt Col J. Talbet Hobbs, commanding officer for the 1st Australian Division Artillery, later told the official historian: “I remember that General Hughes and Col Antill endeavored to saddle Johnstone’s 2nd Field Artillery Brigade with the responsibility of the disaster, owing as they said, to its failure to support or cover the Light Horse attack. I proved that these charges were unfounded, and that Col Johnstone was clearly and distinctly ordered to stop firing at 4.30 a.m.”

Major General H. B. Walker, CO 1st Australian Division also stated; “As Colonel Johnston points out, he was not provided with a copy of General Hughes’ operation order for the attack on the Nek and he was therefore not aware of the trenches to be attacked or the time.”

Colonel Bessell-Brown later told Lt Col Noel Brazier; he had not been informed of the attack. He had watched the Light Horse go into action feeling, ‘they could have been helped.’

It is also contested that the Royal Navy had stopped the bombardment on the Turkish positions at the Nek and Baby 700 seven minutes earlier than planned. It was apparently common practice for the warships to cease fire slightly earlier before an attack, so as to avoid inflicting casualties amongst the advancing troops. In all probability the navy and artillery were working to the same times for the commencement and cessation of the bombardment, and there are other reports that the warships lifted their range and continued to fire on the trenches further back on Baby 700 and the Chessboard after the artillery ceased firing at 4.30 a.m.

The consequence of the seven-minute pause between the cessation of the bombardment and the launch of the attack, gave the Turks time to man their front trenches and prepare for it. The tactical advantage of surprise was lost.

The other key factor on the outcome of the charge was in the failure of the advance on the left of Anzac to reach and secure the objectives set out to coincide with the 3rd LH Brigade’s charge at 4.30 a.m. The 4th Australian Infantry Brigade under the command of Gen John Monash was to have captured Hill 971. The Indian infantry and the Ghurkhas would launch an attack on the 900-foot, Hill Q. The New Zealand Infantry Brigade was to have taken Chunuk Bair and be in a position to advance on the rear of Baby 700 as the Light Horsemen charged across the Nek.

This advance would have silenced or preoccupied the Turkish machine guns thought to be positioned at E8 and E6, also possibly the one at Y from firing across onto the Nek. Neither of these objectives had been achieved by the appointed time. The attack by the 6th Battalion of the lst Australian Division, on German Officer’s Trench at midnight of the 6th had failed to take the position, with a great loss of men, most of the men being hit leaving the underground firing line. The capture of German Officer’s would have removed the enfilading machine gun fire on Pope’s, Quinn’s and The Nek. These failures would have a devastating effect on the outcome of the attacks launched at Quinn’s and Pope’s by the 1st Light Horse Brigade, and The Neck by the 3rd Light Horse Brigade.

Lt Col White and Lt Dale then made their way up to the front trench to take up their positions for the charge. At about 4.22 a.m. White and Dale were standing with Major Redford and Lt Robinson near the entrance to the Secret Sap. At 4.23 a.m. the artillery fire ceased,

Lt Robinson later recalled the scene in a letter he wrote to C. E. W. Bean, 16th May 1924: “I am quite certain that the discrepancy in the timing at the Nek on 7/8/15. When the last shells burst in front I was standing with Col White, Major Redford and Lt Dale. For a few moments no one spoke. Then the colonel said; ‘Come along Dale’, and then walked along the trench from the ‘secret sap’ and I remarked to Redford: ‘what do you make of it? There is seven minutes to go.’ He replied: ‘They may give them a heavy burst to finish!’ For three minutes hardly a shot came from the Turks and then a scattered rifle fire broke out, above which could be heard distinctly the rattle of about 10 shots as each Turk machine gun was made ready for action.

I got my men ready and shook hands with Major Redford a few seconds before he leaped out. He remarked as he did so: ‘See you latter Robbie’. His watch also showed the same time. We received our instructions and set our watches at 4.20 on the evening of the 6/8/15. Major Deeble remarked that he was not sure the time was correct but he would find out. Later when I asked him, he said it was correct but from his manner when I asked him I thought to myself that he had not made any inquiries. But evidently he had regimental time, as Redford belonged to B Squadron and his time was the same as mine. But I am sure that the bombardment ceased at 4.23 according to Redford’s time and mine, and that the attack was launched seven minutes after the bombardment ceased and by the time the rifle and machine gun fire of the Turks had swelled to terrific fury and was supplemented by shell fire from the French 75 guns with which they used to bombard us with before for some weeks.”

After the cessation of the bombardment for about three minutes hardly a shot was fired. The Turks although severely tried by the tremendous pounding of the artillery, realised that there was now no fire at all upon them, and began to man their front trenches in preparation for the attack they knew would follow.

The Turks lined their front trench two deep, the front rank training their rifles with bayonets fixed, over the parapet, the second line standing behind them firing over their comrade’s shoulders. The irony is that this is exactly how the men of the 8th had met the attack by the Turks back on the night of 29th-30th June. It is estimated that the number of men in the front Turkish trench must have been between 200 to 250.

The Turkish machine gunners from their various positions on the Nek, across on the Chessboard and back on Baby 700, each fired a few rounds as they readied their guns for action. A spasmodic rifle fire broke out from the Turkish lines.

McGrath states in his history that as soon as the bombardment ceased the men of the first line were to jump out of the trench and saps, go over about ten yards, then lie flat, while the second line were to lie down on the parapet. On the signal they were to rise up and charge. His description would appear to relate more to the left of the line than the right, which is born out to a certain extent by statements of others. The men carrying the ladders and planks would have had to been in the forward saps or out in front of the trenches, to be in a position to charge forward at the given signal.

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Part Three

4.30 a.m. The Charge

1st Line

Lt Col White and Lt Dale took up their positions in the front trench, most probably somewhere near the red lamp at No. 2 sap, about 20 yards from the junction of the main fire trench and the Secret Sap.

Col White, Major Redford and Capt Talbot-Woods at their respective points along the front watched their watches, which had been previously checked; ready to give the order to charge when it reached 4.30 a.m.

Tpr John Faulkner No. 61, “A” Sqdn, states that Lt Col White looked at his watch. He passed the word along; “Five minutes to go,” then, “Three minutes to go,” and then, “Get ready,” and finally, “Jump parapet!” Then as the minute hand reached 4.30 simply; “Go.”

(Note: As the charge took place at just before sunrise, with the morning being particularly dark, and there still being a great deal of dust in the air, stirred up by the bombardment, visibility was significantly reduced, in some places to a matter of a few yards. This lack of visibility was further compounded as the first line had gone a third of the way out, due to the tremendous volume of rifle and machine-gun fire, along with the smoke and dust of bombs. Observation from the trenches was not only difficult, but also extremely hazardous due to this fire from the Turkish lines. It was certain death to raise one’s head above the parapet. Therefore the reports of some of the observers and survivors, is limited to the immediate area each was in during the advance. Many of these reports are to a certain extent confusing and contradictory, some being second hand accounts and others being written well after the event. It is not until these reports are placed to the various points and times along the front from which they were made, do they begin to make the picture clear. The seven minutes pause between the bombardment ceasing and the order to charge being given was not apparent to many of the men. Some make no mention of the difference and others state that the bombardment ceased at 4.30 a.m., and yet others have put the time for the charge from anywhere from 4.15 a.m. onwards.)

As Colonel White gave the order “Go” the signal was repeated the length of the line, by the blast of the trench whistles and shouted command, the first 175 men leaped up over the parapet or rose up from their positions in front of the trench, cheered and charged.

With reference to the decision of Lt Col White to lead his regiment out, not with standing the criticism that has been placed on this after the event, I have not found one word of such from his men, only praise and admiration for him as a leader. There is on the other hand criticism of the actions of some other officers that morning expressed by some of the men.

It will take to long to out line the action of each troop as they hopped out, but the order in which each progressively charged has already been stated.

To get an appreciation of the charge it has to be looked at in three sections, the left, centre and right of the line. From all of the actions of each of the three lines that charged it is now quite apparent that they were conforming to the orders laid by Lt Col Antill. The entire emphasis seems to be directed to the occupation the Turkish trenches on the right, the junction of A1and A2, A1 to A7 to A11.

The three troops of the first line on the left were protected by the slight rise about 20 yards out in front of the Secret Sap, it was only as the men’s heads appeared over this rise that they came under the volume of Turkish fire. Very few of these men made it as far as the Turkish parapet with most being either killed or wounded as soon as they cleared the crest of the rise. Instead of moving straight up to the Turkish positions these three troops appear to have directed their advance to the right centre, A1, A2.

Of the centre and part of the right most of these men were cut down as soon as they left the forward saps, only the men from the extreme right managing to get up to the Turkish trenches and only then when going on with the men of the second line as they charge two minutes later.

Within the first minute of the charge, the CO, the Adjutant, all six of “B” Squadrons and three of “A” Squadrons officers lay dead.

The second line “C” Sqdn and half of “A” Sqdn followed roughly two minutes later, the men of this line suffering an identical fate as that of the first line and again the emphasis seems to be directed to the right of the line.

With the annihilation of the first line the whole of Antill’s plan had become redundant. With the annihilation of the second line the whole advance was at an end. There were no longer any officers left alive to direct the advance and no longer the troops left alive to carry it out. The objectives of the third and fourth lines were now unachievable.

This should have been plainly obvious to General Hughes, he was in a forward Sap observing the progress of the attack. Brigade Major Antill was in the forward Headquarters dugout, from which he had not moved during the whole of the morning, but he was supposed to be kept informed of the progress of the attack by the Staff Officers on the scene.

I am firmly convinced that the attack would have been called off at this point but for one significant outcome, the signal flag that was placed on the Turkish parapet at the point near the junction of A1 – A11.

All the evidence now suggests that this signal flag did fly for nearly two minutes. It is fairly certain that SSM C. H. Cameron No. 300, Tpr W. A. Hind No. 213, of “A” Troop, “B” Sqdn along with, Sgt Roger Palmer, No. 41, “A” Troop, “A” Sqdn, Tpr J. P. Cameron No. 686, “C” Troop, “A” Sqdn, and Sig G. T. Grant No. 929, “A” Troop, “C” Sqdn, of the second line, got into the Turkish trench on the right hand corner of the Nek.

LCpl William Oliver reported the sighting of the flag back to Antill and there is one other import, but un-stated witness, Trooper Jack Mack of “A” Troop, “A” Sqdn. It is now quite apparent that the account of Sgt Roger Palmer getting into the trench as retold by several of the 8th’s men are based on his account. The other evidence for these men getting in can be drawn from the statements of several other of the 8th’s men and is now backed up by the account of Mutekaio Albay Sefic Akir as outlined by Bryn. None of the senior officers of the 3rd LH Bde or the 10th LHR reported that they had sighted this flag.

The next tragedy for the continuation of the charge is down to the antagonism between Lt Col Noel Brazier of the 10th LHR and Jack Antill, the splitting of the command structure and the issuing of orders from two separate locations amounting to total confusion. The senior officers of the 10th LHR could plainly see the futility of the continuation of the charge. Lt Col Brazier was trying to have it called off; Antill was ordering the continuation, General Hughes was indecisive, both issuing orders for the cancellation and continuation of the assault.

The third line charged at about 4.45 a.m. after Lt Col Brazier had been ordered by Antill to “Push on”.

The other evidence that pertains to Antill being aware of the signal flag, is the statement Lt Col Hay, the commanding officer of the 8th Bn Royal Welch Fusiliers, who 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.”

First Line, Left

Major Redford led the 75 men who made up the left of the line in the Secret sap, out from his position, about 10 yards out from the Whispering Tunnel, and managed to get to within ten yards of the Turkish trenches. He took cover in a depression in the ground.

Lauchie McGrath in the addendum in the back of Major Redford’s diary wrote: “Our gallant major, whilst lying facing the enemy’s trench in the front of his men received a bullet through his brain as he raised his head slightly to observe. He died with a soft sigh and laid his head gently on his hands as if tired.”

To confirm that Major Redford had been killed in action, Tpr’s L. Simpson and P. S. McGuinness of “D” Troop, “B” Sqdn, later went out into no-mans land to recover his body and ID discs. He was brought in and buried at Walker’s Ridge Cemetery.

*On the extreme left of the line running to the edge of Malone’s Gully was “D” Troop, “B” Sqdn, commanded by Lt Eliot Wilson. On this side of The Nek, there was a slight rise running out for about 20 yards before the men became fully exposed to the Turkish fire. C. E. W. Bean states that only the men’s heads and shoulders were exposed during the first half of their journey to the enemy’s positions. This troop probably comprised about 20 men judging by the area of trench they left, and would have had more cover until they reached the crest of the rise and putting them to within about 10 to 15 yards of the Turkish trenches, before they charged.

It is known that of this troop, Tpr’s L. Simpson No. 840 WIA (Gun shot wound to left shoulder and hip)

F. L. Merritt No. 319, WIA, (Shrapnel wound to the stomach and gun shot wound to the arm) P. J. “Ginty” McGuinness No. 324, WIA (Not evacuated) B. Sanderson No. 329, WIA, J. W. Winnett No. 333, DOW, and LCpl A. N. Tetley No. 304, DOW, were in the charge.

Wilson waving his revolver, shouted, “Now then boys” led his men out. He was in the forefront of the charge when he turned to his troop shouting, “Come on boys”, he was shot.

Despite his wound he ran forward calling on his men to follow until he found cover near the Turkish parapet. He was reported to have turned to his men, sitting with his back against the Turkish parapet, beckoning with his revolver and calling, “Come on boys for Gods sake, come on, come on!”. He was shot again and was trying to stagger to his feet when he was killed by a Turkish bomb, which exploded along side him. One witness reported that Wilson fell forward and there was an explosion under his body, probably caused by his revolver discharging under him.

Tpr Lionel Simpson, stated that he last saw Lt Wilson running forward waving his revolver, yelling: “Come on boys, come on, come on”. Simpson was one of the men carrying a plank. He later recalled in an interview in 1984, running forward until he felt the man on the other end holding back. He looked behind to see that his comrade had been wounded. In that instant he too was hit, in the head and shoulder, and fell to the ground. He remembered feeling ‘disgusted’ when he heard some of the survivors calling to others to fall back. In another account in a television interview in 1988, he recalled that the man holding back had been caught by machine gun fire, he stated; “I was holding one end of this plank and my cobber was holing the other end. I pulled away and wondered why it was so heavy.

He (his cobber) got shot in the leg; in fact it was the knee. I could see the knee coming out with the machine gun bullets. I was going along when a bullet hit me in the left shoulder, it didn’t stop me, because it went in and bounced out. The men seemed to be falling behind me… I was in the front and I could see a chap about three yards in front of me. He fell down and I thought ‘It’s time to get out.”

Tpr Bert Sanderson, was one of the men who managed to get up close to the Turkish parapet, he was badly wounded in the leg by a bomb, rolled down the slope from the enemy’s trench, He managed to drag himself back to the safety of the 8th’s trench under heavy fire. His leg was subsequently amputated. He was again mentioned in despatches for bravery.

Sgt Walter A. McConnan in a letter home on the 15th August, wrote; “While waiting about the dressing station I went about the stretchers helping where I could. I came over young Sanderson of Benalla with a shattered leg. He was patient and brave.”

LCpl A. N. Tetley No. 304 was caught in a line of machine gun bullets, and was severely wounded just above the knee as he charged forward. The position he was found at would suggest that he had almost managed to drag himself back to the trench. He was seen lying just in front of the Secret Sap by Sgt C. H. Lyon, “C” Sqdn, of the second line, as he was retiring back to the sap and with the help of some of the men they brought Tetley in. Sgt Lyon in his letter to Mrs Tetley, wrote: “With orders to retire as we dropped back into the sap I saw Norman lying just in front and with the assistance of others got him in and laid him on the bottom of the trench. His leg was in a fearful state; a machine gun had got on to him, but he stood it wonderfully and a 10th man applied First aid. The stretcher-bearers were fearfully busy and we were in and out of the way and he had to lie there over two hours before it was possible to get him away. The loss of blood must have been very great.”

Sgt W. A. McConnan in a response to a Red Cross inquiry regarding the fate of LCpl Tetley, received on 23/3/1916 wrote: “He was wounded in the Light Horse charge at Anzac on 7th August. A line of machine gun bullets caught him just above the knee, but tho the wound was bad, it was reckoned he would recover. It was reported that Tetley died at sea on the 8th Aug, I cannot tell you the name of the ship, but I am inclined to think that, as he would go aboard late the previous night, he must have died on one of the regular Hospital boats off Anzac (probably the Delta) and no doubt was buried not far from the shore. I was told that a few days before the Sulva landing he was sent to one of the local Hospitals and was returned to the regiment a day or so before he was wounded. He was far from right at the time, but dodged sick parades so that he could play his part in our advance,”

Tpr P.R McGuinness, No. 324, in an article published in the Warrnambool Standard 16/4/1919, an account of his experience in the charge is related. Many of the facts stated are wildly inaccurate and some wrong, but the details of his part in the charge are probably fairly close to the truth. Paul McGuinness is reported to have been thrown down by the impact of a machine gun bullet, which struck his bandolier and ploughed a red line from hip to hip. (The men were issued with infantry equipment so could not have struck a bandolier.) He fell into a slight hollow right under the Turkish machine guns and lay there all through the day under the burning sun, not daring to move until dark, when he crept back to his own trenches. The next morning he and five other volunteers went out to recover Major Redford’s body. One of these was Tpr Lionel Simpson. It states that they sapped out to within a few feet of where Redford lay and that four of the men went out with McGuinness and they passed Redford’s body down to a man who had remained in the sap. The article states that the four men who went out with him were killed before they got back to the sap. (This is not correct, there is no record of any of these men being killed, and Lionel Simpson. survived the war). He wrote that the bullets rained round them like hail stones, but he was unscathed. Redford’s remains were brought in and covered with stones in the trench and a small wooden cross put at his head. He was later buried at Walker’s Ridge Cemetery, but the grave was not recorded. If this account of the recovery of Major Redford’s body is attributed to the 8th August, it is wrong. McGuinness, McGarvie and others, may well have gone out to get Redford’s body in, but it was not on this date. Major Redford’s body was recovered on about the 25th or 26th August and was buried at Shrapnel Terrace as previously outlined.

Tpr V. J. Dorman No. 285, may have been part of this troop. He took cover close to the Turkish trench all day and returned to his own lines under cover of darkness during the night of the 7th.

* In centre left of the line “A” Sqdn’s “A” Troop went out from the secret sap under the command of Lt Leo Anderson. From the 25 men of this troop we have a fairly accurate record from the survivors of what took place. It is unclear as to how many of the men of “A” Troop were in this position, as Sgt Roger Palmer was on the right of the line during the charge. Until a complete record of the disposition of each troop can be unearthed it is impossible at this stage to place every man to his troop. Of “A” Troop, Sgt J. L. Connor No. 115, Cpl C. E. Williamson No. 51, Sgt T. H. Stanton No. 55, L/Cpl E. H. Mack No. 66, Trooper’s, J. C. L. Dale No. 80, C. C. D St Pinnock No. 518, A. H. Borthwick No. 529,

A. B. Kinnaird No. 83, J. R. Fullerton No. 550, O. E. Donaldson No. 89, J. J. Faulkner No. 61, R. W. Urquart No. 39, A. J. Williams No. 514 and L. G. Lawry No. 515 are known to have charged with Lt Anderson.

Williamson, Stanton, Mack, Urquart, Lawry and Dale survived the charge, either slightly wounded or unwounded. St Pinnock, Borthwick, Fullerton, Williams and Faulkner were WIA. Sgt Connor, Donaldson and Kinnaird were KIA and Williamson DOW on the 8th August.

Tpr Dale states he was one of three who had to carry one of the planks. Tpr Fullerton is reported to have gone out along side Dale and St Pinnock. Cpl Stanton stated that Tpr Donaldson was one of the bombers.

Tpr R. W. Richardson who enlisted as Reginald Wallace No. 850, 4th Reinf’s, may have also been in this troop. Capt L.F.S. Hore wrote in a letter to Richardson’s Mother, on the 28th November 1915, printed in the Riverina Recorder, stated; “He died in the very front of the line on August 7th, and was seen throwing bombs into the Turkish trench. He was on the left while I was on the right.”

At the signal to charge Lt Anderson rose up with the call of “Give it to them Boys” and led his forward. They all cheered as they got over the slight rise before they were met with a withering fire from the Turks. Lt Anderson went about 10 yards once he had got over the rise, before being severely wounded. He managed to find cover in a hollow partly covered by some bushes, where he remained until being found by Major McLaurin, of the second line. Tpr Les Lawry after getting back to the safety of the trenches, walked back out and brought Lt Anderson in at seven in the morning. Sgt W. L. Sanderson of the 10th LHR, recalled to C. E. W. Bean, that when he was making his way back to the secret sap he came across a lieutenant of the 8th LH. The officer had had some bombs in his haversack, which had been set off and the whole of his hip blown away. Sanderson stated that the officer was alive and he and an 8th LH man tried to bring him in. He had begged them to let him stay, stating; “I can’t bloody well stand it.” He was brought into the sap and died. This must have been Lt Anderson, who succumbed to his horrific wounds at four in the afternoon.

Some of the men managed to get fairly close to the Turkish trenches before being killed or wounded.

In a letter to his mother on the 16th August, trooper Jack Dale wrote: “I was in one of the Troops (A Troop) and that had to be the first line and were put in a sap all night waiting to get out. At 4.30 a.m. we got the order to get on the parapet. A few minutes later we advanced and all of a sudden the Turks opened up with a murderous machine gun fire, it was something terrific and I have never heard anything like it.

Those of us who got over the very slight rise of ground were simply mown done. I was one of three who were carrying a big plank, which we had to throw over any entanglements and then the trenches when we got there. We got quite close up and were lucky enough to get behind a slight rise in the ground. We had to lie flat on our stomachs. We were fairly safe from the bullets although some of them were landing pretty close. Bombs were bursting not five yards from where I was. We then started to dig ourselves in; as it was would have been madness and certain death to charge against such fire. Wounded fellows were crawling past us, some with terrible wounds caused by bombs. All you could do was to make way and help them past. I was expecting a bomb any minute and had to keep a good lookout for them. About half an hour later we got the order to retreat and we crawled back to the trench one line at a time.”

Ernie Mack in his letter home on 12th Sept, 1915, notes his recollections of the charge: “As soon as the guns stopped firing and we got out of the trenches to wait for the signal to charge. Our worst fears were realised. The Turks opened up immediately the most terrific fire it has been my misfortune to hear...I guess I was lucky though I did get a few scratches from bombs. I had one marvellous escape, as a bomb exploded near my leg and the concussion was so great that it turned me completely over and the only thing I had to show for it was a few ragged tears in my uniform.” (Cliff St Pinnock told Stan Mack, that: “Ernie had a charmed life as he was right up to the front and managed to get back unscathed.”)

Cliff StPinnock in his letter of the 15th August wrote: “At half past four to the second the battleships stopped their fire and we got the order to ‘Give it to them Boys’. Well we all got over and cheered but they were waiting ready for us and simply gave us a solid wall of lead. I was in the first line to advance and we did not get ten yards. Every one fell like lumps of meat.... I got mine shortly after I got over the bank and it felt like a million ton hammer falling on my shoulder. However I managed to crawl back and got it temporarily fixed up till they carried me to the Base Hospital. I was really awfully lucky as the bullet went in just below the shoulder blade round by my throat and came out just a tiny way from my spine low down on the back. Really I think that anybody who got off at all is simply wonderful.

They must have had about thirty machine guns firing about l,000 shots a minute so with that and the rifle fire you can imagine what we had to face.”

(Jack Dale stated that Cliff St Pinnock and J. Faulkner were wounded on their way back to the trenches, Stan Mack stated that Cliff St Pinnock also received a minor flesh wound to the hip.)

Tpr Lex Borthwick has also left an account of lying out at the top of the rise; “My troop had a small slope to go up before the machine guns could get at them which is the reason we were not annihilated. I was lying on the top of the slope at the ridge and every man round me was dead before the order came to retire. Bruce Kinnaird, (Allan Bruce Kinnaird No. 83) a clerk in the Savings Bank, was lying alongside me and an explosive bullet hit him on the neck killing him instantly.

Part of the bullet hit me on the buttocks and I think it is still there. It hurt for a moment but I thought to myself, I am wounded and have a good excuse to retire, but finding it was nothing I had to continue to lie there while the Turks from their trenches ten yards away were throwing bombs onto the top of my ridge. How I escaped being killed I don’t know. The bombs are round like a cricket ball and one rolled over my neck, bumped alongside my body and burst a little lower down the hill. The bombs killed a lot of men that day. They make frightful, ghastly wounds.

I shall never forget the horrors of that charge which came to nothing.”

It was not until much later after the attack had been given up that Lex Borthwick was to learn of his brother, Lt Keith Borthwick, being reported as missing in action.

Tpr John Faulkner took cover in no mans land after being wounded whilst trying to regain the 8th’s trench. He has left the following account of the charge and the events leading up to it; “An intense bombardment by warships, destroyers and land artillery gave us an indication that the time was at hand. We waited in two lines in the front trenches on Russell’s Top. The men of the 8th began to prepare to leap from the trenches by pulling down sand-bags to stand on.

The job before us was known to be a tough one, as this spot was known as the ‘Chessboard’, owing to the number of moves and counter-moves and changes there in the early part of the landing, and was recognised as one of the most difficult places to attack.

Just before the first peep of day (about 4.30 a.m.) the bombardment began to slacken and Lieutenant Colonel White looked at his watch. He passed the word along. ‘Five minutes to go’, then, ‘Three minutes to go’, and then, ‘Get ready’, and finally, ‘Jump parapet’!

His orders followed in quick succession. In an instant our first line eagerly leapt over the parapet. Not a stone’s throw away were the trenches of the enemy, and as soon as our heads appeared above, the Turks opened fire with machine-guns and rifles.

Many of our boys were shot and fell back into the trenches, wounded before even clearing the parapet.

Young McElhinney was one of these. The rest of us dashed forward as hard as we could go with fixed bayonets. It was like running into a hailstorm and it was not a matter of wondering if I would get hit, but where I would be hit.

I saw Colonel White fall and practically all the rest. I had gone a few yards when I was struck slightly on the hip, it was like a burn. Then a second bullet went through my chest and at the same time another bullet struck me on the right shoulder.

The sensation was as if I had been stuck with a brick, or as if a horse had kicked me. There was no pain at first, but just a numb sensation. I fell and lay for some time in a depression in the ground.”

He continues on with a description of the second and third lines and these quotes will be used at the appropriate time entries.

The description of the charge that Faulkner has left would seem to have him going out with Sgt Grenfell’s “C” Troop, “A” Sqdn, closer to the centre of line between No. 2 & No. 3 Saps. In some respects his account of the charge makes more sense when he is placed here, but this cannot be substantiated.

Cliff St Pinnock gave a statement to a Red Cross official at Luna Hospital on the 19th Sept, regarding the death of Tpr Oliver Donaldson No. 89. St Pinnock stated that Donaldson was a bomb thrower in the attack and was killed. His body was not recovered. He also noted that they were great personal friends.

Sgt Stanton also gave witness to Donaldson’s body lying out in no man’s land.

In a letter printed in the “Tatura Guardian” on the 12th October 1915, Lt Andy Crawford who was in the second line, reported; “We were only a minute or two behind the first line, and when we got up to them there wasn’t a man standing, so we lay down and took as much cover as we could. ‘Bomb-throwers to the front’ was called out by someone, and Ollie Donaldson and another bomb-thrower rushed forward and threw some bombs, and that was the last that was seen of them. I think they got killed.”

Stan Mack in his letter to his sister relates the information he had received from Cliff St Pinnock at Luna Hospital: “Cliff says he never in his life heard such a noise, machine guns, artillery, bombs, rifles, cheering and battleships down in the bay firing broadside after broadside. He does not know how he felt, like all the others I have spoken to. They just had the idea sticking in their minds that they had to get to the trench in front of them... The worst part of it was the waiting for the word before they charged, it got on their nerves.”

Trumpeter L. G. Lawry No. 515, was Mentioned in Dispatches for gallantry at The Nek.

In his letter, Stan Mack makes mention of the deeds of Lawry: “One thing which cheers us up, after hearing of deaths of all these men we’ve known for months and had arguments with till we nearly came to blows, then soon afterwards halving a cigarette or anything with, is to hear about our trumpeter, Les Lawry, a very decent little chap from Geelong and he not 19 yet. When he returned to our trenches he heard that Anderson our “A” troop Lieut was seen lying wounded near the Turk trench. He never said a word to anyone what he was going to do, but hopped up over the parapet, walked out and brought Lieut Anderson in without getting a scratch himself. Poor little Anderson was badly wounded though. Lawry got him at 7 in the morning, but he sank and died at 4 in the afternoon.”

It would appear that Lawry went out and assisted Tpr Martin O’Donoghue of “C” Troop, to bring Lt Anderson back into the trench.

* The last troop on the left from the Whispering tunnel to start of No.1 Sap was “C” Troop, “B” Sqdn, commanded by 2nd Lt Cyril Marsh. Most of the 30 men of this line were more exposed to direct Turkish fire and only those on the extreme left having some cover from the rise leading up to the Turkish line. Lt Marsh was the most forward man of “B” Sqdn during the charge, and got right up to the Turkish trenches. He was observed being shot and falling dead in front of the Turkish parapet. His body was later sighted resting on the Turkish parapet.

“C” Troop Sgt, Tom Forde, was seen running along side Major Redford at the outset of the charge when he was shot dead. His ID discs were retrieved during the night, but his body was unable to be brought in. This troop carried out one of the ladders, which were seen lying out at about the same distance as Col White’s body.

Tpr Martin O’Donoghue No. 633, writing to his brother Patrick from the Leyireh Palace Hotel, No. 2 General Hospital, Egypt on the 26th August, has left an account of his experience in the charge, he wrote; “They landed some 50,000 Tommies and 5000 Ghurkhas on the left of us, a furious battle was fought between them on Friday. On Saturday morning the 8th LH were ordered to take a certain position, the Turks first trenches were only thirty yards away. My lot, “B” Squadron, were the first line, we did not get far though; they played machine guns and bombs on us. Such a fire of hell. It was worse than the landing on the Peninsula in April. Only one man got to the Turks Trenches, all the others were either killed or wounded.

All my mates were killed. The 10th LH and Cheshire Tommies were ready to follow us, but it was no use. We stood the fire for an hour, and had to retire back to our trenches. When they lined “B” Squadron up to count them, there were only four of us and a sergeant left. 6 others crawled in during the day; the result was that we got twenty out of 180 men. The other 2 squads did not suffer as badly.

The Regiment went out full strength 580, only 120 left now. I don’t know how I escaped. Not in any part of the war has there been such a terrific fire. They knew we were going to charge for we were in a secret trench for two days with fighting orders, with white bands on our sleeves and backs. One or two Turks used to crawl up a night and see us there, and the German aeroplanes would see us there too.

They made a big mistake anyhow. If they had let us advance under the fire from the warships we might have had a chance. The warships kept up a terrific fire all night, and as the last shot struck the Turk trenches, we hopped out. Had they kept firing, it would have kept the Turks heads down and we would have succeeded. But as soon as the firing stopped, the Turks had about 50 machine guns and bombs flying at us everywhere. One officer who had been in two wars, said it was the worst fire he had ever been under.

There were men lying dead around me everywhere, blown to pieces, horrible sights some of them. The bombs are awful things, the men got blown to bits by them”

He also in another letter to his father, later from hospital in Egypt, 16/9/15, in which extracts from this letter read: “I expect you have read our big casualties in the paper by this. We had a charge on August 8th (7th). My lot “B” Squadron were the first line, then “A” and “C”, 10th Regt. and the English Cheshire’s. The warships kept up a terrific bombardment all night and the order was given that as soon as they fired their last shot at 4 o’clock, we were to hop out and take the Turks trenches, the first lot being 30 yards away. This was a very silly thing to do, for had they let us advance under the fire of the warships, the shells would have kept the Turks heads down and we would have succeeded. Instead, as soon as the warships stopped firing, the Turks knew we were up to something, for as soon as we hopped out, we got a rain of machine gun fire and bombs, too terrible for words. A long way worse than the landing in April. Only one man got to the Turks trenches, all the (others) were either killed or wounded, we had to retire back into our own trenches. In one place I was the only one left. I carried one of our officers in. He was hit on the back with a bomb, and died afterwards. He was a fine fellow. I was terribly lucky.

They were crying out ‘leave him there you will get hit yourself’ but the bullets just seemed to miss me. I was mentioned before General Godley for it. It was not for bravery that I did it. I couldn’t bare to see him there moaning in agony. When they lined B Squadron up to count them, there were only four of us left. 6 others crawled in during the day. I don’t know how I escaped. There were men lying dead all around me. The bombs are awful things; the men get blown to bits by them.

Two in my troop from Bendigo got killed, J. Goyne from Epsom and E. Goulden from Marong. C. Holmberg got hit in the face as soon as he hopped out. Harry (Holmberg) was not in it, he was away at Lemnos. J. Hawley, a relation of Cail, he is in my troop too, he came out of it alright. All our officers were killed barring three…

Colonel White was very game; I was the last one he spoke to on the morning of the charge. He gave me some orders to give our Major, who was killed also… The morning we had to charge, a German plane tried to come over our trenches, but one of ours set after it and chased it. They had a great chase for about 2 mile, ours being only a few yards behind all the time. The German had a quickfirer blazing all the time, but one of our aircraft guns hit the German (plane) and brought it down…The morning we charged, they (the Turks) had a big piece of paper in front of their trenches, written on it. ‘Come in out of the wet’. They are always putting up some great jokes on us.”

The other known men of this Troop are, Tpr’s Ernest Goulden No. 286 (KIA), John G. L. Goyne No. 287 (KIA), John C. Hawley No. 313 (survived uninjured), and Carl Holmberg No. 314 (DOD).

First Line, Right

The right of the line was commanded by Lt (Acting Captain) Charles Talbot-Woods, 1st Reinforcements, who had most probably taken over as the CO of “A” Sqdn. The position from where he led out the 75 men on the right is unknown, but was most probably from one of the forward saps, possibly No. 4, from the positions that Kent-Hughes has outlined for the charge. This would make the reaching of the Turkish trench by Sgt Palmer plausible if he went out with him. Capt Talbot-Woods was killed during the charge and his body never recovered.

* Running right from start of No. 1 Sap, No. 2 Sap up to No. 3 Sap were the 30 men of “B” Troop, “B” Sqdn commanded by Lt Keith Borthwick, who was killed during the charge. This troop would have also had men carrying one of the ladders. They would have been fully exposed to the full force of the Turkish machine gun, rifle fire and bombs, as they rose up to charge from the forward saps.

A/QMS Lauchie McGrath also added in to Major Redford’s diary: “Of Mr Henty and Mr Borthwick, no one knows anything and time alone will tell of them.”

Three of the known members of this troop were Sgt James B. Pickett No. 232, KIA. Tpr’s Robert Martin No. 255, KIA. and Walter E. S. ‘Swanny’ Edgar No. 676.

It would appear that Sgt Pickett was one of the men assigned as a bomb thrower based on the note he left for his mother before going out in the charge. His note is a good example of such last messages hastily written by many of the men before the charge. He wrote: “My dear Mother, if I should chance to fall on any bomb throwing expedition or at any other time – but I mention bomb throwing as I recognize it is a dangerous game – just think that I have done my little job or tried to do it. Hundreds of homes are broken into in Australia so you are only one of many – just take heart when you know I did my best.

Your loving son, Bunny.”

Sgt Francis Boyle No. 276, of “D” Troop wrote a letter to Sgt Pickett’s mother giving some details of the circumstances of Burnie Pickett’s death: “

Dear Mrs Pickett, I am now taking this opportunity of writing you a line to let you know how your son Sergeant J. B. Pickett died.

He was in my squadron and a very sincere friend of mine, one who I have always taken a very keen interest in. He was a very sincere soldier and could always be trusted with responsibility that was given him and was greatly admired by both officers and men for his daring. He was ill with dysentery and was in bed on the 5th and 6th of August but got out of bed at 8 p.m. on the 6th and said he was not going to be left out of the charge.

He was advised by all to stay in bed but he would not do so, saying that his place was with his men. I’m sorry to say not one man returned in his Troop. He had not eaten anything for two days, so of course was very weak.

The last time I saw him was about 11 p.m. of the 6th, he was then in the trenches with his troop.

At 4 a.m. on the 7th August we charged the Turks’ trenches and very few of us returned to our lines again. Your son was in the first line and only went a few yards when he seemed to give way – his strength was not enough to help him on any further. He was killed by the heavy fire the enemy had on our lines, without being able to return fire. You will see by this that Burnie was every inch a hero, one who shall never be forgotten by me.

I was hit in three places and have been sent home for a spell but I’ll be going back in two months to revenge those friends of mine who fell on that morning.

I am giving this letter to Lt Bennett who told me he was calling on you.

If there is anything more that you would wish to know I shall be only too pleased to tell you if I can.

I remain, Your late Son’s sincere friend,

Sergeant F. O. Boyle

Thompson Street, Sale.

Tpr Frank White No. 777, 3rd Reinf’s, was most probably in this troop from the description of his experience of the charge. Tpr White received a slight head wound and was rendered unconscious in no man’s land. He came to the following day only to find that four bodies lay across his legs including the body of Lt Grant who went out in the second line of the charge. Removing them with difficulty he made a bolt for the safety of the trenches. This troop would have had most of the men killed and wounded during the attack, as the ground they had to charge over was only about 25 yards away, and the most exposed to fire from the Turkish trenches.

The other probable members of “B” Troop were Tpr’s Douglas Jamieson No. 229 KIA, James Conway No. 240 KIA, Richard Biggs No. 244, William H. Gale No. 245 KIA, Bertie Hill No. 247 KIA, Harold Hall No. 248, Reginald D. Harris No. 250, Archibald R. Knight No. 251 KIA, Thomas Lowe No. 252, WIA, James K. Muir No. 253, Robert R. Mitchell No. 254 KIA.

* In the centre on the right of the line, from No. 3 Sap to No. 4 Sap, and probably some men from No. 5 Sap, was most probably “B” Troop, “A” Sqdn, commanded by Sgt C. R. Grenfell No. 381. Clifton Grenfell was Troop Sgt of “C” Troop, “C” Sqdn, and the reason for him being the Troop Commander of one of “A” Sqdn’s troops is to date unknown. “A” Sqdn was short one officer, but there was SSM Bert Beath, who one would assume would have filled the roll of troop CO, also there were 12 “A” Sqdn Sergeants available at the time who could also have filled this roll. Sgt Grenfell had been mentioned in Despatches for his activities during the Gallipoli campaign, this may well have been a factor for him leading out this troop.

Sgt L. W. Bizley No. 43, WIA, Sgt R. G. Brown No. 519, Cpl Mick Cowell, L/CpI Frank Cowell and Tpr’s John Conner and John McGlade were part of this troop. Frank Cowell survived the charge unscathed. Mick Cowell and John McGlade were WIA.

J. (Jack) McGlade was wounded in the left arm and later evacuated to No.1 General Hospital, Heliopolis.

He later noted in a letter home on the 4th September; “I am afraid the poor old 8th LH will never seem the same. We have lost nearly all our old officers & men. After the charge they had a roll call and 3 officers & 125 men answered their names out of a strength of about 500 of us who went out to charge. What seems to me to be the worst part of it is that all the best of them were killed. I have just seen a list of our losses & they have posted a lot of them as missing, but we know that they all went down… Frank Cowell never got a scratch & yet here am I in hospital & I was laying close along side Frank when I got hit.”

* Lt E. E. Henty, commanded “A” Troop, “B” Sqdn on the extreme right of the line from just right of No. 5 Sap back to No. 8 Sap, out to the edge of Monash Gully. This troop numbered about 41 men, of which only five wounded men returned after the charge.

The Known members of this troop were: Sgt H. J. Nugent (Bunny) No. 195, WIA (Gun shot wound to the left hand). Sgt T. Reegan (Tom) No. 196, WIA. Sgt V. N. Raymond No. 198, KIA. LCpl R. G. Hindhaugh No. 200, KIA. LCpl G. T. Hughes No. 201, KIA. LCpl C. Smith No. 297. LCpl J. Boswell No. 209, KIA. Tpr S. Pentland No. 205. Tpr T. Atkin No. 207, WIA. Tpr J. H. Baker No. 208, WIA, (DOW 11-8-15). Tpr L. G. Finn No. 212 (Finny) KIA. Tpr W. A. Hind No. 213, KIA. Tpr D. M. McG. Johnson No. 217, KIA. Tpr J. T. Penttingall No. 222, WIA. Tpr C. M. Wingrove No. 225, KIA. Tpr S. J. McColl No. 263, KIA. Tpr G. B. Ormerod No. 264, KIA. Tpr D. McGarvie No. 706, WIA. Tpr J. A. Bell No. 878, KIA.

Wilfred Kent-Hughes stated that; “The job of those on the right of the line was to get round the pocket on the right, the head of Monash Gully.” The men of this troop appear to have come closest to achieving their goal of getting into the Turkish trenches, and from the little that is known of their movements, it would suggest that the objective stated by Kent Hughes was attempted.

Lt Teddy Henty was shot and killed leading out his troop. His body was later recovered and buried at Ari Burnu Cemetery.

Sgt H. J. ‘Bunny’ Nugent was the troop Sgt, in a letter written later from Egypt to Ted Henty’s mother, he has left this account of Lt Henty’s death; “He was made second in command of the Squadron the night before the charge, but he got permission to come out with his old Troop.

He said to me: ‘I have been with you ever since I joined the Force and I am going out with you now.’

He was killed in the first rush, a machine gun got him and he died without a sign. I got to him just as he fell but he never spoke nor moved. I think he died happy because he had the old smile on his face. I was going to bring him in only I got hit just after him.

I would like to let you know the honour and respect we all had for him. We would have followed him anywhere and all the other Troops envied our Troop Leader. They all used to say little Ted was the best man in the Regiment. That expression shewed (sic) the feelings of every man in the Regiment. He always had a cheery word for his men. He was always doing something for their comfort in the trenches. He would help us build up the sandbag parapets for our protection with never a thought of danger for himself. He died like a Hero leading his men when he need not have gone into danger.

There are only another man and myself left out of the old “A” Troop that was in the charge.

I always had a soft spot in my heart for him, we got on so well together. He was an Ideal Officer and I will always remember him if I am spared to get through all right. You can rest your mind easy that he died without any pain.”

In a newspaper article, the following has been written of Sgt Nugent’s experience of the charge; “He launched himself from the peg in the front wall and managed to get running before a bullet crashed into his left hand, spinning him around and knocking him to the ground. With the first line lying dead around him, he sought cover behind a fallen trooper.”

In a letter to his mother, he wrote; “It was grand to see the spirit in which the boys went over the top of the trench at the word of command. Every man knew that he was going to almost certain death, but not one hesitated. The enemy had about 100 machine guns playing on to about 70 yards of trenching. We had only 40 yards to go to the Turkish trenches, but not one man reached them, Our men fell dead and wounded 10 yards from the goal. It was just hell and no man could penetrate it and live.

Ours was the first line and we had to face it all. Down went Lieutenant-Colonel A. H. White, Major T. H. Redford, Lieutenant E. E. Henty, Lieutenant H. Borthwick. Second-lieutenant E. G. Wilson, Sergeant-Major Marsh, Sergeants Ford, Cameron, Pickett, and all my troop except four troopers and myself.””

But of his troop and other troops, there were several men who did get right up to the Turkish trenches.

It is fairly certain that SSM C. H. Cameron No.300, Tpr W. A. Hind No. 213, of “A” Troop, “B” Sqdn along with, Sgt Roger Palmer, No. 41, “A” Troop, “A” Sqdn, Tpr J. P. Cameron No. 686, “C” Troop “A” Sqdn, and Sig G. T. Grant No. 929, “A” Troop, “C” Sqdn, of the second line, got into the Turkish trench on the right hand corner of the Nek.

In light of Sgt Nugent’s description of the initial charge it is most likely that the men of the first line who had survived the onslaught waited under cover of the Turkish parapet, and went on with the men of the second line as they charged.

Stan Mack claimed that he was told by Cliff St Pinnock and some other witnesses, that Palmer and Cameron, were seen jumping into the Turkish trench. In his letter of l6th August 1915, he wrote “In the first charge only two reached the Turks, Roger Palmer and Cameron and the last seen of them was their jumping into the trench. We’ll never see them again, but look at the example poor Roger set us and we all knew he would.” As previously outlined the Cameron referred to, may possibly have been Jim Cameron of “A” Sqdn.

(Another possibility is that both Sgt Palmer and Tpr Jim Cameron may have been in “C” Troop, “A” Sqdn, of the second line, which went out on the extreme right from the Monash Gully end of the line.

This would also put them in the right position, but apart from the sighting made by Tpr Preston Younger of “C” Sqdn, all other reports would tend to confirm them being in the first line and going on with the second line as LCpl Don Oliver’s sighting of Palmer getting into the Turkish trench and the timing for the raising of the signal flag, would suggest. Major McGrath stated that the bombers were sorted out before the charge and this could well explain why some appear to be at different positions in the line to that of their respective troops. Also the fact that “A” Sqdn had been divided up could have led to men being placed with different troops)

Tpr William Hind is also thought to have got into the trench with Palmer, but to date no positive confirmation of this has come to light. The only reported sighting was made by Tpr McGarvie who stated that Hind was thought to have been responsible for planting the flag on the Turkish parapet. This information was uncovered by Cameron Simpson when researching his book “Maygar’s Boys”, and is attributed to have been witnessed by Tpr David McGarvie, as told by him to William Hinds mother.

C. E. W. Bean has written of Trooper David McGarvie’s account of his role in the charge. McGarvie told Bean that he and two others managed to reach the Turkish Parapet on the extreme right hand corner they flung themselves down outside the parapet where they were protected from the Turkish fire from the trenches. One of this group had a full bag of bombs which they threw into the enemies trench. Bean states: “Pte McGarvie survived the fight. After throwing their bombs the three had shouted for more, but the answer came that there were none to give them. Over the parapet above them they could see rows of enemy bayonets. As no support reached them, after firing a few shots at the enemy’s second trench, which they could see, they crept gradually down towards the head of Monash Valley, from which two nights later McGarvie succeeded in returning. (In another account C. E. W Bean intimates that McGarvie regained the trenches on the night of the 7th August. This is the correct time and reference to this account is made at this time in the text) He had been shot through the ankle and so the other two, who were unwounded, arranged that he should start off first. As he came in there was a furious outburst of fire from the enemy, and the other two, who never returned, were probably caught by it.”

In latter life David McGarvie told his family that C. E. W. Bean had got much of his account wrong, particularly the reference to the bombers, he stated that there were no bombers with him when he reached the ground in front of the Turkish parapet. It is difficult to establish whether Bean was using information from some other sources to construct this account, or elaborating on what McGarvie had told him.

David McGarvie has left another three accounts of his experience that day, firstly in a letter to his parents in 1915, which was printed in The Camperdown Chronicle, another letter printed in the Riverina Recorder, and in a tape-recorded interview with his Granddaughter, Christine Gascoyne, 61 years later. John Hamilton in his book, GOODBYE COBBER, GOD BLESS YOU, has used these records to construct an account of David McGarvie’s story of his role in the charge. McGarvie remembered it as being the hottest and longest day of his life.

He stated; “Out we went – no sooner were we out than they opened fire on us. Our orders were not to fire but rush up to within 2 yards of the trench, then wait till the bomb throwers cleared the trench with bombs, then go to work and finish the job with the bayonet.

I hadn’t gone 10 yards when head over heels I went amongst some wire – rifle one way, helmet the other, the sling was hooked in the wire. I extracted it, put on my helmet and raced on through a hail of bullets. We were under a cross fire from machine guns.

About 20 yards from their trench was a gully about 20 feet deep (most probably about 2 feet) with fairly thick scrub. Down this I went and got up to the Turk’s trench on the other side.

The trench was bristling with bayonets and another trench behind the first was full of Turks. I did not happen to be a bomb thrower so got my rifle ready. The only thing I could see worth shooting at was a Turk bayonet, 2 yards in front, so I fired and snapped it clean in two.

Then the second row of Turks stood up showing heads and shoulders. I got some splendid shots altogether I fired about 10 shots and I am certain of four or five Turks. Heads and shoulders at 10 or 12 yards was just easy shooting. Ever time I fired a man went down. Then I felt a terrible crack on the foot.

Our fellows did not seem to have enough bombs, as they seemed to clear the first trench for a few seconds, then the Turks came into them again and gave us ‘bombs’. When I was hit I looked around and saw there was hardly a sound man left. I thought it was no use getting into the trench on my own, and with a lame foot, so I slid down the bank and got behind a bush which had banked up some dirt, and just gave a little protection.”

He noticed Tpr Charles Wingrove (Tpr C. M. Wingrove No. 225, “A” Troop, KIA.) a little further from him; “Wingrove got shot in the head somewhere and he stood up and put his hand up to his head and went a few yards before going over. He got shot again.”

At this point McGarvie edged back and slid back into the gully. In a letter printed in the Riverina Recorder, January 1916, he gave a description of how LCpl Hughes was killed; “Dear Mr Macpherson, - I am writing to you in regard to Lance Corporal G. T. Hughes, in whose section I was while we were on the peninsula (Gallipoli). He gave me your address so that I could write and let you know if anything happened to him. In the charge on 7th August I followed him out of the trench, and after firing several shots I was hit in the foot. I noticed Hughes was still firing, then as I slid down the bank I saw him drop his rifle and roll over on his back without any further movement. I crawled back to our trenches after dark, having been out for fifteen hours. I think Hughes was the last man in my troop to be shot. Of those who went into the charge only two are left of that troop.”

McGarvie noticed that LCpl Hughes had his wristwatch tied to his braces and that the sun reflected from this watch all day.

He looked around him and there appeared to be no man left standing. The men from the second line had come up and McGarvie noted that a wounded man crawled behind a bush along side him, then another unwounded man came up behind him. The wounded man was Tpr Sam McColl of “B” Sqdn, but McGarvie couldn’t recognise the other man. He stated; “I saw dozens of wounded turn back and make for our trench but never got more than a few yards, so I made up my mind to stay until dark. It was an awful day. Hundreds of bullets splashed us with dirt and cut twigs off bushes at our heads all day. One bullet just cut the calf of my leg. For fifteen hours we three lay there I felt quite cool all along, even when I was shooting, and I could take aim just as well as on the range. I seemed to have an idea I would get through. To make matters no better my feet were lying across a dead Turk, who had been dead about a month. We daren’t shift, and the slightest move brought more bullets. Anyway to cut it short, the third line came out and retired. That ended the attack there at that point, Walker’s Ridge.”

At one stage during this time McGarvie thought it must be about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, so he whispered across to McColl; “What time is it?” McColl replied that it was only 10.45 (a.m.). He managed to wriggle his water bottle around and take a mouthful of water. With again whispering to the man behind him, he found it was Tpr Angus Trewin of “C” Sqdn who had come up in the second line. After a while he got his rifle in position through some bushes and carefully selected a target in the Turks second line of trenches. Tpr Trewin pleaded with him; “Oh don’t start shooting, you’ll only draw fire on to ourselves.” After firing at the Turkish trenches, they immediately opened up a fire on their position. A bullet caught Angus Trewin in the leg, which on impact he kicked up, catching his trouser leg in a stick of a shrub, where Trewin’s leg swung free, he having no control over it. The Turks now concentrated their fire on this new target, with Trewin again being shot and killed. McGarvie stated; “The bullets were coming in past my nose – about 200 I reckon they fired at it (Trewin’s leg) before they cut the stick off and then his leg dropped down.” Angus Trewin’s ID disc was found after the War in 1919 where he had been killed.

Towards the onset of night the Turks began coming out of their trenches. One ran past McGarvie’s head, swooped down and grabbed LCpl Hughes watch from his bracers which was still glinting in the setting sun.

At this time the Naval ships out in Anzac Cove again resumed bombarding the Turkish positions on the Nek. A shell landed close to the three men, they decided it was time to try and get back to their own lines. One of the other two with McGarvie, said; “You better start first.” As it was getting dark he stood up, but his foot gave way immediately. He stated; “I got down on my hands and knees and started to crawl, but the circulation. It was all numb… I couldn’t get down on my hands and knees. I had to lie down on my side. And you know how a worm gets along – he drags himself up and then goes a bit further. Well, that’s the way I got in.” As he was working his way back the Turks again opened up with their machine guns; “the bullets were flicking up all over the place.”

That night after he had managed to drag himself down Monash Gully he eventually reached the trenches, which were now manned by the survivors of the 10th LHR. David McGarvie was born with a harelip and cleft palate, which resulted in him having a speech impediment, as he got up to the trenches he called out. But one of the 10th troopers fired at him. He called out again trying to tell them he was 8th Light Horse, then someone in the trench said; “That’s Andrews”, and they stopped firing and hauled him into the trench. There was a trooper in the 10th LHR named Andrews, who had gone out in the third line and not returned, the men thought that McGarvie was this man, as he also had a speech impediment.

In his letter home, printed in the Camperdown Chronicle, he gave another account of his getting back to the trenches; “At dark I made a rush for it, taking only my haversack, which contained my Bible, diary and pocket book. I found I could not walk so made a deviation and crawled in about 300 yards’. No one was ever more thankful for anything than I was for getting in. Just as I got in the Turks opened up a terrific fire. The two men who were with me all day did not get in. The Brigade Major, Colonel Antill, sent for me when he heard I was in, and asked me all about it and congratulated me on what I had done and on getting back; and he said that the Brigadier, General Hughes, also sent his congratulations.”

Tpr Sam McColl who came up along side David McGarvie had been wounded in the arm. The Mansfield Courier, 23rd September reported in article that McColl was wounded in the charge and his body was found in a trench. This would indicate that McColl had managed to get back to the trenches after McGarvie had started to crawl back down along Monash Gully. It is highly possible that he had almost regained the trench and been shot again by Turkish fire, killed and fallen into the trench or got back in and subsequently died from his wounds and his body discovered on the morning of 8th August.

It was this Troop that Chaplain Merrington over at Pope’s Post with the 1st LH Brigade, observed running on the skyline of Russell’s Top, when his attention was drawn in that direction by noise of the Turkish fire. He recorded; “Through the early morning mist I looked across and saw our Australian soldiers advancing on top of the cliffs above. They were part of the Third Light Horse Brigade.

In the half-light their forms on the skyline looked positively gigantic. Right nobly they went on – but they never reached the trench. The enemy’s machine guns acted like a saw and the gallant troopers fell…”

Tpr G. B. Ormerod No. 264, was KIA. Sgt Henry (Bunny) Nugent No. 195, was wounded by a gun shot to his left hand.

On both extremes of the line some of the men managed to get up to the Turkish trenches and for half a minute the sound of bombs could be heard exploding in the Turkish lines. Others were observed being shot and falling dead into the Turkish trenches. A captured Turk who described how some of the Light Horsemen had fallen dead over the parapet and into the bottom of the trench later confirmed this.

C.E.W. Bean wrote that; “The Australian staff was subsequently told by a Turkish soldier, who had been in the front trench at the time and who was afterwards captured, that he knew nothing of any Australians having entered it alive. He stated: “They came on very well, and three men succeeded in reaching the Turkish trenches, falling dead over the parapet into the bottom of the trench.”

Most of the officers and men of the first line who had managed to get well forward lay dead or wounded from about ten to fifteen yards from the Turkish trenches. In the centre and the right of the line many of the men were either killed or wounded as they left the trenches and fell back as they endeavored to clear the parapet. The vast majority lay dead or seriously wounded no more than five to six yards from the parapet. Those who could not get back to the safety of the trenches took cover in the few shallow holes or dip’s in the ground and lay flat as the intense fire passed over them. Many who tried to get back were hit again and again.

Within about less than a minute after the first line had commenced its attack most were down either killed or wounded.

All six of “B” Sqdn’s officers were KIA, along with 75 men KIA, 6 DOW and 33 were WIA.

“A” Sqdn’s three officers were KIA. The exact number of “A” Sqdn’s men killed and wounded is still not accurately known, as the names of the men for each of the two lines to date is not fully known.

Lt Col Albert Miell, of the 9th LHR, had gone up to a forward observation position at the front line to watch the progress of the attack. As he looked over the parapet he was shot in the head and killed. This now meant that two of the three regiments commanding officers had been killed and was another contributing factor to the events that were to follow.

Many witnesses have reported that the Turkish fire died down just before the second line commenced its charge.

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Part Four

Second Line, Right

* The right of the line was under the command of Capt Leslie Hore, “C” Sqdn, who went out from the main fire trench somewhere between No. 3 Sap and No. 4 Sap.

The three troops on this side of the line came under intense fire from the Turks as they made their charge.

Capt Hore has left a good account of the charge in a letter to his mother, which was printed in the “Melbourne Argus” 1915. He has also left an excellent sketch of Russell’s Top, showing roughly the position he reached during the charge.

Capt Hore wrote: “I Write on board the Hospital ship with a bullet wound through the bone of my right foot and another through my right shoulder, the latter only an inconvenience and the former a clean hole which ought to heal in about six weeks. Truly we have been through the valley of the shadow of death as our Regiment has been cut to pieces and all our officers killed or wounded, except two, out of eighteen officers present, twelve were killed and four wounded

Our orders were that at half past four on August 7th we were to rush the Nek which divides us from the Turks and about two hundred yards length wise and from thirty to one hundred yards, varying, between trench and trench, and after that bayonet our way up to the trenches as far as we could.

The Navy was to bombard them heavily for half an hour and it was expected that this would hurt them so much that we could get across without much loss. All our preparations and thoughts were concentrated upon our action once we were in their trenches. We paraded in shirt sleeves, six biscuits, water bottles full and two hundred rounds per man, magazines not to be charged till we were in their front line. The attack would be in four lines to be followed by others if successful. At four am we stood to arms in our trenches, the bombardment started and in twenty five minutes it stopped. Immediately a fierce crackle of fire came out of the Turkish trenches. We knew we were doomed. The bombardment had failed and had simply advertised our attack. I was in charge of the right wing of the second line, under me three subalterns and about one hundred and seventy five men. We were to start our charge after the first line had gone fifty yards.

We had about one hundred yards to go, the first line starting from saps, which are trenches in front of the firing line leading in the enemy’s direction. At twenty five minutes past four we stood up on the banquettes of our trenches and in a few minutes the crackle of musketry turned into a roar. Never have I heard such an awful sound and no wonder. We knew they had three machine guns trained on the Nek and quite possibly there were more. Their trench must have had at least two hundred men. Judging from the number we had in ours more likely two hundred and fifty. Now a machine gun fires at top speed six hundred rounds per minute and a rifleman fifteen rounds per minute. So we had concentrated on a piece of land say two hundred yards long and one hundred yards deep no fewer than five thousand bullets per, minute.

Out went the first line and we waited for our word, by the time they had gone the first forty yards they were down to a man. What could one hundred and seventy five men do against that volume of fire? We saw our fate in front of us, but pledged to go and to their eternal credit, the word being given, not a man in the second line stayed in his trench. As I jumped out I looked down the line and they were all rising over the parapet. We bent low and ran as hard as we could.

Ahead we could see the trench aflame with rifle fire. All around were smoke and dust kicked up by the bullets. I felt a sting on my shoulder and remember thinking it could not be a hit or it would have hurt more. It bled a lot I found afterwards but was only a flesh wound.

I passed our first line all dead and dying it seemed and went on a bit further and flung myself down about forty yards from the Turkish trenches. I was a bit ahead of my men having got a good start and travelling lighter. I looked round and saw them all down, mostly hit.

I did not no what to do, the dirt was spurting up all round like rain from a pavement in a thunder storm. Some bigger spurts near me were either bombs or pom poms. I could notice they were much bigger. The trench ahead was a living flame, the roar of musketry not a bit diminished. I was protected by a little, a very tittle fold in the ground and by a dead Turk, about six weeks. I looked round again and reckoned I could get about six men to follow and it would have been murder to take them on.

Lastly the supports had not started and if they had, they were only one hundred and seventy five for the whole line, absolutely and totally inadequate. I made up my mind and started to shove myself backwards on the flat of my stomach. After going a few yards I felt a hard sting in my right foot, but so long as my arms and chest were right I didn’t mind. I passed through our dead and fell into one of the saps and managed to limp out into one of the back trenches and lay down wondering how on earth I got out of it. My three subalterns were killed and I should say about seventy percent of my men. There were no living men near me when I started back except one who did the same as I did and hope got back.

Our Colonel was killed, one Major killed, the other wounded, the only Captain (myself) wounded and ten subalterns killed and three wounded, leaving two officers not hit, killed or wounded, and about five percent of the men. And so perished the 8th Light Horse.”

C. E. W. Bean states that Capt Hore determined to wait until one of the next two lines of the 10th LHR came up to him and he would go on with them. As he stated in his letter he seemed to wait an interminably long time, but no other line came up. He told Bean that while he waited for the supporting line to come up he saw two brave men, first one then later another, run swiftly past him, each quite alone, making straight for the Turkish trenches. Each after continuing past him for a dozen or so yards, seemed to trip and fall headlong. Although Hore did not realise, these men were apparently the remnants of the two lines of the 10th LH.

Bean also states that the man who withdrew with Capt Hore was apparently killed before he could regain the safety of the trenches. [sketch, Capt L. Hore]

* Lt George Grant led “D” Troop, “C” Sqdn, out from the centre of the line, from the junction of the main firing line and the start of the Secret Sap back to No 4. Sap, on the right. This line was in the deep front trench and would have had to haul themselves up over the parapet by means of the pegs and notches in the trench wall. The 35 men of this troop were caught by heavy Turkish fire as they left the trenches.

Many only managed to go out five to six yards before being killed or wounded, although it is stated that others managed to get a yard or two further than the men of the first line and it is possible that some of them may have got up close to the Turkish lines before being killed.

Lt Grant fell dead along with three other men on top of the unconscious Tpr White of “B” Sqdn. Tpr W. J. Daley No. 362, was wounded with a gunshot wound to the ankle during the charge. To date, other than Tpr Frank White No. 777, 3rd Reinforcements and Tpr William Daley, I have been unable to identity any other members of this troop.

* The next troop was ”A” Troop, “C” Sqdn, under the command of Lt Charlie Carthew. This troop held the centre position on the right, running back from No. 4 Sap, towards Monash Gully up to just past No. 5 Sap.

Lt Carthew led his men out at the signal to charge, it is unclear as to how far out he got before being killed, but it was probably no more than five or six yards. L/CpI H. M. Griggs No. 699, reported that he fell wounded near to Lt Carthew’s body. Tpr Fred Carthew, his younger brother, in the 10th LHR wrote to his sister Add, on the 21/8/1915, stating; “I was speaking to one of his troop who was with him in that terrible charge, and he told me that when he fell wounded near Charl he was laying quite still evidently being shot dead.”

Also to his mother on the 22/8/1915, where he again gives L/CpI Griggs account, and relates; “I am afraid we have lost poor Charl forever.” He further mentions; “Lieut Robinson had his hand badly shattered and will probably be sent back to Aust as he will be some considerable time before he will be well again, he is a fine fellow and one of Charl’s best friends... Poor chap he was in a very bad state when I first seen him in hospital; he has an awful looking wound.

When he was telling me about poor Charl he nearly broke down, he said Charl was the best friend he ever had and they were always together.”

Sgt H. J. Mulder later wrote; “Poor old Carthew, I would sooner have heard of anyone in the regiment going before him. He and I were such mates on the Peninsula.”

The known members of “A” Troop, who charged were; Cpl C. Daniel No. 367, L/CpI C. Garden No. 378, WIA, L/CpI H. M. Griggs No. 699, Tpr’s W. N. J. Bowman No. 340, F. W. Cox No. 355, WIA, R. Kerr No. 400, KIA, C. E. Madin No. 415, WIA, S. J. O’Neill No. 532, KIA, H. J. Peters No. 433, A. D. Trewin No. 752, A. E. Pearce No. 909, and Sig G.T. Grant No. 929, KIA. It is possible that Tpr’s P. M. Younger No. 480, and D. Cunneen No. 352, were also part of this troop. Donald Cunneen got up close to the Turkish parapet and was later able to safely return to his own lines. Preston Younger was a friend of Sgt Roger Palmer and he came from Coleraine. He was wounded during the charge by a bullet entering under his armpit and coming out through the top of his shoulder. He was able to eventually get back to the trench from no-man’s land, and taken down to the first aid post on the beach. After he returned to Australia in August 1916, he met Roger Palmer’s sister, Maude Cameron, who he told, he had seen Sgt Palmer go into the Turkish trench.

Signaller G. T. Grant No. 929, 5th Reinf’s, joined “A” Troop, “C” Sqdn, is one who is reported as also getting into the trench.

Geoffrey Grant had to have got into the Turkish trench on the extreme right hand corner, as he was carrying two red and yellow signalling flags in the charge and was observed getting right up to the Turkish trench in the second line. Cpl Albert Pearce No. 909, in a letter of sympathy to Grant’s mother wrote; “He carried his signalling flags, although wounded, right to the Turkish trench.” Two other comrades who later returned to Australia confirmed that he had got into the Turkish trench. This would substantiate as to how the signal flag got to be in the trench for the sighting on the Turkish parapet.

* The last troop on the extreme right was “D” Troop, “A” Sqdn, under the command of Lt Thomas ‘Tommy’ Howard. They held the line from after No. 5 Sap up to No. 8 Sap. Lt Howard was in charge of all the 8th LHR bomb throwers for the charge.

He was reported MIA and later confirmed KIA, at a court of inquiry held on the 15/8/1915 at Gallipoli.

Some years ago I came across a press cutting my grandfather, George Fuzzard, had put into a pocket of his 1914 Field Service Pocket Book. The cutting reads:


Bendigo, Saturday. Dr G. T. Howard, of the Melbourne Hospital staff, who came to Bendigo on Thursday for a week’s rest, yesterday received a telegram from the Defence Department, stating that his son, Lieutenant T. G. Howard, of the 8th Light Horse, had been missing after an action on Gallipoli, since August 7. Lieutenant Howard, before enlisting was employed by Messrs Ryan, Golding and Company, grain merchants, Melbourne. He had been an officer of the 29th Light Horse Regiment, Melbourne, for seven years, and at the time of his departure from Victoria, he was adjutant of the Regiment.

On the reverse side to this cutting, my grandfather had written; “My officer who has since been posted killed.”

It is most probable that many of this troop would have filed up No. 8 Sap and taken up positions vacated by the first line.

Of the probable 25 men of this troop, Sgt R. Rankin No. 47, KIA, Sgt G. W. Fuzzard No. 50, WIA, LCpl L. Weiss No. 185, Tpr’s W. A. Miller, No. 135, WIA, A. H. Griffiths No. 167 KIA, J. Hay No.168, KIA, F. G. Gipps No. 154 WIA, A. Leeman No. 175 WIA, R. Lindsay No. 174, L. J. Mason No. 176 WIA, W. McElhinny No. 177, KIA, F. C. Reeves No. 179, R. C. Ross No. 181, R. Thwaites No. 183, WIA, P. Beckett No. 806, KIA and J. G. Thompson No. 184, KIA, are know members of this troop.

Being fully exposed to the full weight of the Turkish fire, again this troop would have most probably had the greater number of men killed during the charge.

Tpr Ross recorded in his Diary; “When I crawled back, started carrying wounded to doctor. My mate Griffiths first man hit in left thigh. Section leader killed, Beckett .

Tpr John Faulkner of “A” Sqdn states that; “Many of our boys were shot and fell back into the trenches, wounded before even clearing the parapet. Young McElhinney (of Birchip) was one of these.”

A post card of the grave containing Tpr’s P. Beckett, J. C. Thompson and W. McElhinny was sent to my Grandmother. This card is not signed, but bears the inscription: “The graves out side my son tent are his mate at Dardnells.”(sic) [Photo, Pickerd Collection]

Tpr J. P. Cameron, No. 686, 2nd Reinf’s, may have been part of this troop and would appear to have been one of the men who got into the Turkish trench with Sgt Roger Palmer, and is the Cameron referred to by Stan Mack, who got into the Turkish trench with Sgt Roger Palmer.

Tpr Jack McGlade in his letter to his fiancee on the 4th Sept 1915 from No. 1 General Hospital, Heliopolis, wrote; “Poor Jim Cameron went down right on top of the Turkish trench.” Another clue to this may lie in the particulars given for the Roll of Honour, where David McGarvie’s name is given as a reference for future information sought by the Official Historian. Tpr McGarvie was in “A” Troop, “B” Sqdn, and was right up against the Turkish parapet a little further around towards Monash Gully.

Sgt George Fuzzard was seriously wounded, a bullet wound to the left arm, according to the Army Casualty Form B.103. My grandfather claimed that he was wounded by a shrapnel bullet from a Turkish bomb, from which he carried a piece of shrapnel in his arm for the rest of his life. He was evacuated from Gallipoli on board the Hospital Ship HMHS “Dunluce Castle” to Malta and admitted to St Georges Hospital on the 12/18/1915. (It was not uncommon for bomb and shrapnel wounds to be recorded as gun shot wounds, as both of these contained pellets that left wounds similar to bullet wounds.)

In the same Field Service Book there were also two note pages written in pencil, which give a description of the Turkish attack on the 29th/30th May and the charge by the 8th LHR at the Nek.

His description of the charge reads as follows: “It was on Thursday 5th of August that we finally prepared for the so much talked of charge. We packed our kit and got our rations that day and were ready.. On Friday the 6th the start was made on our right and proved successful. (Lone Pine) After this little was attempted until the early hours of the morning when our old forces were moved to the left flank. These were to be supported by a strong landing force of new troops, including Ghurkas. Our attack at this point was commenced about 3.30 a.m. of the 7th by a heavy artillery fire concentrated on the small frontage of Turkish trenches immediately on our front.

At 4.30 a.m. this fire stopped and our first line, which was already in the saps in front of our trenches, attempted to rush their line. They were to be followed by a second, third and fourth line who were composed of 8th, 10th and 9th Regiments of Light Horse, supported by the Cheshire Regiment. Only the first three lines went out for so hot was their fire that the attempt failed. It was evident that our guns had inflicted little damage to their trenches and they used their machine guns on our side to their fullest advantage. Our losses at this point were extremely heavy. All who did not manage to immediately regain our saps were left dead. The Turks did not attempt to counter attack.”

These notes were most probably written while he was in Hospital on Malta, probably with the intention of sending home, but never posted. It is interesting that he is one who puts the cessation of the artillery fire at 4.30 a.m., and makes no mention of the occupation of the Turkish trenches or the charge of the fourth line of 10th LHR. From this one can assume that he was wounded not long after leaving the trench, getting back and been taken to the casualty clearing station. He is aware that the attack was called off by Col Hughes, after the third line had charged, and from this I would assume it was some time later in the day before he was evacuated to the Hospital Ship. After evacuation to Malta he was in a ward at St Georges Hospital with a New Zealander, two Australians and several English troops. He apparently had no contact with any men of the 8th LHR until he was sent back to Mundros on board the HS “Bornic” on the15/11/1915. This would probably explain his lack of knowledge of these events. [Photo Fuzzard, Pickerd collection]

The fact that many of the men evacuated wounded and being out of contact with others of the regiment has been born out by statements of others. Lt Crawford in his letter from Ras-el-Tin Military Hospital, Alexandria, Egypt, 1915 states: “There are mostly English officers here and only one nurse is an Australian. I had no-one to see me until last night when the lad we left in the records office came along and dispelled my loneliness. (Possibly Tpr G. F. Neate No. 658, 1st Reinf’s, “B” Sqdn.) He told me Captain Day was dangerously ill. You will have had a big list of casualties before you get this. George Fuzzard got a bullet in the arm, but I don’t know where they have gone to.”

Tpr Jack McGlade is another sent to an English Hospital in Egypt and makes similar observations of being removed from his comrades.

The evidence for the men of this troop getting into the Turkish trenches is still fairly patchy, and it would appear to be most likely that the men of the first line went on with the charge of the second line. This would account for there being members of both lines who are thought to have got in. Mr Peter Burness in his book, The Nek, uncovered a vital clue to substantiate their getting in. This is the account of the occupying of the Turkish Trench on the South-East corner of the extreme right of the line, and the raising of the red and yellow signal flag, which flew for two minutes on the Turkish parapet. This signal flag would have a profound influence on the continuation of the attack. The commander of the Turkish 27th Regiment, Sefik Bey, published a book of his experience of the Gallipoli campaign. Peter Burness had translated extracts from this book given to him on his visit to Cannakale, 5th April1993. In this account Sefik Bey stated that two Light Horse officers with some men had fought their way into a front trench, which had been broken down and was thinly held following the artillery shelling.

The Australians briefly held this section and it was then, he says, that a flag was raised on the parapet.

The Turks quickly rallied, counter-attacking the position, and killed all the occupants. They found some maps on the two they had identified as the officers, and it was said that the Australians were later buried in ‘a special pace’. (The translated text of Sefik Bey, “27 Alav ve Aris Burnu.”)

Another clue to the flag being raised could come from this source. Turkish article in ‘Askeri Mecmua’ (Military Magazine) of 1935, written by Mutekaid Albay Sefik Akir, an officer in the 27th Regiment of the Ottoman Forces. This was the unit that opposed the Light Horse on that day. He apparently confirms that some of the enemy (Light Horse) did enter the Turkish front trench, but that they were all killed. This article is written in the old Ottoman script and is still yet to be fully translated. Reference from page 122- ‘Gallipoli 1915’ by Tim Travers “It may also be that some Australian Light Horse did get into the Turkish trenches. If Ataturk’s ‘Memoirs’ do refer to the Nek attack, as seem likely, he states that the assault on the on 7 August started at 4.00am with artillery fire, that the infantry went over the top at 4.45a.m, and that some Australians got into the trenches on the right and centre of the Turkish line.” (authors assertion?). Notes- page 246- Ataturk, ‘Memoirs’ pp 31-32. IWM.

The only officer whose movements and fate cannot be fully accounted for is Capt Talbot-Woods, it is remotely possible that he was one of the officers referred to by Sefik Bey. But it is more likely that the

Turks presumed SSM Cameron and Sgt Palmer were officers.

Several witnesses have confirmed the sighting of this flag and some of the men, getting into the trench, but the following statement, along with Sekik Bey’s account, would appear to be the most convincing evidence.

LCpl Don Oliver, later Lieutenant, told the official historian, C. E. W. Bean, in a letter dated 30th March 1924; “I am glad to say I am in a position to absolutely confirm the suggestion that a red and yellow flag was raised in the Turkish trenches during our attack on their lines.

It was my duty that day to watch carefully for these flags, as I was to hurry our trench mortars across as soon as the Turks had been driven out of the first line.

I am almost sure that I am the only one who saw the flag raised as it was only by careful watching that I could see it owing to the dense cloud of dust that was raised by the enemies machine gun fire immediately after the first line of our fellows went out.

I would like to say also that I am very certain that Sergeant Roger Palmer was the only man of ours that reached the Turkish lines.

He was a man of splendid physique and rather stood out among the others and I am pretty sure that it was he whom I saw drop into the enemies trench.

I am absolutely certain that the flag was raised and I am just as certain that one of our fellows did get in, they seemed very close together.

I will be very pleased if I can be of any further use to you regarding any information that you may require as I was in a very good position to observe anything that happened on the day in question.”

He also later stated that; “I felt very nearly certain that the flag was planted by Sgt Rodger Palmer.” He claimed the flag flew for about two minutes before an unknown hand tore it down.

LCpl Oliver could not have left his post to relay this sighting to Brigade Headquarters, as he was under orders to watch for these flags, so would have presumably either phoned or despatched someone with the information. The fact that Lt Col Antill was aware of the flag being raised would substantiate that Oliver had forwarded the sighting to HQ.

It is quite possible that Sgt Palmer was the last man to enter the Turkish trench and being sighted by LCpl Oliver as his attention was drawn to this sector. Don Oliver was using a periscope to observe and would have had a limited field of vision. This could possibly account for him only reporting on the sighting of Palmer jumping in and then seeing the flag being raised on the Turkish parapet.

Others could well have seen this flag on the extreme right of the line but never reported it or having had no record of the sighting made. The fact that the flag was reported being placed on the parapet by either Palmer, Hind or Grant would indicate that others made sightings.

C. E. W. Bean stated that: “A few survivors of the second line afterwards remembered passing most of the first, all apparently dead, lying six yards in front of its own parapet. The second got a little farther, since, after the fight, its dead lay a few yards beyond those of the first line’. He also noted, ‘On the extreme left, where No-Mans Land was least dangerous, only the heads and shoulders of the attacking line being exposed to fire during the first half of the journey, some of the leaders of the second line, seeing the men on their right fall, flung themselves down, and thus a small proportion of their troops escaped death.”

Lauchie McGrath in his history states: “The second line bravely rushed forward to the first, only to make their plight worse. All that those still living could do was to hug the ground, and wait for the storm to cease. A very few, evidently in the confusion, not realising that those lying around were mostly casualties and unable to proceed, tried to advance, but these never got to the enemy trenches, though some on their parapets. During the next few minutes, the bullets ripped and tore through the bodies, and the air reeked with the smell of cordite and the stench of the dried Turkish victims left here since the attack on the 29th June.”

It would appear that some of the men on the left, from the first and second lines, attempted to advance towards the Turkish trenches, but those who were not cut down again sought what shelter they could gain. Lt Crawford stated in his letter that when the call for the bomb-throwers to advance, he attempted to move forward: “I crawled forward a few yards and had a look at the Turks trenches.”

Those men who managed to survive the fire, sought shelter in the concealed dips and holes, and the old sunken gravel track as seen in the photograph taken on the 24th May 1915, during the armistice.

[AWM photo H03920]

Capt Hore, Major Deeble and Lt Crawford have all made mention of determining to wait for the third line to charge and sweep on with them.

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Part Five

The story continues, approximately 4.32 a.m. 7th August 1915.

As the second line made its charge, the 10th LHR began to file into the front trenches to take up their positions for the third and fourth lines, as outlined in the map AWM G7432 /G1 S65. This could not be achieved as smoothly as the original orders had specified, for the front saps and trenches were crowded with the dead and wounded men of the two lines of the 8th LHR. As well, those who were able to get back continued to drop into the trenches or were dragged in by comrades.

The Western Australians of the 10th Regiment were forced to make many halts to allow the stretchers and walking wounded, to pass making their way to the rear. Lt Col Brazier later in one of his accounts of the charge he forwarded to C.E.W. Bean, wrote; “Owing to the trenches being chocked with dead and wounded, it took the 10th a little longer to take up their positions.” From about 4.35a.m. the third line was in position and prepared for the signal to make their charge.

The Turkish fire began to slacken off, and by about 4.40 a.m. had almost stopped. At about 4.35a.m. Lt Col Noel Brazier, who unlike Lt Col White, had decided to direct the advance of the two lines of the 10th LHR from the front trench, endeavoured to ascertain what the situation was. He went to No 8 Sap, where he had established headquarters for the 10th, which was not far in front of the Brigade headquarters dugout, to see if he could observe what the situation of the first two lines was.

Realising it was far too dangerous to raise his head above the parapet he used a periscope to observe the scene out in front, quickly realising that the two lines of the 8th LHR had failed to make the Turkish trenches. All that he was able to see were the men of the 8th Regiment lying prone about six to ten yards out and most of these seemed to be bloodied and lying quite still. He noted that those lying prone at no more than ten yards away were waiting for a lull in the fire, or were killed and no sign of any red and yellow flags could seen in the Turkish lines, that would have signified that they had been reached and taken.

Major Tom Todd who was in command of the third line, at No. 2 Sap, reported to him at 4.40 a.m. that he could not advance as the 8th Regt was held up and expressed the opinion that success would be virtually impossible. Brazier seems to have been of the same opinion and was reluctant to give the order to charge until he had confirmation that sending any further men to their deaths would serve any purpose.

At this point, as C. E. W. Bean states, ‘a staff officer from brigade headquarters came to him and asked why the third line had not gone forward’. This officer was most probably Lt Kenneth McKenzie, of the 9th LHR, who was one of the officers assigned to dictate the timings for each of the lines. This must have been some time around 4.40 a.m. Brazier informed him that he would not give the order until he had had confirmation from headquarters as to whether he was to continue or have his orders for the charge cancelled. He stated that he told this officer; “in view of the scene in front of the trenches and the fire of the enemy machine guns not having been affected by our artillery I did not intend to send my men over until I had reported what I had seen and had my orders either cancelled or confirmed.”

He then a little after 4.40 a.m. made his way back to the brigade headquarters dugout, about twenty yards to the rear, to raise the question with Col Hughes and Brig Major Antill. When he arrived at the headquarters dugout, after pushing his way down the crowded lines of trenches, he found only Brig Major Antill there. He told C. E. W. Bean later that he found the Brigade Major Antill sitting in his dug-out with his back to the wall and that he had made no attempt to go up to the firing line to see what the situation was.

Col Hughes had gone up to a bombing sap near the front line at about the time the second line had charged, to determine how the advance was progressing. At this point the senior command structure of the 3rd LH Bgde was now split. There appears from this point on to have been no further communication between the C.O. Col Hughes and the Brigade Major.

The antagonism between Brazier and Antill again erupted. Brazier informed Antill that in view of the strength of the enemy’s fire, the task laid upon his Regiment was beyond achievement. Antill was furious that Brazier had left his post to query the orders for the advance, which had been firmly laid out.

He told Brazier that in light of the sighting of the signal flag in the Turkish trench that the 10th Regiment must push on at once. Brazier informed him that he had been observing the front line and had seen no sign of any signal flags and could see no evidence of the men of the 8th Regiment having occupied the trenches.

This belief that the Turkish trenches had been captured is also backed up by the message sent to Sgt Clifford Ashburner, of the 9th LR Machine Gun Section, at Turks’ Point, by Major Reynell.

Sgt Ashburner without orders brought his Vickers Gun back into action, firing across onto the Turkish trenches, after the third line had charged. Reynell ordered Sgt Ashburner to stop firing, with the message reading; “Aren’t you firing on our own men?”

Brazier later told C. E. W Bean that Antill responded to his appeal to reconsider the order for the third line to charge, by simply roaring, ‘Push on’! It is apparent that Antill made no attempt to consult with Col Hughes or Divisional Headquarters, or to establish whether the signal flag was still there, or if any others had been sighted. It would appear that Antill had not left the command dugout at any stage during the charge. He determined that the orders laid out for the charge were to be carried out regardless of the obvious failure of the first two lines to achieve their tasks.

The map of the 3rd Brigade’s trenches on Russell’s Top, AWM Printed Records Maps, G7432 / G1S65 outlines the movement and numbers of men for the third and fourth lines as they moved up through the reserve trenches, to take up their positions in the firing line for their respective advances, as each proceeding line charged.

The men of the 10th now waited for the order to advance.

Lt Col Brazier made his way back to the front trench, where he was met by, Capt Piesse, Capt Rowan, Lieutenants Turnbull and Kidd, Sergeant-Major Springhall, Sergeant’s Saunderson and McBean.

They were waiting for his return to find out what the decision was, at the junction of the trench back to headquarters and the front trench between No. 5 and No. 6 Saps. Brazier informed then that the charge was to proceed as planned. Saying; “I am sorry lads but the order is to go.” They all said goodbye to each other, shook hands and moved off to take up the positions with their men for the charge, at about 4.45 a.m.

Major Todd after receiving the order to proceed with the attack, took up his position in the centre, as the word spread along the line. At about 4.46 a.m. with a wave of his revolver, he gave the order and led the third line out. As soon as the men of the 10th LHR rose above the parapet the Turks again opened up with a tremendous volume of fire, and most of the men were cut down before they had managed to advance a yard or two from the trenches. Sgt Cliff Ashburner of the 9th LHMG from his position at Turk’s Point was able to see the three lines go out, he has left this description; “The first and 2nd lines went out running-charging. The third line bent, with rifles on guard, walking. When they got as far as the knoll they turned, and those who could get back to the trenches did so. Then a long time before the last lot.”

It was now daybreak and beginning to become light, and the men of the third line were far more exposed to the Turks as they left the trenches.

In addition to the rifle and machine gun fire, two Turkish 75mm field guns well back on Baby 700 had begun bursting shrapnel low over no mans land at three hundred yards range, as fast as they could be loaded and fired.

The disposition of the third line from the evidence that is available to date would appear to be as follows-

Third line under the command of Major T. J. Todd, probably somewhere near the left of No 2 Sap. He evidently took cover shortly after leaving the trench as the Turkish fire made any further advance impossible. Some time later Maj Todd scribbled a message, which he had sent back to Col Brazier, informing him that his line was pinned down, unable to move forward, and asking for further orders.

Brazier later recalled; “The message was on a bit of pink paper. I took it back to Antill who refused to listen to me, and ordered me to push on again. I made him write it on the paper. On getting back to the trench again, only 15 or 20 yards, there was a similar message from Major Scott, on the right flank, asking for instructions.”

Third Line, Left

* The left of the line, commanded by Capt W. C. Robinson, from somewhere near the entrance to the Whispering Tunnel. He survived the charge, wounded. Command of the three troops, comprising of 75 men from the frontage ‘C’ to ‘B’ as outlined in the “Nek Forming-up Plan, G7432 G1 S65, Gallipoli X 1.12.

* On the extreme left “D” Troop, “A” Sqdn, under the command of Lt Robert Thompson McMasters, 4th Reinforcements, who was killed and his body never recovered. This troop was to be of 20 men occupying the position ‘Q’ to ‘C’ of the Secret Sap.

Cpl Henry Foss who was in “C” Troop, “C” Sqdn that were in the reserve trench from the communication trench, ‘L’ – ‘O’ behind the secret sap, and were unable to get into position in time, has left a description of the movement of “D” Troop.

He stated; “My troop sat down in a fire trench waiting orders, while “D” Troop of “A” Squadron filed past us. I spoke to Gres Harper and Wilfred, Bob Lukin, Hassell, and Geoff Lukin, and some others I knew.

They were cheery and confident, and soon passed on. A few minutes later a terrific fire told us our first line had gone. There was a short lull of scattered fire then another burst more furious than the first signalled the second line had moved.

Blocks ahead made our progress slow, and we found the bottom of the trench fairly littered with wounded men trying to get back for aid. With difficulty we passed them only to be blocked again, and word came back that some of the 8th LH were in the trench in front. A third burst of fire, followed by a fourth and fifth, told us our chaps were still moving. Still we were blocked.

A few men trickled past belonging to the 8th LH. A few minutes later came the order ‘about turn’, and we filed out again.” [H. Foss, Diary. AWM 1 DRL 298]

Cpl Foss’s troop was either the one referred to by Lt Kidd, or a troop of the fourth line.

The two brothers, G. T. Harper No. 113 and W. L. Harper No. 114 (the younger brother) ran all the way to the Turkish trenches, before being killed and falling onto the parapet.

Sgt B. M. Fenwick No. 109 KIA, Tpr’s O. D. H. Hassell No.112, and D. Lukin No.116, were KIA. Tpr G. H. Lukin No. 117 was WIA.

* The next troop, “A” Troop, “B” Sqdn was under the command of Lt Thomas Anderson Kidd. The 30 men of this troop were positioned from ‘Q’ to just past ‘M’.

Lt Kidd has left this account of the charge: “When the order ‘Advance Third Line, with the exception of one troop’, we leapt the parapet and the four troops on the right were practically annihilated before they could advance 5 yards. I went over with my troop, it was necessary to move to the right front in order to gain the Nek. The pace was slow owing to the heaped up dead, rubble, bush, and wire.

A slight depression in the ground afforded use a little protection, advantage of which had been seized by men of the 8th regiment who had escaped the holocaust. Just as we were forcing our way over the slight protecting rise, the order to ‘Halt and Dig In’ passed down the line.”

It is reasonable to assume that the order to ‘Halt and dig in’ was passed down the line on the left by Major Todd, for from Lt Kidd’s statement it would have to have come from a more senior officer, and fits in with the action Todd took after he had led the line out.

Lt Kidd has also left a sketch of the trenches on the Nek in which he shows where each of the troops of the third line went out from and gives a good idea of the rise leading up to the Turkish trenches on the left of the line.

* The centre left, up to the entrance to No. 1 Sap, ‘M’ to ‘B’, was the troop under the command of 2nd Lt Leopold James Cecil Roskams, “C” Troop, “A” Sqdn. He was killed and his body later recovered and buried at Ari Burnu Cemetery.

This troop was to comprise 25 men.

Third Line, Right

Capt V. F. Piesse, 2 I.C., “A” Sqdn commanded the right of the line, frontage ‘B’ to ‘A’. The three troops under his command were from “A” & “B” Sqdn’s. Capt Vernon Piesse was killed as he led the men out and his body was never recovered.

C. E. W. Bean recorded an account of what happened to Capt Piesse as related by Sgt McBean:

“Sergt. McBean and Capt. V. Piesse went out together. They had been lying in a bit of a hollow. Had to keep heads down because M.G. bullets were just clearing them (they were on the cap of the hill next to the right troop). McBean said that he had a periscope with him. He was looking through a periscope towards the T. trenches. Piesse was a man who always thought of his men - he said: 'I wonder how the rest of them have got on' - and looked up and was shot through the head immediately. McBean got in and was killed afterwards at [Hill 60]. ... Captain Vernon Piesse, Lieut. Turnbull, Cap. Rowan, Lieut. Kidd, Sergt.Sanderson, S.Maj. Springhall, and Sergt. McBean met and shook hands at the corner of the Sap waiting for the front trenches to clear after the first line had gone, said 'Goodbye' to one another and shook hands.” (Bean, diaries, No. 223 p11).

Sgt Colin Hendrie MacBean No. 220, was a member of “B” Troop, “B” Sqdn.

* The centre right running back from No. 1 Sap (Secret Sap) to the entrance of No. 4 Sap was “B” Troop “A” Sqdn. This troop was under the command of 2nd Lt Alexander Phipps Turnbull, who was fatally wounded as he left the trench.

He was got back into the trench but died on the floor at about 7 a.m., and buried at Ari Burnu Cemetery.

There were to be 35 men of this troop from the frontage ‘B’ to ‘X’.

* The troop in the centre on the right of the line was commanded by Lt Leslie Craig, “B” Troop, “B” Sqdn.

The 20 men of this troop occupied the firing line from the right of No. 4 Sap, ‘X’ to ‘H’.

Lt L. Craig had his foot shot away as he led his men out. He was later rescued and brought back into the trench by L/Cpl W. Hampshire.

Lt Col Olden. A.C.N. in his book “WESTRALIAN CAVALRY IN THE WAR” Chapter VIII, GALLIPOLI - RUSSELL'S TOP, has this account of the incident:

“Russell's Top was not an occasion where one might single out special acts of gallantry in the Regiment. Many have expressed the opinion that “Each man who went over that day deserved the V.C.” But perhaps the splendid heroism of Lance-Corporal Hampshire may be recounted here. His troop leader, Lieut. Leslie Craig, was very severely wounded whilst leading his troops into action, and lay helpless in “No Man's Land.” Hampshire, after discovering that his officer was still alive, immediately jumped over the parapet of the trench to which he himself had safely returned, and under a withering fire carried Lieut. Craig back to cover. It was an act of utmost bravery, performed in perfect sang froid, and coupled with a miraculous escape for both.”

The known members of this troop were, Sgt Colin Hendrie MacBean No. 220, and LCpl William Hampshire No. 293,

* The troop on the extreme right running up to the edge of Monash Gully, was under the commanded of Lt Thomas James Heller, “A” Troop, “A” Sqdn. The 20 men of this troop went out from the frontage ‘H’ to ‘A’, most probably extending into No. 8 Sap.

Of this troop the brothers L/Cpl L. L. S. Chipper No. 97 and Tpr R. R. V. Chipper No. 68, Tpr’s T. Combley No. 93, N. C. Dyer No. 84, W. R. E. Northey No. 80, G. W. Richardson No. 82, H.H. Brockman No. 69 and G. C. Howell No. 96, were killed during the charge. Tpr Okes No. 87, in a Red Cross witness statement given at Heliopolis on the 24-2-1916, stated that he never saw Dyer again after he jumped out over the parapet.

The three statements of, Capt Hore, Major Deeble and Lt Crawford, from their respective positions on the right, centre and left of the front, give a picture of what happened to the men of the third line and the survivors of the 8th.

C.E.W. Bean relates the experience of Capt Leslie Hore as he took cover out in no mans land on the right. “In front of him, as he lay, was the swollen body of a Turk, killed apparently on June 30. Hore, who had so far only been tapped on the shoulder by a bullet, crept close into the shelter afforded by this corpse and lay waiting. He could see no other living man. It was useless to go forward; yet he could not stay on indefinitely where he was. Probing his conscience to discover his duty as an officer, he determined to wait until one of the other lines came up, so that he could go on with them. But, though he seemed to wait interminably, no other line came to him.” (He was apparently unaware that the third and fourth lines had charged. This would indicate that those on the right did not manage to advance any considerable distance before being cut down or immediately flinging themselves to ground.)

Bean goes on to state; “But as he lay he saw two brave men, first one and later another, run swiftly past him each quite alone, making straight for the Turkish rifles. Each, after continuing past him for a dozen yards, seemed to trip and fall headlong. They were undoubtedly the remnant of the two lines of the 10th Light Horse. A bullet struck him in the foot, rendering him useless for any further advance. He therefore began to edge back, inch by inch, to the Australian line. Before he withdrew, one Australian had crept up to him in no mans land and asked his officer’s advise as to what he should do. Hore told him to make his way back, if possible. Hore himself regained the trench, but the other man appears to have been killed.”

Major Arthur Deeble, C.O. “C” Sqdn, 8th LHR, in his report to the 3rd ALH Brigade H.Q. after the charge and recorded in the War Diary of the 3rd ALH Brigade, stated; “I determined to wait for the third line and sweep forward with them, this line was considerably late in starting, fully 25 minutes, and scarcely left our trench before being broken, and the few men with me managed to dash a yard or two forward before falling down. I threw myself a second time on the ground and prepared for any further lines, which might come forward.

Seeing one or two to my left whom I could make hear me, and who were the few alive, I told them to scratch a little cover to wait for the next line.”

Peter Burness in his book, The Nek, states that Major Love, 2 I.C. of the 10th LHR made an effort to find out what had happened to the men of the third line. He crawled out in front of the sap, where there was some protection, to see what could be done. He found Deeble of the 8th Light Horse, lying not far away, unable to move, and spoke briefly to him. Both officers agreed that it was quite impossible to advance against such firepower. Almost everyone else seemed dead or wounded, so Love made his way back. It is unclear what role Major Love played in the attack, but it would be fair to assume that he was supervising the fourth line of the regiment on the left flank. After the third line had charged and Major Todd had reported the situation back to Lt Col Brazier, where upon he had at about 5 a.m. again gone to Brigade Major Antill to try and have him call the attack off.

After being ordered to ‘Push On’ again, Brazier had made his way back to the front trench. Receiving the message from Major Scott, who was in command of the fourth line, that the third line had been shot away and the task could not be achieved, Brazier decided to find Brigadier Hughes and raise the matter with him.

Brazier, after searching out for the Brigadier, some time after 5.05 a.m., he reported to Hughes, who had taken up an observation post in one of the forward trenches, possibly at the head of sap No. 5 out on the extreme right of the line.

Brazier later told C. E. W. Bean; “As the fire was murderous, I again referred the matter personally to the Brigadier. I told him the whole thing was nothing but a ‘bloody murder’ to push on, and he said to get what men I could and go round by Bully Beef Sap and Monash Gully.”

The men of the fourth line had taken up their positions in the front trenches as the third line left and waited for the signal to advance. Major Scott who was in command of the fourth line, “C” Sqdn and part of “B” Sqdn, had instructed his troop leaders to order the movement to charge with a wave of the hand, as the noise of the Turkish fire was too great to signal by word of mouth.

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 and 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, 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.

Sgt Henry Nugent of the 8th LHR in the letter sent to his mother has the interesting comment of what he was ordered to do after he had regained the trench: “I was then sent to bomb a machine gun on our right, and dominating a valley through which the General intended to move a Battalion. I found that not one gun, but a dozen, dominated the valley. A bullet hit me in the hand and put me out of action.”

This would also appear to another confirmation of Colonel Hughes change of plan for the advance.

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.

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 states; “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.

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

Killed in Action, Charge at the NEK, Russell’s Top, Walker’s Ridge and Monash Gully 7th August 1915.


Captain Walter LLOYD ‘B’ Company. M.I.D. Age 41.

Pte T. BROSTER No. 11882. Age 36.

Pte F. J. COOMBS No. 12516. Age 24.

Pte J. C. HARDING No. 11884. Age 39.

Pte George HARNEY No. 12376. Age 35.

Pte Alfred HICKINBOTHAM No. 19746.

Pte R. J. HUGHES No. 13175.

Pte Randall Foulkes MORRIS No. 11895. Age 23.

L/Cpl Douglas ROGERS No. 12785. ‘B’ Coy. Age 24.

Pte William John SMITH No. 12684. Age 24.

Sgt W. B. WILLIAMS No. 11910. Age 21.


Company SM George HARP No. 6089. (DOW 7/8/15).

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 Welch 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.

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 on 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 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 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 Lt Col Hughes order the 8th Royal Welch Fusilires to attack if he had no knowledge of the signal flags and the occupying of the A1 trench?

Who actually did relay the order to advance to Col Hay, C.O. RWF? He claims it was from 3rd Brigade HQ, but Col Hughes claims to have issued the order. Antill makes no mention of issuing such order.

With Lt Col Brazier still in discussion with Brigadier Hughes in the trench somewhere behind the centre of the line, Major Reynell of the 9th LHR was urging Brigade Major Antill to continue the attack. He later wrote: “I felt so strongly that it could get forward that I reported to the Brigade Major that if he gave me authority to do so I would guarantee to get the trenches with the men of the 8th and 10th that were there. However an order was sent to them to rush the trenches but officers on the spot considered it impossible and they were withdrawn.” [C. Reynell, Diary. AWM PR86/368]

C. E. W. Bean confirms this in the Story of Anzac, where he states; “It was known to the troop leaders, but not the men, that the stopping of the assault was under discussion, when at 5.15 a.m. there appears to have come to the right of the line some officer who had possibly heard of the first decision of brigade headquarters, and who asked the men why they had not gone forward.”

It would appear that who ever this officer was, he had spoken to Capt Rowan with regard of the fourth lines failure to advance, as set out in the 3rd Brigades orders for the assault on the Turkish positions at the Nek. It is most probable, with the confusion and tension of waiting for the outcome of Braziers discussions with headquarters, that Capt Rowan took this as an order for the continuation of the advance, although the evidence of Reynell would indicate that the order to advance was actually sent.

Fourth Line

The troops on the right of the line, without being given the signal to advance by Major Scott, suddenly leapt out of the trenches and charged, the Turks immediately burst forth a tremendous fire, which cut the men down before they could advance any distance, although it would appear that many of the men advanced more cautiously than the previous lines and threw themselves quickly to the ground, thus managing to avoid being hit. Bean states that the men kept low, not running.

Major Scott from his position in the centre of the line, who was to signal the charge of the fourth line, cried out in dismay; “By God, I believe the right has gone on.”

Fourth Line, Left

* The left of the line was under the command of Capt Henry Phillip Fry 2 I.C. “B” Sqdn, leading the advance on the left, covering the frontage ‘C’ to ‘B’. From his position near the entrance to the Whispering Tunnel, he was able to hold most of his three troops from charging.

* On the extreme left of the line ending at Molone’s Gully the troop here was under the command of Lt Herbert Bowen Hamlin, O.C. “C” Troop, “C” Sqdn. This troop were held up in the fire trench ‘L’ to ‘O’ when moving into position. They were unable to take up the places for the charge before the order to stand down was given. Cpl Henry Foss left a description of his troop moving up, which has been outlined earlier at “D” Troop, “A” Sqdn.

The 20 men here were to occupied the frontage ‘C’ to ‘Q’ of the Secret Sap.

* The troop in the centre was commanded by T/2nd Lt (Sgt) Harold White Harper, No. 216, “C” Troop, “B” Sqdn, which also appears to have not charged. The 30 men of this troop occupied the Secret Sap from ‘Q’ to ‘M’.

* The troop running from the Whispering Tunnel back to the main firing trench was “D” Troop, “C” Sqdn under the command of Lt David Alexander Jackson, also killed leading out his troop. His body was never recovered. Members of this troop are not known to date, but would have probably had some of the men on the right charge with Lt Jackson when Capt Rowan led the right of the line out. It would appear that the men closest to the junction of the secret sap and the main trench continued on with the charge.

Major Scott was able to stop most of the troops on the left from charging before they left the trench. Those that did go out were partly in shelter and after advancing a short distance, flung themselves to the ground among the survivors of the 8th LHR who had taken cover there. Tpr John (Jack) Cox has left an interesting account of the stopping of the charge, he stated;

“Had seen the phone ring and saw the officer replace the receiver, look down the line and break into a smile shouting Stand Down, men!”

The officer was presumably Capt Fry and this call must have come from Major Scott and either relayed by Major Love, or been relayed from him by a signaller. There is a strong possibility that this order was issued just before the officer from headquarters approached Capt Rowan. The Staff officer who was in control of dictating the advance on the left was Lt Wilfrid Kent-Hughes, but what involvement he played in the issuing of the stand down order is unknown.

Tpr Henry Foss states that when his troop was trying to move up into position and were blocked by the large numbers of wounded, a few minutes after the fifth burst of Turkish fire the order came ‘about turn’ and they filed back out of the trench leading to the firing line. This would also confirm the order to stand down had been issued.

Sgt W. L. Sanderson, who would appear to have been in “D” Troop, “B” Sqdn in the centre of the right of the line, and most probably on the left of this line led his men out and charged for the Turkish trenches.

C. E. W. Bean states that Sgt Sanderson saw Capt Rowan sign to them to go, at the same time rising himself and waving his hand, only to fall back dead from the parapet. Sanderson repeated the signal and the men in the centre sprang out.

C. E. W. Bean in the Story of Anzac has recorded Sgt Sanderson’s account, and although parts of it have already been quoted earlier in regard to the charge by the 8th, it is stated here in full.

“The rhododendron bushes had been cut off with machine-gun fire and were all spikey. The Turks were two-deep in the trench ahead. There was at least one machine-gun on the left and any number in the various trenches on the Chessboard. The men who were going out were absolutely certain that they were going to be killed, and they expected to be killed right away. The thing that struck a man most was if he wasn’t knocked in the first three yards. Tpr (F. H.)Weston (No. 357), on Sanderson’s right, fell beside him as they got out of the trench. Tpr (J. T.) Biggs (No. 240) also fell next to him. Sanderson went all he could for the Turkish trench. Tpr H. G. Hill, (No. 283) running beside him, was shot through the stomach, spun around and fell. Sanderson saw the Turks (close) in front and looked over his shoulder. Four men were running about ten yards behind, and they all dropped at the same moment. He tripped over a rhododendron bush and fell over a dead Turk right on the Turkish parapet. ‘The Turks were then throwing round cricket-ball bombs, you could see the brown arms coming over the trenches’.

The bombs were going well over, only one blew back and hit him slightly in the leg. There were two dead men to the right towards the top of the hill, lying on the Turkish parapet, they looked like the Harper brothers. Sanderson knew how badly the show had gone. He managed to get his rifle beside him and clean it, and got the first cartridge from a full magazine into the barrel. He expected the Turks to counter-attack, and decided to get a few shots if they did.

After about half an hour, looking back, he saw Capt Fry (of his regiment) kneeling up outside the ‘secret sap’. Sanderson waved to him, and Fry saw him. The Turks were not up (i.e., lining their parapet) at this moment, because the navy had begun to bombard, and lyddite shells were whizzing low over the parapet and exploding on the back of the trench, so close that they seemed to lift Sanderson off the ground every time, he was sure the first short would finish him. Major Todd (who had survived from the third line) came along beside Fry and presently shouted something, which seemed to be: “Retire the fourth line first.”

Sanderson looked around. There was none beside him except the dead. He crawled towards the secret sap, about half-way there was an 8th LH man, lying on his back smoking. (most probably Tpr Martin O’Donoghue “C” Troop, “B” Sqdn) He said: “Have a cigarette; it’s too bloody hot.” Sanderson told him to get back and keep low, as machine-guns were firing from across on the Chessboard and cutting the bushes pretty low. There was a lieutenant of the 8th LH there who had had some bombs in his haversack. These had been set off and the whole of his hip blown away. He was alive and they tried to take him in. He begged them to let him stay. “I can’t bloody well stand it,” he said. They got him into the secret sap, and he died there as they got him in. (O’Donoghue & Lawry, 8th LHR) In front of the secret sap were any number of the 8th LH. The sap itself was full of dead. There were very few wounded, the ground in front of the trenches was simply covered. Sanderson went along the secret sap into the front line and there saw (dead) Capt Rowan, Weston and another Hill (A. H. Hill No. 292) and Lieut Turnbull just dying then. About fifty yards of the line had not a man in it except the dead and wounded, no one was manning it.”

Fourth Line, Right

* Capt Andrew Percival Rowan, “C” Sqdn, was in command of the three troops on the right from the frontage ‘B’ to ‘A’. He signalled for the men to charge with a wave of his hand and as he climbed out of the trench was instantly hit by bullets through the head and chest, falling dead from the parapet back into the trench.

In a Red Cross Information Bureau, Missing and Wounded Statement of the 20-8-1915, Sgt Throssell stated that he saw Capt Rowan die whilst being attended to by Cpl Moore.

C. E. W. Bean noted in his Gallipoli dairy:

“Rowan was killed on the parapet - body recovered at once. Turnbull (Rhodes Scholar), Roskams and Lyall got stars night before.” (Bean diary No.32 p6. ML MSS 159).

It would appear that the three troops on the right were commanded by-

* The troop first right, “B” Troop, “C” Sqdn, to be made up of 35 men occupying the firing line from ‘B’ to ‘X’ was under the command of 2nd Lt Hugo Throssell, C.O. 2nd Reinforcements.

Peter Burness states that Throssell is reported to have said to the men of his troop before they charged:

“I am to lead you in a charge and it is the first time I have ever done such a thing. If any man doubts me, let him step forward now, and he may go with someone more experienced.” The volume of fire from the Turks so was so great as they leapt out of the trench, he realised that the task of reaching the enemy lines was impossible and ordered his men to throw themselves to the ground, taking advantage of a small hollow just out in front of the trench. He is reported to have shouted to his men; “A bob in and the winner shouts.”

* The troop centre right, “D” Troop, “B” Sqdn was to comprise 20 men occupying the firing line from ‘X’ to ‘H’. It is still unclear as to actually who commanded this troop.

The known members of this troop were SSM John Springall No. 212, Sgt William Lachlan Sanderson No. 219, Sgt H. G. Hill No. 283, Tpr’s J. T. Biggs No. 240, Henry Hill No. 292 and F. H. Weston No. 357.

* The Troop on the extreme right of the line would appear to have been under the command of Lt Lyall from somewhere near No. 8 Sap. Lt Lyall was wounded but managed to later regain the safety of the trenches with about 8 of his men.

A few minutes after the men of the fourth line had charged the Turkish fire again began to subside, and those men who were able to regain the safety of the trenches scrambled back. The men of the 8th and 10th who had survived further out in no-man-land hugged what little protection they had, daring not to move for fear of being shot.

At this point Major Love again climbed out of the trench at what would appear to have been somewhere between the Whispering Tunnel and the start of the Secret Sap. He managed to get out to Major Todd and close to Major McLaurin of the 8th and after some discussion they all agreed that any further advance was impossible. Love and Todd inched their way back to the trench and apparently endeavoured to try and find Col Brazier. As other witnesses have related, movement through the front trenches was extremely difficult due to the number of dead and wounded, and they were unsuccessful in locating Brazier, so set off to find Col Hughes. It is apparent that while Love and Todd were making for Hughes, Brazier was making his way back from reporting to him.

Brazier later stated; “On returning to his position the C.O. 10th, (Lt Col Brazier) upon enquiry, was informed that every one had gone over. At the same time an officer from a company of Royal Engineers came up and said he was instructed to go into attack and what would he do. C.O. 10th Regiment told him he was not to proceed any further and that he, C.O. 10th, would accept all responsibility. Later in the morning the officer of the R.E. thanked the C.O. 10th for saving his men.”

When Majors’ Love and Todd reached Hughes they saw that he was ‘clearly rattled’ by the total failure of the attack and they outlined the impossibility of any further advance. Col Hughes instructed them to gather the surviving men of the 8th and 10th, and go round by Bully Beef Sap to support the Welch Fusiliers, the same orders he had given to Lt Col Brazier only a short time before. It would appear that Col Hughes was quickly convinced of the futility of any further advance on the Turkish positions and gave the order to retire.

Love and Todd made their way back to the front trench, where upon reaching there, set to work to withdraw the surviving troops from out in front on the left.

It is difficult to put accurate timings to these various movements from the time part of the fourth line broke away at 5.15 a.m., but by all accounts it was around 5.30 a.m. when Capt Fry and Major Todd crawled out in front of the Secret sap and Todd gave the order, “retire the fourth line first’.

Lt Col Brazier would appear to have been aware that the attack had been called off before the fourth line broke away, but what orders to this effect he issued is still unknown.

Colonel Hughes after the war maintained that he had been trying to contact Brazier, he wrote: “The time for the waves to advance was given by two staff officers on the right and centre respectively and by regimental commander on the left flank. The staff officers received instructions to stop the third line, but owing to the regimental commander having left his post some confusion arose, as the runner was unable to find anyone to deliver the orders to. That section of the third line went forward and a few seconds later it practically ceased to exist. The enemy’s fire was still devastating and the advance came to an end.”

This statement seems to be totally at odds with all other accounts of what actually transpired.

Lt Col Brazier was convinced that he and the few men with him were all that was left of the regiment. He took up a periscope to observe the Turkish lines, fearing they would launch a counter attack. He then sent a runner back to headquarters with a written report outlining that the trenches around him were empty and needed filling urgently in case of a counter attack by the Turks. Soon after a message was sent back to him stating; “Keep on observing.”

He later stated; “Meanwhile I remained observing in No. 8 Sap, and at 5.35 Lieut Lyall and 8 men of the 10th and some men of the 8th, returned to No. 8 Sap and reported that no one had reached the Turk’s trenches. Reported at 5.40 after observing again (presumably to Col Hughes), and held on here till relieved. The 9th finally entered the trenches and it was not till then and after I had told the engineers who were to go over also that it was futile to lose any more men, that I learned that both Todd and Scott had enough brains to hang on to their men as they had received no further orders from me. Todd’s men were partly protected and he withdrew them and some of Scott’s were killed and wounded before he stopped them. In the meantime Todd had been told by Hughes to try Bully Beef Sap!”

Major Deeble stated that; “At 6.05 I received word to join the 10th Reg. to reform. I wriggled back to the trenches and a few around me of small parties that were dropped in to almost impenetrable depressions got back.”

Major McLaurin upon receiving the word to retire, ordered the survivors of the 8th out on the left to begin making their way back to the trenches one line at a time. He remained out undercover until he was satisfied that all who could get back had done so, and was the last man on the left to retire back into the front trench. On the right of the line the only officer of the 8th left alive was Capt Hore, who was out in no mans land half way between the two lines, and one of the few not dead or badly wounded. He like Sgt Sanderson of the 10th, began to slowly edge his way back when the Turkish fire had subsided and the Navy had begun to bombard the Turkish front trenches again at about 7a.m. It is unclear if any order to retire was sent out to the survivors on the right of the line.

From 7 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. the Royal Navy cruisers “HMS Bacchante and HMS Endymion” standing off Anzac Cove, put down an intensive bombardment on to the Turkish trenches on the seaward slopes of Baby 700 and Battleship Hill. This fire was an attempt to stop the transfer of Turkish reserves that had been observed moving across the trenches on Baby 700 to reinforce the forces at Chunuk Bair, after the fighting at the Nek had subsided. It is evident that the bombardment had begun prior to 7 a.m. as reported by Sgt Sanderson and probably began to build in intensity as the movement of the Turkish reserves was observed.

Major Lachie McGrath in his history of the 8th, states the situation after the 10th LHR had made their charge and the order was received to retire: “After 20 minutes, the fire started to slacken gradually, though the enemy 75’s put in a terrific hail of high explosive at 500 yards range. Those nearest our trenches made their effort to get back, chancing almost certain death in doing so, as it was now becoming quite light.

For those able to run, the risk was soon over, but many of the wounded could only crawl or pull themselves along by their arms. One boy hopped in, his foot hanging by a sinew. He was laughing as he fell into friendly arms, and was still full of pluck. They lopped his foot off a few minutes after, at the clearing station, but he got home to Australia alright.

Those nearer to the enemy were in a terrible plight. The slightest movement of hand or foot brought a hail fire at them, and in this way many a poor fellow, moving in his agony, suffered death. Two men were out all day, in the burning sun and heat, getting back to our trenches at midnight. Our men in the trenches had been warned to be on the lookout for such as these, so they got in safely. Their experiences during that day were awful. They lay all day with their backs to the scorching sun, unable to move, as they knew that the enemy were constantly sniping the wounded as they moved on side. Unable to lift their heads, the flies and vermin from the dead bodies crawled up their nostrils and in their ears. They could hear the Turks conversing quite plainly, and could also hear our own people trying to get in wounded by means of grappling irons.”

Sgt Ashburner of the 9th LH from his position at Turk’s Point has left an account of the scene after the fighting had subsided. He could see the dead and wounded lying out in no-mans-land, the scaling ladders that had been dropped by the first party, men trying to drink out of water bottles and raising their arms, but with in three to four hours they all seemed to be dead.

The R.M.O. Dr Frank Beamish in his letter of the 15th August opened with this statement: “There has been heavy fighting at Anzac, attended by very heavy Australian casualties. The poor old Third Light Horse Brigade has practically ceased to exist – reduced in a few hours from 1600 to about 250 sound men; Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Regiments, Field Ambulance and Brigade Train all included. Of these the great majority were killed outright. The Turks used bombs, machine guns, and shells on our wounded as they lay. Before starting work our bearers lost seven men out of 37 in the first half hour of an awful night – two killed and one very badly wounded.”

Major McGrath in his history of the 8th LH states; “By 8 a.m., it seemed evident that all of the Regiment left alive were now in the trenches, that is excepting the wounded who were being hastily attended to at the rear and then sent down to the beach. Many of the men were quite dazed, and efforts were made to get them out to a ledge on the cliff face, to hold a roll call. After some time, this was done and the scene there was very heart-rendering. The casualty list of that day tells only too plainly, the horror of it all. 13 officers and 157 other ranks were killed, and 4 officers and 81 other ranks were wounded. Many of the men on the cliff face were so shaken, that they were almost helpless, and the evacuations during the ensuing days, from shock were heart breaking. After roll call and a scrap meal, we were put in some old gun pits near by, and given a couple of hours spell. A large number had minor wounds, which were never reported.”

There we have it that is as much as I can find of what happened to the third and fourth lines of the 10th Light Horse Regiment.


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The Nek is a part of the Anzac History, and one that has been discussed and studied by a number of people.

Jeff has kindly allowed me to post his work here, to share with you all, the story as it unfolded.

His dedication to detail is, IMHO, very daunting, and I would like to commend him on his work.

He is a modest man, and one who is dedicated to preserving history of the 8th Light Horse Regiment.

If anyone has anything to add to this or any other information please do not hesitate to add to this.



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You don't have information on the whereabouts of 757 Tpr Ivan Denkel, 8 LHR, on the 7th August, do you? He was in the 3rd reinforcements, TOS 27/7/15. I believe he was in the MG section, according to Auchterlonie's (?) book.


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From Jeff.

He enlisted on the 9/12/1914. Maygar's Boys has him as joining the Machine Gun Section, but he is not listed as one of the originals of MG Section. Would have been taken on strength of the MG Section at either Mena or Heliopolis Camps.

He arrived at Gallipoli on the night of Wednesday 26 7/1915 as a part of the 55 Reinforcements under the command of Lt (A/Capt) Charles Talbot-Woods. Taken on strength of the Regiment Thursday 27/7/1915.

The only reference I have of him is from the diary of Tpr Douglas Hill, Machine Gun Section on Thursday 27/7/1915, as follows: -

Tpr Hill : “On Gun. Barnes and Snowy Woods returned from Egypt to section. Mac Conan came up into section yesterday evening Shane Dankel came into section.” (L/Cpl Walter A. McConnan No. 429, “C”

Sqdn and Tpr Ivan James Denkel No. 757, 3rd Reinf’s.)

Shane must have been a family or nick name, for he is the only man by the name of Denkel that fits this time period.

Where he was on the 7th August is unknown, but I should imagine that he was on duty at one of the 8th's machine gun posts overlooking Monash Gully. These guns were supporting the advance of the 1st Light Horse Regiment over at Pope's Post.

He was evacuated sick to Hospital on the 12/12/1915 and embarked from Gallipoli.

To find out any further information I shall have to run the usual checks and see if his service record is available on the National Archives web site.

Hope this is of some help to Bob and I will inform you if and when I find anything else.



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Thanks Jeff (& Kim),

I have read his service records, and those of his brothers (KIA Pozieres, KIA Amiens Aug '18). He went on to serve with a MG Sqn and was returned to Australia in 1918.

Many thanks for your additional info. I was pretty sure he wasn't a 'charger', but...

I purchased the 3 brothers' medals from the family here in Toowoomba a few years ago, hence my interest. (No Victory medals, but did include all 3 brothers' identity discs.)


PS - magnificent work you've done. I've cut and pasted it as a Word Document for future reference. Are you planning on publishing?


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Bob, We are trying to get him finished so he can publish. He is very particular in his work and thorough.

So maybe Volumne One may come soon.

An additional note for you.

Quote Jeff.

"There is one thing wrong with my post, being the date of his embarkation to Hospital at Heliopolis, should be 12/10/1915 not December as Cameron Simpson has recorded.

But I suppose Bob is well aware of this anyway."




Jeff is a bit shy, I'll have to pester him to join us here.

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  • 3 weeks later...


I have just updated the Nek list again to take in account the British known casualties at the Nek on that day. This way we can properly honour those who died on that sad day.



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Due to information pouring into my email box today regarding the Nek, I have totally revised the list of men who paid the ultimate price either as Killed in Action or Died of Wounds as a direct consequence from the specific attack at the Nek on 7 August 1915. The men come from the following units:

1. 8th Light Horse Regiment

2. 9th Light Horse Regiment

3. 10th Light Horse Regiment

4. 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers

5. 8th (Service) Battalion, Cheshires

As can be seen, the attack at the Nek was not an exclusive Australian affair and nor were all the casualties Australian men. The story of the Nek needs to be told in its totality rather than as an item of jingoism.

The list is made up in alphabetical order detailing unit and nation at the rear of the entry.

678 Private Frank Leigh A'BECKETT, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

755 Private James Valentine AIREY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

682 Private Rollo Charles Stacpole ALBAN, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

756 Private Robert Osborne ALEXANDER, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

607 Private Patrick Joseph AMOR, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

801 Private Arthur Andrew ANDERSON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

544 Private George John Stewart ANDERSON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

778 Private James ANDERSON, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

235 Lance Corporal James Alfred ANDERSON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Lieutenant Leo William Hall ANDERSON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

101 Private William Fleming ANDERSON, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

608 Private William Stawell ANDERSON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

876 Private Stephen ARBUTHNOT, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

364 Sergeant Duncan Farquhar Grant BAIN, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

208 Private John Henry BAKER, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

103 Private Harold BARRACLOUGH, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

881 Private Walter Ernest BARTON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

806 Private Percy Hamlin BECKETT, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

527 Private Robert BEILBY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

878 Private James Alexander BELL, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

601 Private Charles BENSON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

223 Private Albert Alfred BENT, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

234 Corporal Alexander Douglas BETHUNE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

372 Private William BLAKE, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

338 Private Victor Eric BLAKENEY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

805 Private Douglas BODDY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

46 Sergeant Henry Otto BOHLSEN, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Lieutenant Keith BORTHWICK, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

209 Lance Corporal John BOSWELL, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

934 Private Horace BOWER, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

880 Private Richard BOWERING, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

233 Corporal Alwynne Stanley BOWKER, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

709 Private Edgar Vernon BRADY, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

69 Private Hubert Howden BROCKMAN, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

11882 Private T BROSTER, 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers, UK.

244 Private Thomas BUCKINGHAM, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

379 Private Frederick John BUNCE, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

165 Lance Corporal Thomas Francis BURGES, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

342 Driver William BURKE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

712 Private Albert James BUTLER, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

311 Private Morton Alfred CAKEBREAD, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

937 Private James Percival CAMERON, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

605 Private James Pullar CAMERON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

300 Sergeant Major Colin Henry CAMERON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

853 Private James CARNEY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

59 Private Alfred Ernest CARPENTER, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Lieutenant Charles CARTHEW, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

129 Lance Corporal Alfred CAVANAGH, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

2152 Private Arthur CHAMBERLAIN, 8th (Service) Battalion, Cheshires, UK.

860 Private Henry Thomas CHIPPER, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

97 Lance Corporal Lindsay Lewis Sterling CHIPPER, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

68 Private Ross Richard Vivian CHIPPER, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

281 Private Henry Norman CLAYTON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

776 Private Thomas George COATES, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

142 Private Albert George COBB, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

156 Private Dyson Frederick COLE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

155 Private Lionel William COLE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

787 Private Herbert Alfred COLLINS, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

93 Private Tom COMBLEY, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

689 Private Walter COMBS, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

115 Sergeant John Leslie CONNOR, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

151 Private John CONSIDINE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

240 Private James CONWAY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

12516 Private F J COOMBS, 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers, UK.

70 Corporal Henry COWELL, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

534 Private Colin Heardon CRAMOND, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

105 Sergeant John James CRUITE, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

58 Driver Alexander George CUMMING, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

139 Private Richard Edward CUMMING, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

884 Corporal Herbert Roulston Clifford CURRIE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Lieutenant Charles Coning DALE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

718 Private Rowland [Ronald] Dudley DAVIS, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

791 Private George Ernest DE MOLE, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

539 Private Reginald Garry DEMPSTER, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

694 Private Percy George DEWHURST, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

89 Private Oliver Ernest DONALDSON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

166 Private Amos Leonard DOUST, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

781 Private William DOW, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

542 Private Frank Napier DREW, 9th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

690 Private Alfred DRISCOLL, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

394 Corporal Denis DU VAL, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

693 Private Thomas Alfred DUDDERIDGE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

662 Private James DUFFY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

692 Private Thomas Leo DWYER, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

84 Private Norman Charles DYER, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

817 Private Stanley EDMISTON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

615 Private Wallace ESSAY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

1804 Private William Williamson EUSTACE, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

368 Private Albert Lacey EVANS, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

369 Private Alexander George EVANS, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

889 Private Herbert Ernest EYERS, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

153 Private John Charles EYRE, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

109 Sergeant Basil Middleton FENWICK, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

212 Private Lawrence Gerald FINN, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

521 Private Jack FLUX, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

821 Private Benjamin FORBES, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

403 Corporal Richard Andrew FORBES, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

265 Sergeant Thomas Charles FORDE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

158 Private Arthur William FYFFE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

245 Private William Henry GALE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

526 Private Alexander GANNAWAY, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

824 Private Edward GIBBS, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

160 Private Frederick Gilbert GIPPS, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

893 Corporal Hugh Garfield GORDON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

286 Private Ernest Samuel GOULDEN, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

287 Private John George Letcher GOYNE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

768 Corporal Hugh GRACE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

894 Private Gerald Lawrence GRAHAM, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

929 Private Geoffrey Treacher GRANT, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Lieutenant George Muir GRANT, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

559 Private Charles GREAVES, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

381 Sergeant Clifton Riversdale GRENFELL, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

698 Private Louis Gerald GRIFFIN, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

167 Private Alfred Henry GRIFFITHS, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

621 Private Mansell David GRIFFITHS, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

728 Private William HAHN, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

760 Private Frederick George HALL, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

828 Private Arthur HANCOCK, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

11884 Private J C HARDING, 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers, UK.

12376 Private George HARNEY, 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers, UK.

114 Private Wilfred Lukin HARPER, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

113 Private Gresley HARPER, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

250 Private Reginald Desmond HARRIS, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

361 Squadron Sergeant Major William Edward HARVEY, 9th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

112 Private Oscar Donald Humphray HASSELL, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

896 Private James HASTINGS, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

168 Private John HAY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Lieutenant Thomas James HELLER, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

541 Private Edward Percival HENDY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Lieutenant Edward Ellis HENTY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

19746 Private Alfred HICKINBOTHAM, 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers, UK.

247 Private Bertie HILL, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

283 Private Henry George HILL, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

292 Private Henry HILL, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

213 Private William Arthur HIND, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

200 Corporal Russell George HINDHAUGH, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

314 Private Carl HOLMBERG, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

623 Private George Reuben HOPE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

897 Private Harry HOSKINS, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Lieutenant Thomas Spencer HOWARD, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

96 Private Geoffrey Castell HOWELL, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

803 Private Raymond HOWELL, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

201 Lance Corporal George Thomas HUGHES, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

13175 Private R J HUGHES, 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers, UK.

Lieutenant David Alexander JACKSON, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

742 Private Samuel JAMES, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

229 Private Douglas JAMIESON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

217 Private Donald Mathieson McGregor JOHNSON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

316 Lance Corporal John Joshua JOLLY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

828 Private Arthur JONES, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

394 Private Thomas JONES, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

130 Private Charles KELLY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

547 Private Frank Winterburn KEMP, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

400 Private Robert KERR, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

703 Private Edward Richard KILPATRICK, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

831 Private Martin Frederick KING, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

83 Private Allan Bruce KINNAIRD, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

141 Private Frederick William KIRSCH, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

150 Private Louis Alfred KLOPPER, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

251 Private Archibald Roland KNIGHT, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

33 Private William Henry LAILEY, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

898 Private William LANG, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

762 Private Michael Edward LARKIN, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

2242 Private William LEE, 8th (Service) Battalion, Cheshires, UK.

834 Private Ralph Vivian Worthington LEES, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

133 Private Hugh LENNON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

120 Private John Percival LEWIS, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Captain Walter LLOYD, 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers, UK.

132 Private Thomas LONGMORE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

1093 Private Lawrence LUCAS 1/4th Battalion (T.F.), Cheshires, UK.

116 Private Dudley LUKIN, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

906 Private Charles Russell MacNALLY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Second Lieutenant Cyril Godfrey MARSH, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

255 Private Robert MARTIN, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

307 Private William Henry MASON, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

903 Private Oscar John MATTHIES, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

170 Sergeant Ernest McALIECE, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

744 Private Herbert McCARTHY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

450 Lance Corporal Alfred John McCLUSKY, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

263 Private Samuel Jeremiah McCOLL, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

177 Private William McELHINNEY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

123 Private John Blacklock McJANNET, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

813 Private William Cuthbert McKENZIE, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

962 Private Donald S. McLEAN, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Captain Robert Thompson McMASTER, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

735 Private Henry George McNEILL, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

125 Private Gordon McRAE, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Lieutenant Colonel Albert MIELL, 9th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

414 Private Robert Reid MITCHELL, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

254 Private William MITCHELL, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

138 Sergeant Reginald Johnstone MOORE, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

542 Private Archibald Hubert MORETON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

11895 Private Randall Foulkes MORRIS, 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers, UK.

663 Private Patrick MORRISSEY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

138 Private James Edgar MOYSEY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

766 Private Thomas Richard MURRAY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

142 Private Walter Edwards NEWTON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

325 Private Archibald NICOLSON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

80 Private William Reginald Eustace NORTHEY, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

554 Private Bernard Lindsay O'MULLANE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

432 Sergeant Sydney John O'NEILL, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

264 Private George Booth ORMEROD, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

41 Sergeant Ebden Harcourt Roger PALMER, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

702 Private John PALMER, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

910 Private Raymond Walter PATTERSON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

741 Private Frederick PAYNE, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

327 Private Frederick PAYNE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

325 Private Arthur Albert PEARSON, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

966 Private Ernest PENNY, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

232 Sergeant James Burnett PICKETT, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Captain Vernon Frederick PIESSE, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

327 Private Arthur Thomas PITTS, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

413 Private Ernest POLLITT, 8th (Service) Battalion, Cheshires, UK.

631 Private Herbert POPE, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

746 Private Allan PREECE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

482 Lance Corporal Godfrey Liddle PURVES, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

331 Private Alexander RAE, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

231 Sergeant Frank Albert RAWLINGS, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

198 Corporal Victor Norman RAYMOND, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Major Thomas Harold REDFORD, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

463 Private John REGAN, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

82 Private George Wallace RICHARDSON, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

42 Sergeant Henry George ROBERTS, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

333 Private Charles Archibald ROBINSON, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

715 Private Frederick RODERICK, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

12785 Lance Corporal Douglas ROGERS, 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers, UK.

Second Lieutenant Leopold James Cecil ROSKAMS, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

130 Private William Allardyce ROSS, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Captain Andrew Percival ROWAN, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

152 Private Harold RUSH, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

891 Private George Frederick Henry SANDY, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

226 Sergeant John Andrew SCOTT, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

62 Lance Corporal George Southwell SEAGER, 9th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

182 Private John Alexander SHAW, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

913 Private Ernest Lloyd SHEARSMITH, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

453 Private Herbert Steven SHELDON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

157 Corporal Clarence SHEPHERD, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

1728 Private George SIDEBOTHAM, 8th (Service) Battalion, Cheshires, UK.

131 Private Fred SINKER, 8th (Service) Battalion, Cheshires, UK.

746 Private Frederick Joseph SMITH, 9th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

12684 Private William John SMITH, 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers, UK.

147 Private William John SNUDDEN, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

722 Private Reuben Edward SOMERVILLE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

212 Squadron Sergeant Major John SPRINGALL, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

750 Private Abraham Joseph STANFORD, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

857 Private Herbert Edward STANLEY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

919 Private George STENZEL, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

643 Private James Alexander STEWART, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

296 Private Charles Tyler SUTHERLAND, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

898 Private Clarence Edward SUTTON, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

841 Private Patrick Joseph SWEENEY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

858 Private Nicholas TACKABERRY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

75 Private Stanley TAYLOR, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

304 Lance Corporal Arthur Norman TETLEY, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

184 Private James Gordon Ford THOMPSON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

821 Corporal Thomas THOMPSON, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

902 Private Owen Stanley TIMMS, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

923 Private William TOLEMAN, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

551 Private William TOSH, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

752 Private Angus Duncan TREWIN, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Second Lieutenant Alexander Phipps TURNBULL, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

748 Private Leyshon VILLIS, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

850 Private Reginald WALLACE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

22 Private Claude Hallastone WALSH, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

150 Private Victor Kenneth WALTON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

298 Lance Corporal John Fortescue WEATHERHEAD, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

784 Private William Bradley WELCH, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

357 Private Frederick Harold WESTON, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Henry WHITE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

143 Private Edwin James WHITE, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Second Lieutenant Henry Eric WHITEHEAD, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

71 Private James Thomas WILKERSON, 10th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

532 Private Roy WILLAN, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

261 Private Alfred Spedding WILLIAMS, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

11910 Sergeant W B WILLIAMS, 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers, UK.

475 Driver Richard WILLIAMSON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

Lieutenant Eliot Gratton WILSON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

29 Lance Corporal James Joseph Reginald WILSON, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

225 Private Charles Melbourne WINGROVE, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

333 Private John Wylie WINNETT, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

2116 Private John William WOODCOCK 1/4th Battalion (T.F.), Cheshires, UK.

Lieutenant Charles Talbot WOODS, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Aus.

The above list is by no means complete nor is it accurate despite my best efforts. There will be typos and incorrect attribution. That's your job to detect. Please let me know if there are errors or inclusions that you feel should occur.

The construction of the list came from various sources. The two contemporaneous sources are McGrath and Gollan who form the basis of most Australian casualties. In addition to them there is the work of Peter Burness which brought other names to light as well as the solid work of Jeff Pickerd who inspired this work. Finally, the UK casualties came from two sources, 8th Royal Welch Fusiliers from Jeff Pickerd and 8th (Service) Battalion, Cheshires supplied by Patrick Gariepy whose decades of work has made this possible.

While this work is available for reference purposes and legitimate scholarship for any smartarse person who thinks they can pinch this without any attribution and flog it off as their own work, forget it - it is copyright. This cheery note is here to ensure that everyone's work is not filtched and then sold back to us.



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Guest gumbirsingpun

can anyane tell me if the NZR took part in that assault?

i came across a new zelland button at the nek last year,

i invite comments as ta how a newzelland button might have got there?



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My God, gents, what a truly astonishing body of work!

Well done for all your hard work.


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