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Remembered Today:

Norfolk Hill at Gallipoli


Neil2
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On August 15, the 1/4 Essex at Suvla took up position on "Norfolk Hill." Does any Pal know if this position had any other name, or where it might have been?

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The Lads from Essex took over the positions that the survivors of the notorious advance of 163 Brigade of Aug 12th had managed to fall back to. This was a very basic position formed I believe along the side of a slightly sunken road. This line would eventually become the front line of the Suvla battlefield.

So confused was the situation on the 15th that the Essex Brigade actually fired upon the survivors of 163 Brigade, before a brave young signaller probably named Gooda* stood up and flagged the "cease fire", which indicates how well briefed the Essex lads had been, nobody knew where the front line was, so all the features had yet to be officially named.

It is quite natural that any feature would be named by the lads who occupied it, but the name applied may not be the final one adopted by the official maps.

Unless one of the other forum Pals knows better I think that the feature Norfolk Hill, may also be the place known as Carisbrooke Castle to the 8th Hants, which later became Dublin Castle on the official maps.

*The name of the brave young Norfolk lad is not known for certain, because he was killed a few days later, I have worked out the most likely candidate from Soldiers Died.

Gareth

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Gooda*

Gareth,

http://cgi.ebay.com/RP-Group-Norfolk-Regim...1QQcmdZViewItem

You may be interested in this ebay ietm. It is a 1913 photograph of what the seller thinks may be 1/4th Norfolks. It is my guess they are signallers or at least they have big flags. I rather hope Gooda is in the picture - 2492 sounds like a prewar number.

Rob.

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Hello

Any idea as to where the photograph might have been taken?

Mike

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Hi Gareth -

It's an interesting episode - have been reading the threads. You might have seen this before but the 1/5th Essex war diary contains the following for the night of the 14th, as the battalion advance to relieve the 163rd under "a fairly heavy rifle fire from the left flank":

"A machine gun opened fire behind us and caused casualties amongst our battalion and the 5th Norfolks and 8th Hants whom we were relieving. We were under orders not to fire and all water-cans, machine guns and various impediments had to be carried in the advance. The men were very steady under fire. Direction was not well kept, partly owing to indefinite information as to exact objective and partly being obliged to change direction twice to get round the crest of a hill."

I wonder if that's my "Norfolk Hill" - especially if it's just behind the point to which the Norfolks had pushed the firing line.

1/4 Essex's war diary states they left for the reserve trenches at 7.30 pm on the 14th, taking up position at "Norfolk Hill" on the 15th. Brig-Gen Brunker arrived at their observation post later to watch the 10th Division and 162nd Brigade attack along Kiretch Tepe Sirt and up Kidney Hill, so "Norfolk Hill" must have offered a decent view of the southern slope of Kiretch Tepe Sirt. (Though with binoculars, that wouldn't be hard from anywhere in the plain, I suppose.)

All guesses but I wonder if "Norfolk Hill" was on the reserve trench line behind the point to which the Norfolks advanced in the attack of the 12th.

Interestingly, the 161 Brigade diary has half the 1/4 Essex landing on the 14th and the other half on the 16th. This is way out. The Battalion diary states two companies landed on the 12th and the other two on the 13th. Looking at the battalion diary, it appears they had no orders on landing, made some shelters in the sand on the first night, did some fatigue work for the CRE at Lala Baba on the second day and only reported to 54th Div HQ on the 14th - 48 hours after the first of them came ashore.

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Hi Neil

I am somewhat hampered by not ever being to the ground concerned, and sadly probably never will. I have noticed however that there is now a much higher resolution Google earth photo of much of the southern and eastern sections of Suvla that should cover the final positions of 163 Brigade.

By following the water courses I think it should be possible to find the start point, point 28, and work over in the general direction of the advance looking for I suspect insignificant bumps, at the foot of Anafarta Ridge. I will have to dig out my sketch maps and have a look

We need to find out where the Essex lads started from, did they start from the old line at point 28 or did they start further back and found that it was the obstacle they had to move around. The IW Rifles, 8th Hants had to kink their start line around the feature, but the most noted feature in that general area that I have come across in later documents, is as I have said Dublin Castle as it finally became known, so we need to try and eliminate that if possible as well. I have not found that on the Google earth photos yet.

The enfilading fire on the left flank must have been coming from a line running more or less parallel to the ridge. The Norfolk's reported change of direction half right, at the start of the advance would have exposed the flank even more, which probably accounts for the flanks being so open when the Essex lads advanced.

It would be nice to think young Gooda is on that photo.

Gareth

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Hi Gareth

Yes - Gooda (if it were he) did a very good job.

I've been looking over 161 Brigade's War diary again. There are map references given for the position of the 163rd trench line the Essex Brigade relieved on the 14th. Do you think these are likely to be plottable on any particular trench or sector map? The line extended from:

118 M 9 2 to 13 H 7 G6. (That 13 in the last string might be wrong - it's very hard to read.)

The 161 diary has the 1/4th coming up to the line after the other battalions - which might suggest they were the unit who opened fire from the rear with a machine gun causing casualties among the 1/5 Essex, Norfolks and Hants. However - the 1/4 war diary mentions later on that its machine gun section has been off doing duty with the 1/7 Essex. So the evidence is contradictory - very Gallipoli.

Regards,

Neil.

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  • 2 years later...

It's now clear that "Norfolk Hill" was at 117.K.7 rather than at Dublin Castle.

Two battalions of The 4th Norfolks held this reserve position during the attack by 163rd Brigade (when the "Sandringham" men were cut off) and were relieved there by the 4th Essex. They presumably called it Norfolk Hill simply because they inherited it from the Norfolks - no-one else appears to have used the name and in a few days' time it was no longer a significant feature of the battlefield - and so I suppose the name never stuck. The 4th Norfolks were sent back there again just after the 10th Division attacked along the crest above.

163rd brigade HQ War Diary records on August 15 that: "4th Norfolk Regt was ordered to support the 4th Essex Regt who were holding the spur 117.K.7..." The Essex battalion stayed on the spur and the others were some hours later sent back into reserve again. The timings here fit with the 4th Essex war diary for their time on "Norfolk Hill." The spur in question is one of the lower features of the Kiretch Tepe Sirt, the very bottom of the start of the upward slope, more or less in the plain. The rise was enough to allow Brig-Gen Brunker to use as an observation post as the 163rd went forward.

117.K.7. is about 1500 yards north east of Hill 10, and about 1100 yards due west of the front line at Kuchuk Anafarta Ova and a mile due directly south of Jephson's Post. It's very low, only about 25 metres above the plain.

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