Thursday 28 January 1915 – We Lost 91
The War Council approves the Admiralty undertaking a naval attack on the Dardanelles. The British force will consist of the new super-dreadnought HMS Queen Elizabeth, to be sent on account of her long range 15-inch guns, the battle cruiser Inflexible, ten pre-dreadnought battleships (Swiftsure, Triumph, Cornwallis, Irresistable, Ocean, Albion, Canopus, Vengeance, Majestic and Prince George), four cruisers, two destroyer depot ships, the seaplane carrier Ark Royal, sixteen destroyers (8 Beagle and 8 River class), twenty-one minesweeping trawlers and six submarines. The plan is that after the Turkish defenses at the entrance of the Dardanelles have been put out of action, the Naval Staff expects the operations will develop into a slow, methodical progress of perhaps a mile a day, silencing the fire of concealed guns and keeping down fire from trenches or machine guns ‘which will inconvenience the minesweepers’. The Admiralty emphasizes the cautious approach: ‘It is not expected or desired that the operations should be hurried to the extent of taking large risks and courting heavy losses. The slow relentless creeping forward of the attacking force mile by mile will tend to shake the morale of the garrisons of the forts at Kephez Point, Chanak and Kilid Bahr, and will have an effect on Constantinople’. Two battalions of Royal Marines will also be sent out for temporary landing operations along with a squadron of merchant vessels with dummy upper works altered to resemble dreadnoughts and cruisers to deceive the enemy.
British aircraft track Turkish forces progress across the Sinai intent upon the capture of Ismallia.
Today’s losses include:
- Two men shot at dawn
- The son of the editor of the Glasgow Citizen
Today’s highlighted casualties are
Privates Thomas Cummings and Albert Smythe (Irish Guards) are shot at dawn for desertion. Their battalion, which has been in action continually since Mons, was fighting in the Ypres Salient when in November 1914 the two men deserted.
- Second Lieutenant Charles Stuart Hedderwick (Royal Scots) is killed at age 25. He is the son of the Editor of the Glasgow Citizen.